Midnight Seraph


I just painted this little creature a few nights ago, all in one sitting – a rare and spontaneous treat, and a welcome break from working on long term projects.  It was nearly midnight when I found a small blank canvas down in my basement.  Its compact shape, just 12″ square, begged for an image – a single, striking, geometric shape to dwell in the center.  I brought it upstairs and propped it on the kitchen table.

The next thing I knew, a little seraph flew out of my woodstove, where a small fire burned, pushing back the damp autumn chill.  It had three pairs of wings – one pointing downward, one sideways, and one upward.  The little seraph hovered like a hummingbird, fluttering its wings, beckoning to be painted on the canvas.

The moon was nearly full, and the night was still.  I watched the seraph in my mind’s eye. My boyfriend was away, and my daughter was at a friend’s house.  I had to get up early the next day – but not that early.  So I did what I used to do on a regular basis in my younger years: I stayed up half the night painting.

Then I did something I’ve never done before: I turned the canvas 45 degrees, making it into a diamond.

My seraph was pleased, and quickly settled into its new home.

I have always loved seraphim, those mythic creatures that act, along with angels and cherubim, as messengers or consorts to the Eternal One.  These magical creatures dwell beside the throne of heaven, singing or hovering in exaltation.  Some seraphim are said to have eyes covering their entire body, which they cover with their middle set of wings.  That would be quite a painting!  But it would require many more sittings than this little seraph, who is rather without a body.   My midnight seraph offered itself to my imagination as a simple creature, flesh-colored, as if of varied skin tones.

By 3am I was finished, and the seraph was content.

I have to admit, I was kind of tired the next day.  But it was worth it.  I’m definitely  not the first artist or writer to burn the midnight oil.  And I certainly won’t be the last.

If you’d like a poster or a greeting card of this painting, you can order it in my webstore, or contact me here.  The original will be on view in the forthcoming holiday art exhibit at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation.

A good week to all!

D Yael Bernhard
Author / Illustrator of
THE JEWISH EYE 2018 / 5778 Calendar of ArtNew!!
LOVE IS – a unique crossover book for all ages
THE LIFE OF AN OLIVEExplore the life of a 2000-year-old olive tree
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN – A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the Sydney Taylor Award and National Jewish Book Council Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN – A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING – A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK – An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
– and more!


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