Psalm 79—Artwork

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Person: William Emerson

My name is William Emerson, I grew up in Colorado with a desire to explore and uncover truths about myself and God through His creation. Like many, nature has captivated me and God has used it to reflect to me deep truths about life in Him. I found the narrative of this psalm in the workings of animals in the wilderness.

Piece

Wood carving and burning.

PROCESS

In Psalm 79, Israel (The Sheep) cries out to God for salvation after Babylon (The Wolf) has conquered Jerusalem. The chosen people of God find themselves cornered and desperate for rescue from this threat. They are begging for God to remove the immediate threat in their life and it is not until near the end of the Psalm that they ask for forgiveness and humble themselves as sheep in need of a shepherd. They are so focused on a very real threat that they first enter their prayer mad at God and mourning, asking how long He will let this go on, as if to say that if He has issue with his people, He needs to let it go because they have bigger problems than a broken relationship with their God. After their expression of sorrow and plea, they recognize that a breaking has taken place between God and His chosen people.

The broken reality of sin (the toxic locoweed in the sheep’s mouth) is a deeper internal issue that goes beyond even the most pressing of present circumstance. God does eventually retrieve Israel from Babylon (the arrow through the wolf) but the herd has a deeper issue they have inflicted on themselves that only the shepherd can undo.

While creating this piece, I wanted to tell two stories of salvation: God does offer rescue from immediate and painful trials at times, but it often is not in the timing and way that we hope for and we still have our own sin to bring to Him regardless of the outcome of the immediate hurt. The narrative of a sheep hunted by a wolf captured the immediate threats we feel and the self inflicted poisoning of the sheep felt an accurate narrative to our own sin.

Burning and carving this scene required hundreds of repetitive motions and in the repetition I find there is a meditative worship that takes place, inviting the Spirit to engrain the narrative of this Psalm in me as I work through creating the scene.

Psalm 78—Artwork

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Person: Jacques Gerber

My name is Jacques Gerber. I create content using photography, videography, and digital media for visual storytelling. I am currently finishing up my Master of Divinty at Denver Seminary. My creative background stems from my Bachelors degree from Denver University in Emergent Digital Practices.

Piece

Digital Media—Photo Manipulation

PROCESS

After reading and meditating on Psalm 78, I notice a Father who constantly chases and runs after a people who are disobedient and ungrateful. In particular, this piece distinctly reflects verses 6–8 and 38.

The blue in the photo—an earth tone—represents the ripple effect that each generation’s teachings and actions have on the next. In this case, the apathy and amnesia of Israel should be abnegated and, instead, the hope and works of YHWH should be used for instructing and remembrance. Verse 38, despite the rebellion and transgressions of God’s people, shows the character of God: a pursuant and loving Father who provides what is most necessary.

The red in the image represents the blood of Jesus who atoned for the sins of many as propitiation with His blood. In the following verses, the burning anger, wrath, and judgement can be seen by the intensity of this piece.

However, when one looks at the eye and color, you will find a silhouette of the person in the gaze of the one who gives life. The eye has a narrow, white light in the shape of a cross that represents the hope to come for Israel, and that this hope is marked by the Light that will sacrifice His life for a people who are ungrateful. This circles back to the beginning of the psalm and helped me realize that our Abba is fiercely jealous and strongly desires all generations to know of what He has done, and how we can respond faithfully knowing that we are being guided by Him (72).

Psalm 77—Artwork

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Person: Jeremy Grant

Jeremy Grant is an emerging artist and award-winning graphic designer. He was born in California in 1985. He studied Graphic Design and Illustration at John Brown University. Grant has exhibited his collage and assemblage work regularly across Colorado since 2008. An active member of local arts communities, Jeremy has been invited to participate in numerous group shows, donated art to charity, and been awarded a PPAC micro-grant. His work explores themes of destruction and creation, death and resurrection, and chaos and familiarity. Jeremy Grant currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

Piece

Collage

PROCESS

You will drown. Fall headlong into the tempest. Arms reach, strain. There is nothing to grasp. You will drown. Your last sputtering breaths will be witnessed by no one. Your eyes water against the rush of wind. And pain. Drown.

Hot crackle of lightening snakes around your body.
A cradle of fire that stunts your fall.
Return the embrace of pain. Your salvation.

Feeling abandoned by God, and achingly alone, the writer of the 77th Psalm is lead to consider God’s “miracles of long ago.” Israel was pursued by Pharaoh, and their slaughter was eminent, when God performed a dramatic miracle and parted the sea, unveiling an unlikely escape route.

And yet that provision was immensely terrifying—the sea a symbol of chaos and terror in the ancient world. “Walk through the terror,” it seems God told them. But where was God in the middle, when the sea could, seemingly, crash down at any moment, crushing all beneath? God’s footprints were not seen, yet it was His hand at work.

Psalm 76—Artwork

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Person: Taylor Powers

I’m a portrait photographer who grew up in Colorado. I live in Denver with my husband Alex.

Piece

Photography

PROCESS

As I read through Psalm 76, two words stuck with me every time: humbled and stunned. The people mentioned in the Psalm seem to be the greatest of mankind: kings, princes, and men of war. The greatest of men, the greatest of us, were humbled and stunned, unable to stand in the presence of God. I really wanted to create an image that captured the feeling of being both fearful and reverent at once. I could relate to being humbled and stunned, because it reminded me of spending time in prayer while in the mountains. Whenever I spend time in the mountains, I feel small. Not small in a bad or insignificant way, but in a way that puts me in my place, so to speak. It’s scary and comforting. It reminds me of how incredible and wonderful God’s creation is, and it’s always given me clarity and perspective.

The title of Psalm 76, “Who Can Stand Before You,” became the literal idea behind this image. With my image, I wanted to capture that feeling of being stunned and humbled by something much greater than yourself, to the point that you can’t even stand before it. I wanted to capture a surrender. My goal was to put a physical sense of scale of the mountains being that much greater than man, and God being that much greater than “the mountains of prey”. I hope that this image is seen as a man not praying to or worshiping a mountain, but instead being overcome by his smallness in its midst. If the mountains are this much greater than the greatest of mankind, and God is that much greater than the mountains, how can we not be humbled? How can we even stand before Him?

I knew I wanted to get as close to the mountains as possible, preferably at sunrise. My husband (the man in the photo, who was a trooper) and I camped in Rocky Mountain National Park so we would get to this spot for the sunrise. The color and the light of sunrise in the mountains always seems much more jarring and harsh than the softness of a sunset. We hiked around and tried a few different spots, which didn’t work as well. On our way back to the car I found this spot and this was the last photo I took of the series.

Psalm 75—Artwork

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Person: LouAnn Summers

My name is LouAnn Summers. I grew up in Littleton, Colorado and have since lived in Missouri, Texas, New Mexico, and Utah. I have now been in Arvada, Colorado for five years. I’ve been married to Brent going on 38 years and am a mother of four and a grandmother of six. I come from a very artistic family, a few of whom are professionals. It was not until adulthood that I discovered a knack for painting. I am an amateur artist and make art for the sheer joy of it. I was fortunate to have the chance to teach art to 6th graders for five years in public school.

Piece

Watercolor

PROCESS

This piece was inspired by Psalm 75:8 (NIV):

In the hand of the Lord is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; He pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.
(Psalm 75:8 NIV)

Upon my first reading of this scripture, I immediately saw an image of this foaming cup of wine spilling over the earth—liquid and crimson like blood. I imagined God “lavishing” grace upon us (Ephesians 1:8) because “He so loved the world…” (John 3:16). These images reminded me of Jesus saying about the cup of wine, “This is my blood…which is poured out for many…” (Matt 26:28). I then imagined this precious, crimson flow and its effects on our world. I see in this picture the blood cleansing the earth (turning from red to yellow) and from that cleansing life grows (green and blue).

Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.
(From John 7:37–38 NIV)

As I formed the stars I was reminded of Psalm 8:3–4 (NIV):

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them?
(Psalm 8:3–4 NIV)

I experienced a most awesome time of worship feeling God’s joy as He created the heavens! Praise be to the majesty and glory of His name!

This project is watercolor on Yupo, a special kind of paper that is synthetic and does not absorb liquid. This is what enabled such a glowing effect. It also came with great challenges which emphasized my tendencies to struggle. God graciously saw me through with the patience to continue. Then He did this most surprising thing! This “lightning burst” was a completely unintended surprise. I watched wide eyed as the paint and paper formed this awesome display of its own accord! I now view it as God’s motion.

Psalm 74—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: Benjamin Rogers

Benjamin is an art instructor at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado. His work has been exhibited across the country and been featured on the covers of New American Paintings, Fresh Paint Magazine and ArtVoices Magazine. He studied painting at Northern Kentucky University, Louisiana State University and finally Arizona State University, where he received his MFA. He lives in Arvada with his wife Emma and son Everett.

Piece

Oil

PROCESS

Psalm 74 is a cry of anguish that questions why God would allow His enemies to destroy the sanctuary and His people’s home. To communicate this, I made a copy of Thomas Cole’s “Destruction of the Empire,” which I obfuscated through transparent layers of paint. Then I painted a toy hippopotamus as a “viewer,” examining the destruction depicted in the painting. The hippopotamus is representative of God’s people lamenting His once great empire, though distinctly separated from it.

This painting was created using an indirect oil painting method, which begins with a burnt umber value painting and gradually builds up color through transparent glazes of paint.

Psalm 73—Artwork

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Person: Keli Hogsett

Keli Hogsett is originally from Austin, Texas and moved to Denver in 2013. Her husband and her have a 1.5 year old son and live in the Highlands. Keli is a Creative Director at Made Movement, an advertising agency in Boulder, Colorado.

Piece

Sculpture (Wood & Glue)

PROCESS

When reading Psalm 73, I related to being distracted by envy towards unbelievers who seem not to have a care in the world. In moments where I catch myself putting God’s presence aside, following unbelievers’ ways can seem like the path of least resistance. However, this Psalm is a good reminder to me to always focus on God’s end promise, both now and in the afterlife.

This piece is made entirely of “ends.” The wood colored ends represent nearness to God, where the darker pieces represent the opposite. The darker ends can attract and manipulate the wooden ends, but the darker they get, they turn downward and are swallowed by the wooden ends.

Psalm 72—Artwork

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Person: Bruce Butler

I am a graphic designer and musician from the East Coast. In 2012, I moved to Denver from Buffalo, New York to be closer to family and began designing for WorldVenture, a missions organization in Littleton. I’m currently designing for Olsson Associates, a civil engineering consulting rm in Golden. I co-lead a Gospel Community in the Sloans Lake neighborhood and, in my free time, I enjoy playing music, cooking with friends, and spending time with my nieces and nephew. You can see more of my work on Instagram at @madebybruce or by visiting madebybruce.com.

Peice

Mixed Medium

PROCESS

Psalm 72 is a beautiful psalm of God’s triumph. Imagery like “Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!” and “May they fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations! May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth! In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more,” paint a vivid picture of God prospering His people. However, those who are in Christ yet are not experiencing God’s earthly providence are not excluded from the blessing: “For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight.”

In this piece, I added the sun above all, breaking frame, depicting how, through night and day (times of prosperity and adversity), His light shines over all. The rain is a mirror of His showers that water the earth. Though I usually do digital art, I enjoy woodworking and wanted to attempt some new techniques. I started by using a propane torch to bring out the grain. Next, I masked off those areas and applied a stain. Unfortunately the stain bled, so I masked o the stained part and applied spray-paint to the alternating strips. I then masked o the edge and painted it black. Because I wanted a rough cut, I used a screwdriver to add definition to the mountains. I added the trees afterward with a Sharpie and chipped away for the grass effect with a razor blade. To add contrast to the grass, I applied a quick stain. For the rain, I used a hot glue gun and a hand drill for a raised and recessed perspective. Lastly, I spray-painted the sun and touched-up some lines with a Sharpie. It definitely wasn’t the vision I started with, but that’s how most physical artwork goes.

Psalm 71—Artwork

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Person: Lane Geurkink

I am a local graphic designer and painter. Originally from Oklahoma with a BFA from Baylor, I have been living/working in Denver the past six years. I love to paint as an expression of the things I’ve seen, places I have traveled, and my journey with Christ.

PIECE

Acrylic & Charcoal

PROCESS

I made this piece with acrylic and charcoal pencil.

The abstract is a recreation of the things I feel when reading the Psalm. The colors are intended to give a sense of peace as well as the motion/rhythm of the composition.

Psalm 70—Artwork

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Person: Will Whittington

My name is Will Whittington. I am currently based out of Denver working as a freelance photographer while a college student. I got started about eight years ago when I wanted to capture images of my friends skateboarding one night. I had a small digital camera that I had found in a drawer at home. I have always felt that I had a message to convey. I wanted people to experience the joy I felt from skateboarding and, eventually, from the world around me. Photography gave me the outlet and ability to make this possible. I had begun to beg my parents for a real DSLR camera, and after learning how to develop film at a school summer camp, I was just hooked. The process of creating something that could evoke feeling in a person was the most incredible experience. My school used to have offices to run for, like president, vice president, etc. In 6th grade, they ran out of offices, so the admin decided to create a school historian. This was my shot. I made a deal with my mom that if I could win, she would give me her old Canon Rebel XTI DSLR from 2001. She accepted the deal and it was on! I whipped up an incredible speech, proposed it to my class and ended up winning by one vote! My mom agreed to give me the camera and every single day after school I went to the skate park to capture my friends skating. I eventually took my camera everywhere I went to be able to capture life itself. Since then I have progressively been shooting more and have also trickled over to a little bit of design. Everyone is an artist, and everyone is creative. From the outfits we choose to the captions we write to the food that we cook, art is among us. I hope that my images will allow you to think and interpret your own thoughts and motivate you to see the world around you in a more creative manner.

PIECE

Photography

PROCESS

I created the image from a waterfall that I shot in the mountains.

Psalm 70 is a short and simple Psalm but is powerful in that God reveals His power and our need for deliverance. The image I kept seeing in my mind throughout this Psalm was that of “outpouring.” The black around the fall is meant to symbolize the enemy that surrounds us—those who seek to devour us. Our days easily start out with the stresses of life and anxieties of the world and it so easily consumes us. For me, it often feels like I will never get out alive, but God’s great deliverance and outpouring of love never ever ceases to be faithful. God prevailed mightily through the cross, and the outpouring of Jesus Christ’s blood on our behalf is the source of my rejoicing and life, like water pouring forth from darkness into my dry soul that’s thirsty, needy and desperate for His grace.