Chris Cook Artist

Southern Art – Georgia Artist – Landscape Paintings, Christian Art, Southern Expressionist Art

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Why Did Judas Kiss Jesus When He Betrayed Him?

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Pablo-Picasso-Painting-020-500x338My inspiration for this particular painting of Judas Kissing Jesus (I have painted up to 10 versions of this subject) was Picasso. A Picasso painting of a lady, the yellow lips… When I saw this painting in one of my many books on him, it popped right into my mind. Judas. Those odd colored lips. The odd way to identify Jesus, the kiss from Judas… weird huh? Oh well, that is the truth, the way it came into my mind.

Then I had to explore other paintings by Picasso to get my reference for Jesus and oddly enough found it in another Picasso painting of a female. (see the two images with this article)

With this start I just made up the other characters in the painting. I unconsciously added an extra finger on Judas’ hand that is “pointing out Jesus” along with his kiss.

Judas Betrays Jesus with a Kiss

Judas Betrays Jesus with a Kiss

In searching for an answer to – why a kiss – I found this nice article on a website called Jesus-Story  (http://www.jesus-story.net/betrayal.htm)

After Judas left the upper room where they had been eating, Jesus washed the feet of his friends in an act of godly service. Then they went out to a garden across the Kidron Valley, a garden they must have known well. Jesus prayed there, but the peace of the garden was shattered by the arrival of a contingent of guards and officials. They had come to arrest Jesus. With them was Judas.

Because there were many pilgrims around, it was necessary to have a sign (the kiss) to identify Jesus. If there had been a struggle the wrong man might have been arrested, especially in the dark. A kiss was normal enough; it was the way a pupil greeted a Rabbi, and Jesus had been a teacher to Judas. Mark, writing in Greek, uses an emphatic form of the verb katephilesen. Judas kissed Jesus with more than usual fervor and affection.

Jesus submitted quietly to the soldiers, but spoke some final words to Judas: Friend, why are you here?

The words can be read as a loving rebuke, but they can also be translated as Do what you came to do.

 

Just add this to the many, many questions that I have about the stories of Jesus.

Chris Cook

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Monastery Graveyard

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In an earlier post, Chris touched on his time visiting with Father Francis at the grounds of the monastery in Conyers, GA.  He talked about the lifestyle and the contributions that the monks made to the area.

In this particular painting Chris showcases the cemetery on the grounds of the monastery. Seeing this painting has sparked me to think about the issue of human mortality.

I’ve heard it said that, “In all of history, one incontrovertible truth is that the human mortality rate remains pegged out at 100%”. Another way i’ve heard it put is the argument of “what are you going do do with the ‘dash’?” ( the one that’s on the headstone between your birth and death?

Human mortality is unavoidable, but I do believe that as believers, we have a hope for an eternal life through our saving faith in Christ Jesus. I believe that Father Francis and the monks at the monastery were well aware of this truth, and that is probably a big part of the reason that they devoted their lives to the work that they did.

I find comfort in remembering the words from the book of John, Chapter 3, Verses 16 &17 –

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

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The Cross

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The cross…

A device created by the Roman Empire to instill a painful and humiliating death for all those who opposed it’s rule, or disobeyed it’s laws.

A terrible way to nail up trouble makers, leaving them exposed and naked, to be picked over by wild animals, and to serve as a reminder to all those around of the fate that would meet any who didn’t conform.

 

The cross…

The place where they nailed MY Jesus – though they could find nothing to convict him of.

The place where they hung Him next two a thief and a murderer – after beating him senseless, humiliating him, chastising him, and casting lots for his clothes.

 

The cross…

Empty…Just like the tomb after the 3rd day – to serve as a reminder of Jesus’ power over sin, death, and evil. The grave, and all of hell itself could not contain the glory that laid within our Lord and Savior.

 

The cross… it serves as a beacon of light to remind us as his followers that He is still God, and He is still in control.

 

“I will cherish the old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown”

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE

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Burden

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Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, 

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Christ’s burden could really be seen from two different perspectives (if not more). On one hand, there was a physical burden – he was beaten within an inch of his life, betrayed by the ones who’d loved him, and forced to carry the physical burden of his cross through the streets of Jerusalem to Golgotha. On the other, the fullness of the world’s sin and the wrath of a jealous and just God was placed entirely on him as he was nailed to the cross.

I can begin to fathom neither of the two…

As Christians, sometimes we forget the fullness of the reality of what Christ endured in the time of his crucifixion. We love the freedom, and being “saved”, but often are too quick to forget the very real sacrifice that Christ the man endured.

This painting is very subtle, but it’s essence speaks volumes. We can see the cross-beam, a physical reminder of Christ’s earthly burden as well as taking a time to do some emotional reflection and searching about the heaviness of the truth that the sins of the world were laid onto one man’s shoulders on that day. All of God’s wrath was poured out onto His only son for each and every one of us. Every sin that had been, and would be committed was reconciled for all who would believe on that day.

As I reflect on that day through this painting, i’m reminded of the words of one of my favorite hymns …

My sin, oh the bliss of that glorious thought! My sin, not in part, but the whole was nailed to the cross and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord, oh my soul!”

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE

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House of Thomas

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Friday came…They nailed our savior to a cross, and laid his body in the tomb.

Everything you’d worked for, devoted your life to, and placed your hope in was laid in that tomb with him.

The cross was empty, his body was in the tomb, and your mind and heart are full of doubts and questions.

I find it easy to identify with Thomas to have lots of questions and fears in the midst of what he was facing and feeling in the days following the crucifixion.

This painting portrays an “inside looking out” perspective from what Chris poses is the house of Thomas. Things inside the house seem dark, the disciples have understandably retreated into safety and hiding. It serves as a great reminder of what it might have been like to be a 1st century follower of “The Way”.

The good news for us as believers is the truth that he is not still on the cross, nor is he still in the tomb that they laid him in! We have a hope through the Resurrection on Easter Sunday that God has not abandoned us, and Jesus can live in each of our hearts for eternity because of the sacrifice made that day!

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE

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Jesus is…

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I want to try something a little bit different for this blog. Instead of writing my thoughts and insight, I simply wanted to post this picture of Jesus that Chris painted, and ask the viewers to answer this “simple” question.

“What is Jesus to you?”

Answer below in the comments. I can’t wait to see the responses.

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE .

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Life on Earth When Jesus Was Here.

What was life like when Jesus was on the earth?

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We do have the Bible and other historic writings chronicling the times in the middle east at the time of Jesus.

I have thought about this enough to draw my own opinions. I am not an old world history expert but I think the following of the time:

  • there was knowledge that “this was the time” of the coming Messiah and it was well know (see Daniel 9:24-27)
  • there were probably lots of men claiming that they were the Messiah and knew the prophesies – thus could imitate the signs and actions
  • there was an accelerated number of demons present on earth, demons being cast out… I am open to anyone out there that knows more on the subject to correct me
  • it seems that the demons also knew quite well who Jesus was upon encountering him – while the “religious leaders” of the time seemed to have more trouble in acknowledging him
  • lots of confusion, violence, evil, power hunger, pride, repression…

The religious establishment seemed to be expecting Him too, but from all that I read of their interactions with Jesus – they assumed that he would “come to them” and “work with them” and that they would be in the center of his work here. That did not happen. Jesus found himself in conflict with them throughout his ministry. There is way too much here to write about here and to show you on a canvas…

This painting is made of six equal sized little paintings all on one canvas. You can draw what you want from each or of the totality of the painting as a whole.

Enjoy,

Chris Cook

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Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE

 

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Paul

Paul In Thought.

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This painting idea came to me through a Bible verse –

 

New International Version: Romans 9:3 “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race…”

But also through starting with a blank canvas and using a method I learned about through my favorite Abstract Expressionist – Robert Motherwell’s method of starting a painting with no pre-conceived ideas… which he learned from the Surrealists Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, and Roberto Matta. From them, he learned the concept of “psychic automatism”, a form of doodling in which the artist allows an unconscious, spontaneous impulse to lead the way.

Wow, how we can learn and pass down ideas from the past into the future.

Anyway, all that said, I started doodling without conscious thought and had a basic structure in place. After first passes of paint, I felt I saw John The Baptist, but just his head… I painted a quick “platter” underneath to depict the story of when his head was presented.  I reconsidered as that is a nasty subject matter for a painting, so with more washes and paint slinging, I started thinking of the verse above that really reveals Paul’s love for others.

Look close at the painting and you may see the process described above.

Enjoy,

Chris Cook

 

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

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Golgotha – 3 Trees

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They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). Matthew 27:33

On that day, some 2,000 years ago, the God of all the universe took it upon Himself to punish His one and only Son (God incarnate) once and for all for the sins of all mankind.

Though the people of both Roman and Jewish “Authority” could find no fault in him, they beat, accosted, and nailed an innocent man to a tree. They hung him there between two convicted criminals, cast lots for his clothing, and left him there to die.

On that day, the Sin debt of the entire world was paid in full, once and for all. Yours, mine, and even that person who just cut me off in traffic’s…

I’m reminded of a passage from one of my favorite hymns. “My sin, oh the bliss of that glorious thought. MY sin, not in part, but the whole. Was nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord, oh my soul!”

Chris took an image of three trees, positioned in a field, to serve as a reminder of that glorious day that took place 20 centuries ago. What a great reminder of that awesome gift that was given to the world so long ago. I think it serves as a great reminder to us all as we see it of the unmerited gift that is freely given to anyone who would believe in Christ as Lord and Savior of their life.

Art speaks, and this picture is worth more than a thousand words. What a fantastic reminder that we all need to hear and remember daily.

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

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Cain and Abel

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Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.
Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

This is an original piece of Chris’ art that he painted on paper. Many of  his paintings on paper are precursors to his larger works on canvas, but some remain as a momentary expression on paper. Flipping through these is a glimpse into a very diverse and broad spectrum of what is Chris’ styles, subject matters, and techniques of his paintings. As I look through, I marvel at the breadth of variety and skill that Chris possesses.

This particular image of Cain murdering Abel in Genesis 4 strikes me as reminiscent of a primitive cave painting, and also makes me think of the scene in the movie 300 where young Leonidas is fighting his way through the Agoge. There is something about the primitive, animalistic, carnal act of violence that this passage of scripture depicts that reminds me of that scene in the movie.

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It blows my mind to stop and think about this act, from the standpoint of how truly flawed and sinful humanity is without divine intervention. One generation removed from the fall of man, Cain finds enough animosity and hatred towards his own brother to rise up and kill him. On top of that, when GOD asks him about it, he has the audacity to get snippy with a remark like “am I my brother’s keeper?”!

As I pause and reflect on both this painting, and this moment in humanity, I am grateful that it only paints a picture of what humanity is capable of, not what we are bound to. I am grateful that God, in all of his infinite grace and wisdom chose not to leave us to our own devices, suffering in pain, sin, and separation. Today, I am grateful that he himself chose to come down and redeem us. He offers to wash us in his blood so that we can be white as snow, rather than stained and speckled by the blood of our fellow man…

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.