Another one of the pieces in the cafe' preview show that hadn't before made it to this blog is one of Ross Conklin's newest acrylic paintings, “Sweet Chariot (Free Pickup and Delivery.)"
Ross says "This is taken from the grand old Negro spiritual, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, comin’ for to carry me home." He sites 2 Kings 2:11 as a Biblical reference:
“As they (Elisha and Elijah) were crossing the Jordan River, Elijah said, ‘tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?’
‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit’, Elisha replied.
‘You have asked a difficult thing,’ Elijah said, ‘yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours, otherwise not.’
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind... and Elisha saw him no more.”
You can clearly see how Ross has illustrated this passage of 2 Kings, as well as Psalms 68: 16-17, “Why gaze in envy, oh rugged mountains, at the mountain where God chooses to reign, where the Lord himself will dwell forever? The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands.” He is so overwhelmed by this thought that he says, "You do the math!"
Ross also refers to praises in Psalms that helped inspire this piece. Including Psalms 104, which says, “Oh Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. He wraps himself in light as with a garment. He stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on the waters. He makes the clouds his chariots and rides on the wings of the wind. He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.” And finally, Psalms 102: 20-22 , “Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, oh my soul.”
Praise the Lord, indeed.