At long last, I am sharing more work from painter Ross Conklin, who has been continuously producing work for this show, stretching himself in ways I don't think he has done before. I'm so impressed with this body of work, and I'm pleased to present his next acrylic piece, titled "Beyond the Pearly Gates."
This piece was inspired in part when a family friend sort of jokingly suggested to Ross, “What about the pearly gates?” This actually got him thinking about what the view through the gates might look like. Ross says, "The Bible refers to the pearly gates as being made of one pearl, but I could not understand how to paint one large pearl so I broke it down into segmented stones."
Looking through the pearly gates, Ross shows what is described in Revelation 22: 1-5: "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever."
In the painting, we can see the River of Life, which is flowing from the throne of God. The throne of God is depicted by the penetrating bright sun showing through the branches of the tree, and is referred to in verses one and later in verse five. In verse two, the Tree of Life stands on each side of the River of Life, which Ross illustrates by spreading its roots on both sides, then shows it giving fruit, as it will in each month. Ross's stylized approach to this piece gives the image impact and helps us to see what another glimpse into heaven.