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Throughout the season of Lent, I continued my exploration of heaven & earth from my home here in Minneapolis.

Mountain rims and huge multiplex skies — their interplay and mirroring of moods — continued to inspire  the work.  I introduced  hot press watercolor paper to explore new relationships between color and textures.  The process for the first piece was slow and uneven, beginning as one idea — one large painting — and changing direction several times over several days to give me “Self & Other” — which is the center panel  I brought forward to share here.

The central message I receive in “Self & Other” was from the two bird-like figures facing each other above the mountain range.  Together they resemble a butterfly, the symbol for rebirth.  It reminded me that we often separate ourselves from others for a variety of reasons — most often through competition.  When we can experience our “oneness,” we have the opportunity to soar higher.

“On Earth as it is in Heaven” is another piece on hot press that was inspired by a photograph I saw on Facebook.  This painting has a trinity theme with ocean, sun and sky blending boundaries and playing off each other.  It’s title came to me with my head on the pillow, in prayer, the night it was finished.

It occurred to me at that moment to pay more attention to the ways God’s earth is “as it is in heaven.”  Certainly we have examples in nature that reinforce this — but my question today relates to the first painting.

How can we see — or be — more like heaven on earth when it comes to relationships between self and other?

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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