Psalm 125—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms weekly artwork and see previous pieces here.

Person: Steve Vanderheide

Hi! I’m a filmmaker and producer and I like to dabble in visual art.

Piece: Composite Photography

This actually started out as a sketch during Project 101010 (where a group of artists from Park post art that they spent 10 min on, for 10 days, with 10 Psalms). I was drawn to verse two which says:

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds His people,
from this time forth and forevermore.” (v.2)

It made me picture the Lord reaching down into the dirt and lifting up his people. It made me think of words like “support” and “protection.” He is lifting up the land of those who serve Him, saving them from the temptation of “the scepter of wickedness.” The mountains are there not only to give a literal visual element to the verse, but also to represent protection: cities that are surrounded by mountains have a natural fortress that makes them harder to approach. Jerusalem, in the middle of mountains, is represented here by Denver as a way of personalizing it for me, for our church, and to paint a hopeful picture for those in our city that could come to know the Lord.


This artwork was created in Photoshop, and the big hurdle I had to overcome was getting light and shadows to fall in the same direction. I chose to have light coming from the far left, so you’ll notice that the shadows all fall that same direction on each mountain peak. I had to look for, and cut out photos that I’ve taken of different mountains over the last 12 years. Mountains from Colorado, Wyoming (Grand Tetons), and Iceland are all featured. I then went outside and took a photo of my hands, with a flash off to the left, in an attempt to match the lighting angle from the mountain photos. Finally, I “cheated” a bit and found an aerial image of Denver with similar lighting on iStockphoto that felt like it was the correct angle. It was a challenge, but a blast to put together.


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