“Ladder to the Moon”, Globe Inspired by O’Keefe

Looking through some art books recently, I was struck by how many paintings had ladders pointing toward the sky.

From the very early depiction of Jacob’s ladder from the 4th century Catacomb of the Via Latina.

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To this painting from the french school,  c. 1490, interpreting the same story-

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Art from the Christian tradition features the story of Jacob’s ladder as it is told in the Old Testament scriptures. It tells of a man’s vision of a supernatural world not visible to the human eye, but real nevertheless; a world where angels ascend and descend a heavenly stairway. Here’s a beautiful drawing, c. 1728, by Gerard Hoet

La escalera de Jacob, Gerard Hoet, Biblia Ilustrada, 1728

As the centuries have gone by, artists have continued to depict sky ladders, though the narrative is less clear. In modern art, ladders are often placed in ambiguous settings with no clear destination, such as in Anselm Keifer’s “Seraphim” from 1945-

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Most recently in 2016, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s “Sky Ladder”, used explosives and a giant balloon to give viewers a fiery visual stairway stretching up hundreds of feet overhead.

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Guo-Qiang said :  ““…I want to make a ladder to connect the Earth to the universe.”

Is it a connection to the universe artists are seeking? Or to the unknown?

One of my favorite ladder pictures is by Georgia O’Keefe. In “Ladder to the Moon” (1958) there is no destination and the ladder itself is suspended in mid-air, disconnected from the ground. O’Keefe’s picture seems to be asking, “Is there something more?” and “Can we get there?”

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Voices all around us tell us there is nothing beyond this physical world, and yet, most of us live as if there is. We interact with the world in such a way that affirms the existence of things that we cannot see: love, justice, mercy, hope, numbers, logic, etc. These things are evidence for a world beyond.

When I observe sky ladder art that was created out of the Christian tradition, I perceive a strong sense of certainty. The existence of the supernatural is a settled issue. In contrast, there are questions being asked in the modern depictions, and the viewers are given no answers.  Why do artists continue to paint sky ladders? Even the briefest study of art history makes this plain. They reveal the universal longing for immortality.

As a Christian, I believe there is a spiritual realm that is just as real as this one, and I identify with the artworks that depict a ladder firmly planted on the ground, in real space and time, with a sure destination at the top. Unfortunately, we can’t reach the supernatural realm by ladder, but the Bible tells us many things about what it is like and how we can get there when our lives here are complete. The words of the Psalmist still speak to those who are anxious about the future climb: “I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4).  Jesus Christ encouraged all who are searching for answers: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

I wanted to alter this small globe as soon as I saw it on the clearance aisle! The paper was just torn a bit, so I tore it off completely and got out fiber paste medium and paints. I decided to use O’Keefe’s painting as my inspiration. It reminds me of the universal longing humans have for another world.  The desire for this world is so powerful, even the most ardent deniers, such as O’Keefe herself, cannot escape its pull. They hint at it in their compositions.

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IMG_8487IMG_8601globe 6 IMG_8604 globe 10 Have a blessed day and thanks for stopping by to see my art!

~Scarlettokeefe 6

Art Eggs Inspired by Ellsworth Kelly



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These art eggs are inspired by the American minimalist, Ellsworth Kelly. In my last video, I discussed the philosophy of naturalism and how Ellsworth Kelly’s work exemplifies it. As a Christian, I am passionate about the intersection of the arts and faith. I’d love to hear your feedback!

If you’d like to paint some modern art eggs of your own, you can find plain white wooden eggs at Hobby Lobby, as well as the Master’s Touch acrylic colors. They lend well to the imitation of Kelly’s bright hues and simple forms. The 1/4″ red tape is also from Hobby Lobby.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by to see my art!  ~Scarlett
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Red Violins

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I’m still experimenting with glass painting.

These prints were created by painting quickly onto a piece of glass with acrylic paint, and then printing the image onto Bristol vellum.

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The first one wound up looking a bit scant so I tried it again, brushing the paint more thickly onto the glass.
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Here’s the second one, framed.

Thanks for stopping by to look at my art! ~Scarlett
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More Glass Printing with Acrylics

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I’m still having fun painting on glass and printing on vellum.  Some of my experiments look delicious!

I call this one “Love Apples” ( tomatoes).
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The texture that the glass pulls up as you remove the paper is pretty cool. It creates all sorts of various patterns.

Thanks for stopping by and looking at my art!DSCF5196 DSCF5201 DSCF5198 DSCF5197 DSCF5209 DSCF5237 DSCF5229 DSCF5234 DSCF5233 DSCF5235 acrylic glass prints 1

“Cellist” ~Glass Print on Vellum

 

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I painted this design free hand on the back of an 8X10 piece of glass. I turned it over and pressed it onto Bristol vellum.

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With a small liner brush, I added some brown lines to create movement around the bow…
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This is a fun technique I’ll definitely be trying out more in the coming weeks.  Thanks for stopping by to see my art!

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