Widow, Orphan, Stranger

 

Image of the Week

Widow, Orphan, Stranger

© DURGA YAEL BERNHARD

Widow, Orphan, Stranger

This illustration was painted some years ago as part of a series of Biblical illustrations.  I was assigned one of many passages in the Hebrew Bible (“Old Testament”) which uphold the importance of protecting those in need.  The prohibition against ill-treating the widow, the orphan, or the stranger is repeated in the Torah 33 times!  These ancient archetypes are meant to invoke compassion and acts of kindness.  Today we could add many others, including the sick, the homeless, the war-wounded, and more.

I thought to post this image today because for Jewish people, the yearly cycle of Torah readings has just entered the Book of Leviticus – the central of the Five Books of Moses, and in many minds the pinnacle of Torah teachings.  Here we find the oldest written form of the “golden rule” – Love They Neighbor As Thyself – as well as the famous quote on our Liberty Bell – Proclaim liberty throughout all the land . . . ” – and many ethical and moral injunctions which have stood the test of time to this very day.  Kind treatment of the widow, the orphan, and the stranger is among these.

In the illustration, adversity is portrayed as natural disasters – flood and fire – from which the encircling community protects the widow and orphan ( in ancient times, a fatherless child was considered an orphan, since an independent woman could not earn a living or protect herself).  Divine intervention for those who are alone often takes the form of caring friends and neighbors – an unspeakable blessing in times of need.

Order Widow, Orphan, Stranger as a POSTER this week, and get a free greeting card (of the same image)!   $10 for the poster and card, shipping included.  Order your poster here!

Wishing you a good week, and happy Spring!

seedling

D Yael Bernhard
http://dyaelbernhard.com
Author / Illustrator of
THE JEWISH EYE - 2015 / 5775 calendar of art
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN - A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the 2015 Sydney Taylor Award & National Jewish Book Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN - A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING - A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
GREEN BIBLE STORIES FOR CHILDREN - Nat’l Green Book Festival Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK - An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
- and more!

 

 

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The Amazing Placenta

 

Image of the Week

The Amazing Placenta© DURGA YAEL BERNHARD

The Amazing Placenta

The Amazing Placenta was painted ten years ago as an illustration for Mothering Magazine.  Mothering was in print until just a few years ago, when it became an online forum.  Whatever form it takes, Mothering is a voice for natural parenting in a modern world.

The Amazing Placenta was the title of an article written by Australian obstetrician Sarah Buckley.  It’s still posted on the Mothering website.  If you want to learn some fascinating facts about this truly amazing organ, take a look at this article.  I often learn unusual things while researching illustrations, but this one really taught me a lot.  Did you know the placenta produces a hormone that gives the mother an aversion to not only toxic food, but toxic air?  This marvelous organ even acts as a living, pulsing pillow for the unborn child – the image I chose for my illustration.

I also learned what a jacaranda tree – native to the southern hemisphere – looks like.  Why a jacaranda?  Read the article and you’ll find out!

After this commission, I continued to work with Sarah Buckley, contributing to her book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering – which I highly recommend for pregnant women.

Order The Amazing Placenta as a POSTER this week, and get a free greeting card (of the same image)!   $10 for the poster and card, shipping included.  Order your poster here!  Larger posters (11″x17″) are also available.  Please contact me for details.

Wishing you a good week, and happy Spring!

seedling

D Yael Bernhard
http://dyaelbernhard.com
Author / Illustrator of
THE JEWISH EYE - 2015 / 5775 calendar of art
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN - A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the 2015 Sydney Taylor Award & National Jewish Book Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN - A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING - A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
GREEN BIBLE STORIES FOR CHILDREN - Nat’l Green Book Festival Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK - An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
- and more!

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Chestnut & Pussywillow

Image of the Week

chestnut_pussywillow

Chestnut & Pussywillow

This gouache painting was done on just such a day as today about eighteen years ago.  The relentless grey of early March was just beginning to give way to hints of color in budding trees.  Seeking an interesting foreground to evoke the landscape outside my window, I found this shapely blue bottle, and stuck some pussywillows (from the previous year) in it.  As always, I was intrigued by the polarity between near and far, inside and outside, manmade and natural.  It was one of those times when I was “stealing” several hours from my other work in order to paint something for my own satisfaction.  Many of my fine art paintings are the result of similar acts of time theft.  The punishment, as a working single parent, is usually several nights of burning midnight oil to make up for the lost time (tonight is another such night, as I write this post at 2am after “stealing” time to work on a painting earlier today for which I really had no time).  Deadline pressure is the story of my life!

This is one of the few paintings I’ve completed in one sitting – and just as I put the finishing touches on it, a friend walked into my kitchen and immediately asked if she could buy it!  I don’t think that’s ever happened again.  I was happy to make the sale, but felt like my child had flown the coop just as it was born.  The painting disappeared from my life within a few days of its creation.  (Kathleen, if you’re reading this, I hope you still have it!)

Order Chestnut & Pussywillow as a POSTER this week, and get a free greeting card (of the same image)!   $10 for the poster and card, shipping included.  Order your poster here!

Wishing you a good week, and may spring bring color soon!

D Yael Bernhard
http://dyaelbernhard.com
Author / Illustrator of
THE JEWISH EYE - 2015 / 5775 calendar of art
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN - A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the 2015 Sydney Taylor Award & National Jewish Book Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN - A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING - A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
GREEN BIBLE STORIES FOR CHILDREN - Nat’l Green Book Festival Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK - An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
- and more!

 

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