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The most powerful moments in Malibu are the demonstrations of the hand of God moving across the waters. I see His Word dancing in the storm clouds, in lightning shooting across the horizon at night. I hear His Voice in the sound of surf crashing against the rocks, and in the howling wind around Sequit Point.


“Let the Skies Pour Down Righteousness”

2/12

Oil on linen
30″ × 35″

The hallmark of life in Malibu is its perfect Mediterranean climate. Clear blue skies, benevolent breezes, and sweet-smelling air make it one of the most peaceful places on earth. When capturing the essence of Malibu in paint, one does not usually think of catastrophic events. However, 2005 in southern California was a major year for fires, and even Malibu was permeated with the fallout.

This day the fire was in Ventura, and the smoke drifted in great plumes out to sea. The sky looked fantastic with great cloud formations and psychedelic colors. When the setting sun filters through smoke, it casts red light on the ocean that is at once menacing and beautiful.

So I raced towards the ocean, to Leo Carrillo State Park, at the edge of the cliff. I knew it would be dramatic. I had painted from this vantage point for years and knew it well. As I sprinted from my car, I hoped that I would make it in time.

The scene that greeted my eyes was well worth it.

It was a grand gesture from the Creator, a foreshadowing of the Day of the LORD. The smoke seemed to drip down from the clouds. I imagined that molten Hebrew letters came down with the smoke. This scripture came to mind:

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.

(Isaiah 45:8)

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Let the Skies Pour Down Righteousness

[click to enlarge]


When I did the painting, I added the above scripture to the image. It reads in Hebrew script from right to left along the base of the clouds. There is a subtle play on words, since the phrase “I the LORD have created it” alludes to His hand in all acts of creation.

The most powerful moments in Malibu are the demonstrations of the hand of God moving across the waters. I see His Word dancing in the storm clouds, in lightning shooting across the horizon at night. I hear His Voice in the sound of surf crashing against the rocks, and in the howling wind around Sequit Point. I stand in awe before the majesty of the LORD, honored that I may be a witness, and humbled in my efforts to depict His Creation.

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