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Paintings from the Holy Land

April 26, 2012

In a previous post, I included a picture of the tiny blank panels I took with me to Israel. The reason for the trip was not primarily to create these little paintings, but rather to gather information and inspiration for a host of new paintings throughout the years to come. However, these little paintings were indeed fun to make–little bite-sized memories of my trip. By the way, you’re invited to come see all of these originals in beautiful custom frames at my next studio tour, May 17th and May 19th here at the house. Email me if you want an invitation to the studio tour.

The first painting I did was this one of the Sea of Galilee. It was beautifully misty most of the time I was there–at times, the far side of the sea wasn’t visible through the mist.

Ships on the Sea of Galilee, by J. Kirk Richards. 5.75 x 2 inches

This little piece was painted from the Mount of Beatitudes, facing away from the Sea of Galilee. I imagined Christ walking these paths.

Galilean Dirt Road, by J. Kirk Richards. 3.75 x 1.5 inches.

A tiny painting of the Mount of Beatitudes and the church that sits among the trees.

Mount of Beatitudes, by J. Kirk Richards. 1.5 x 2.25 inches.

I loved this view from the Mount of Beatitudes. It was easy for me to imagine a large crowd of people gathered to listen to Jesus at this spot.

Three Trees on the Mount of Beatitudes, by J. Kirk Richards. 4 x 8 inches.

Nazareth is populated and full of traffic. According to Wikipedia, the population is 81,400, and mostly Arab. I took advantage of the traffic by snapping photos of people on the street from behind my tinted windows. School was just getting out, and there were hundreds of school children in school uniforms out in the streets.

Boy from Nazareth, by J. Kirk Richards. 5.75 x 5.75 inches.

I think I saw this woman near what is affectionately referred to as “crash corner”–an intersection with no stops or lights, where people have to force their way into the fray and hope they get across safely to the other side.

Woman from Jerusalem, by J. Kirk Richards. 5.75 x 5.75 inches.

This young man was the shop keeper next to where I ate my first shawarma.

Young Nazarene I, by J. Kirk Richards. 3.25 x 3.5 inches.

As I was painting this at Skull Rock, a lovely Arab woman began a conversation with me. The little tombstone poking above the top wall, which I was then painting, was her own grandfather’s tombstone. She was visiting from Chicago and stopped in to see Skull Rock and the tombstone. It turns out she lives just blocks away in Chicago from where my own mother was born and lived as a young girl.

Skull Rock, by J. Kirk Richards. 4 x 2.75 inches.

This place is amazing. Really, a gorgeous facility.

BYU Jerusalem Center, by J. Kirk Richards. 1.5 x 3.875 inches.

People come to the Jordan River in droves to be baptized. Both of these were painted at Yardenit, just south of the Sea of Galilee.

Baptisms in the River Jordan, by J. Kirk Richards. 6.25 x 4.75 inches.

Baptism in the River Jordan, by J. Kirk Richards. 2.25 x 5.75 inches.

I loved painting at the garden tomb. Stepping into the empty tomb was definitely a highlight of the trip.

The Garden Tomb, by J. Kirk Richards. 6.25 x 4.75 inches.

Small Tree by the Tomb, by J. Kirk Richards. 4 x 2.75 inches.

I painted this view of the old city from a balcony at the Jerusalem Center.

Jerusalem at Dusk, by J. Kirk Richards. 6.25 x 3 inches.

One of the school boys in the street.

Young Nazarene II, by J. Kirk Richards. 1.5 x 2 inches.

I was alone in the Synagogue at Capernaum, and then there was a beautiful moment when an African man dressed in the whitest white came in and started praying.

Man in White Praying in the Synagogue at Capernaum, by J. Kirk Richards. 4 x 8 inches.

This was the second painting I began during the trip, but it took multiple sessions before the painting began to make sense. I’m still frustrated that I couldn’t quite capture the atmosphere and greenery of these orchards in Tiberias.

Galilean Orchards, by J. Kirk Richards. 8 x 10.5 inches.

This view of the old city was painted from the lookout on the Mount of Olives.

Jerusalem, Late Morning, by J. Kirk Richards. 4 x 6.75 inches.

Jerusalem, Late Morning, by J. Kirk Richards. 4 x 6.75 inches.

Painted not far from the Golden Gate of the old city.

The Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations, by J. Kirk Richards. 4 x 1.625 inches.

Painted not far from the Golden Gate of the old city. This church had some particularly lovely paintings inside.

Church of Mary Magdalene, by J. Kirk Richards. 1.75 x 4 inches.

This view was painted from inside the Augusta Victoria compound, where I was staying.

Church of the Ascension, by J. Kirk Richards. 1.5 x 2.25 inches.

One of the highlights of the trip was painting this ancient olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemane. They say these trees are over a thousand years old.

Olive Tree in the Garden of Gethsemane, by J. Kirk Richards. 5.385 x 6 inches.

This scene happened at Peter in Gallicantu, where Peter is said to have denied Christ, and where Christ is said to have been held and scourged before being delivered into Pilate’s hands.

Tending the Garden in Jerusalem, by J. Kirk Richards. 11.875 x 8.25 inches.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa permalink
    April 27, 2012 8:00 am

    I was lucky enough to spend a semester at the Jerusalem Center and it’s lovely to see these familiar places through your eyes. The view from the balconies at the Center takes my breath away every single time. Thanks for sharing the images and the stories (especially of the woman you met at Golgotha–loved that).

  2. April 27, 2012 8:59 am

    Really beautiful.

  3. Todd Orchard permalink
    April 27, 2012 3:48 pm

    Great series of reference Kirk, all your style. Enjoyable

  4. Heather Rockwell permalink
    May 3, 2012 8:14 am

    So beautiful Kirk. I love them all. My favorites are the Jerusalem paintings, the baptisms in the Jordan, the Man in White, and the Orchards. I don’t know if this was your first trip to Jerusalem, but I always wondered if you would go there and paint.

  5. May 15, 2012 1:41 pm

    these are really great Kirk. thank you for sharing. Really love, among many, the sea of Galilee piece.

    • May 15, 2012 10:05 pm

      Wow! Thanks Mike! Don’t know if I told you how much I love your piece at the church competition. It was masterful. I especially remember the light focal point on the extended bicep and the beautiful colors.

  6. May 30, 2012 2:11 pm

    I think these are great as well Kirk, I think often of your powerful compositions and design and color sense. I am trying to move more towards much of that myself.

  7. Sara Lyn permalink
    September 3, 2012 10:03 am

    Wow, Kirk. These are GORGEOUS!!! Morgan and I loved these!

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