There is nothing quite like walking on the ramparts of Jerusalem. As I worked on this painting, I was reminded of Nehemiah who, in 445BC, had so much opposition as he was guiding the Israelites to re-build the walls, and yet, he boldly stated:
“Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” This group of young people walking up these stairs symbolizes the next generation and the hope that revival will strike Israel and spread to the entire world, that people will rise up, as Nehemiah, and remember the Lord.
On my first trip to Israel in 2012, I was just learning how to handle a camera. I took as many photos as I could, and they were often poor quality. I took this photo while I was waiting to take my turn to walk on the ramparts of Jerusalem. I am certain that I did not intend to turn this photo into a painting at the time I took it.
Before this painting, I would try to take photos with no people in them to get a more ancient looking shot. I painted ‘The Ease Gate’ and said to myself, “This is my best painting so far!” A few weeks after completion, however, I had a feeling about it that I couldn’t shake. It was missing something. It was my sister who pointed out that I should have put an animal or something in it. Of course I tried to fight her, saying it was perfect the way it was, but inside I knew she was right. My paintings were dull. At that point, I decided to change. I found this picture buried in my hundreds of files from my Israel trip. The more I looked at it, the more interesting it became to me. Each figure had a different story! The colours all vibrated together creating something chaotic and exciting! Now, I realize the beauty and energy that can be gained by adding people to my paintings. I will no longer wait for my camera frame to be free of people. Instead, I will invite them to join in the experience of my creation.