Mary Jane Oliver

Rizpah's Cloak

Artist Statement: King Saul had a concubine named Rizpah. Her two sons were among seven sons of Saul hung until dead on a mountain by the Gibeonites. Rizpah “spread her sackcloth cloak for herself on the mountain rock, from the beginning of the harvest (late April) until rain (late autumn); she did not allow the birds of the air to come upon them by day, of the beasts of the field by night.”[2 Samuel 21:10] How could one not respond to such a story of a mother's devotion? And so, I have.

bio: From my very earliest days of painting the sea, my work has explored the kinesthetic aspects of nature. These forces of nature, such as the breeze that sways a blade of grass, to the tornado that levels a town; or the flow of water in the trickling stream splashing over smooth stones, to the roaring waves pounding upon the seashore, are always present in my work. My art, paintings and drawing, are now often concerned with individuals and events in the Bible, the Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha. The cloak drawings represent garments "woven" with symbols of the culture, the individual within that culture and the events of that person's life. My lines of drawing and my paintings grow from my always present interest in attempting to represent the kinesthetic qualities of nature: wind, water currents, etc.- those unseen forces that influence and control our lives and can only be seen through their affect upon the world around us and so much a part of the power of the Holy Spirit.

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