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You Rock, Rock! (or, Jacob’s Ladder)

You Rock, Rock! (or, Jacob’s Ladder)

So, when I was deciding on whether to go to law school or to pursue a masters in fine arts focusing on painting, I came up with a masters thesis with my dear friend, Sara.

Maybe we are both a little too obsessed with the movie, I Heart Huckabees, but we both thought that a whole art show on the theme of “You Rock, Rock,” would be epic. Here is the poem from Huckabees that inspired it all:

Nobody sits like this rock sits

You rock, rock

The rock just sits, and is

You show us how to just sit there,

and that’s what we need

If you don’t get it, then I don’t know what to tell you. It speaks to me on SO many levels, including the ironic, tongue-in-cheek level to the super-serious OMG-that-is-so-deep level. Whatevs. Don’t judge.

Anywho… back to the point of this tale: I was going to do a series of paintings about rocks. Rocks in all different cultures, different religions, throughout history. Think about it: David used a rock to slay Goliath; the Rock of Gibraltar; the Dome of the Rock; extinction of dinosaurs from a meteor (aka really big rock); the Black Stone (rock in the Kaaba in Mecca); Jesus’s water from a stone; and then even more modern stuff like the expression “rock and roll.”  The list goes ON and ON. Just like rocks do. There was tons of material. Man, was I going to be famous, or what!?!? Right!?!? Or at least I was going to have ridiculously cool artists studio where I created my masterpieces and wear funky jewelry and not bathe regularly.

However, I ultimately chose law school over art school. But, I never gave up on the “You Rock, Rock” painting themes. So I painted Jacob’s Ladder:

Jacob's Ladder, 4' x 5', Acrylic on Canvas

For those of you not familiar with the story, Jacob, the prophet, is wandering in the desert, after the whole thing with his jerky brother Esau, and lays down to sleep. He uses a rock for a pillow. That night he has this crazy dream that there is a ladder or stair running up to heaven and angels are traversing the ladder/stair. At the top is G-d. And G-d tells Jacob that he will be prosperous and multiple and G-d will be with him…yadda yadda yadda… (I am really not religious so much as I am spiritual, but my Sunday school training taught me not to spell out G-d with the full letters and I cannot break the habit). And then Jacob named the place “Bethel” which literally means House of G-d.

So this is painting of You Rock, Rock #1, aka Jacob’s Ladder. This painting is pretty awesome in person because it has SO much texture, particularly in the night sky. Actually, pictures of paintings are never as awesome as the real thing. I went to Paris this summer for the second time, and all my favorite paintings are a million times more beautiful in person than they are in pictures. I went to the D’Orsay gift store looking for a print of a particular piece, but didn’t buy it because the poster could not even begin to evoke the emotion of standing in front of the real painting. End rant about seeing artwork in person.

This painting was really fun to do because I got to be so free with the colors. And it was a great way for me to start exploring my spirituality, especially because how the hell are you supposed to paint G-d? Or an angel? I didn’t want to go the old white guy with a beard route – that is way too literal, and I certainly don’t think of G-d as an old white dude. Thus, the giant ball of light/energy at the top of the stairs.

OK, this post is bordering on preachy or something. So I will stop talking about G-d. But I will leave you with a close up from the painting. Whether or not you believe in G-d or don’t, or believe in the awesome-ness of rocks or don’t, and even whether you like Huckabees or not (gasp!), I hope you enjoy this painting:

Nobody sits like this rock sits,

Rachel

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