About the Torah Series
The Torah Series
is a group of fifty-four paintings based on the portion of the Hebrew Bible read each week in a Jewish synagogue (the first 5 books of the Old Testament). The paintings represent the complete year of readings in 24" by 24" canvases installed in six grids each comprised of nine works. A series of larger "Related Paintings" accompanies the Torah Series, focusing on significant biblical images.
The paintings are like post-modern icons, a conversation, or even a prayer. The Torah is rich with content and meaning, and points in multiple directions at once. The hope was to make a visual interpretation that would communicate not only what is tangible, but even more importantly, the heart and soul of the Torah.
The impetus for the series was my need to reconcile the redemptive and destructive results of religion, truths I found in Native American values learned through adoption, and my own sustaining faith. I started to read and to paint from the Bible from its Hebrew perspective. Engaging the stories in this way gave them new life, and changed my consciousness.
Like the Torah itself, the series is perpetual, universal, and nuanced by human connection. The paintings start with the mystery of creation and the development of humanity, and proceed through the worldly and spiritual trials it encountered.
While working on each grid of nine paintings, I drew and painted them simultaneously. There was struggle and then there was discovery - sometimes different panels had a direct correlation, spilling from one to the next; sometimes not. The goal was to create a mix of literature, psychic shock, and visual experience.
These paintings sprang from the ritual of creation - each burst of inspiration had a sense of the sacred. They involved relating intimately with sacred texts, re-imaging old stories, and interacting with ancient spiritual truths in the context of aesthetic innovation.