Your Story, Your Way – Live Paintings with a Local Artist

Are you soon to be hosting an event that celebrates a chapter in your life?

When planning for any sort of party- whether it is a bridal party, wedding, baby shower, anniversary, vowel renewal, or even something as simple as a dinner party, it can certainly be daunting. But not all of it has to be. These events are celebratory! We are bringing those we love together to celebrate- whether it is what is to come, or what has already passed- and that means it is a cause for joy.

Local artist Rachel Justice provides a unique, skilled live painting service that will allow you to showcase the beauty and love in these memories. This unique experience brings to the table a great sense of togetherness and culture that will be captured indefinitely. These cherished memories can be expressed in a way that tailors to the needs and desires of each individual, while providing a form of unparalleled beauty that can be showcased on the mantel for years to come.

It is important to find the best option when it comes to capturing these memories. How wonderful and worthwhile all of it is, when you have these cherished memories to look back on and you’re able to share them with those you love years down the road. Not just with words and with warm smiles of fondness, but with beautiful, personalized paintings that are showcased on your walls in a unique and captivating way. With a personalized live painting, it not only offers a chance for us to feel like we are reliving that occasion later on, but gives a cultured form of entertainment during the event as well. It goes beyond just having a photographer, and offers a chance for the host to be involved with the style and capturing of these moments. It offers the artist’s unique rendition and that is something in which you can also participate.

These are a few images of a bridal shower that was hosted at the American-Croatia Lodge located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Providing services in Cleveland, Columbus, and all of the surrounding areas, Rachel Justice can provide a beautiful experience in capturing the memories that you want to hold onto, and in that process create a tailored experience that you won’t soon forget.

Contact Rachel here to capture the next chapter in your story in a unique, worthwhile way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My God, My Promise Keeper

You made a promise long ago:
Peace was promised to Isaiah.
Peace was promised to Your people.

Israel expected a prince
Born into privilege and power,
But received a babe,
Born into a lowly stable.

There was no room in the inns,
No room in their hearts for a poor carpenter father
And his humble wife,
Dirty from traveling dusty roads.

Your Son, their prince,
Fed the masses,
Healed the blind,
Dined with cheaters,
And rebuked their leaders.

Where was their prince?
Where was their peace?

They expected a lion to silence the roaring jaws of oppression and affliction,
But Your Son, their prince, Jesus,
Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
Opened not His mouth.

On that dark day of the cross,
When the curtain in the temple tore,
The Promised Prince gave up His spirit.
All was chaos.
Peace seemed distant.

As Soldiers jeered, a mother’s tears
Fell softly in the night.

But that was not the end.
Your promises would be kept.
Your son did not stay on the cross,
He did not stay in the tomb.

He is a prince after all, a Prince of Peace.
He is the Lion.
He is the Lamb.

In him, the two are met-
The gentle and humble,
The power and might,
The babe and the Savior,
The flesh and the God.

We find peace in Your Son, who hung in our place,
Who put His hands where ours belonged,
On the rough wood of the cross.

He cancelled the roar of our guilt with the might of His silence,
So that we could know You, our God.
He rose from the darkness of the tomb,
Conquering death with His light.
He is our promised peace.

Our Prince waiting for His people.
We will embrace Him, our Wonderful Counselor,
Press our faces to His holy robe,
And find our Might God,
Everlasting Father,
Our perfect Prince of Peace.

Amen

The Lord of all arrived to reclaim his lost brothers and sisters. He came with mighty power and strength, but exercised gentleness and humility. Through him all things were created and yet when he arrived, it was into a dusty manger in the silence of the night.

The Jews expected a mighty warrior to rescue them from their captors, but they were vastly misled by their own perception of what exactly they needed rescued from. It wasn’t physical, worldly power from which they were freed, but from ugly, spiritual death- being separated from God, the source of love and peace and hope.

Jesus brought peace that comes with knowing one can now stand before the throne of God justified through Him, being free to love and live peacefully in a way that is unsurpassed by anything in this physical world; knowing that there is a treasure being stored into our hearts that is untouchable. Not by time, not by theft, not by anything that we are physically bound to. God, our loving and holy Creator, through the might and humility of Jesus Christ, closed the gap that separated us from Him. Bringing peace to what was once chaos and turmoil.

Paintings by Rachel Justice
Words by Brittanie Richendollar

And There Were Shepherds

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:8-14

Imagine the gravity of God’s glory pulling the shepherds to the ground in terror as His majesty tears the heavens open before them. How reassuring it would be for the angel of God to say, “Do not be afraid. I bring good news.”

Did it bring immediate relief? Or did the angel have to wait for them to get a better grasp of his words before continuing? It is a wonder that they were able to absorb any of the words at all. Here was the splendor of God before them, revealing the long awaited arrival of the Messiah, the Savior that was promised long ago. Here was the One to crush the serpent’s head and return Man to his former glory.

Imagine having this experience with few others and being unable to convey with words the reality of the situation, the experience. Nothing could suffice in trying to share the experience of God’s glory. Only desperate attempts.

For here is God, announcing with all His splendor the arrival of His one and only begotten Son. And His angel, telling the shepherds that they can find him in a dirty trough, wrapped in cloths. The Light of the world surrounded by the smell of hay and dust.

My beacon of hope, my ray of light.
You tore death asunder tonight.

And God calling out to His children, “Come to me. Receive my glory and honor. Not only will I remove your self inflicted stench of death, but I will fill you with the aroma of everything I Am.” And through generations to come, His children will continue to respond to His calling- His whisper. An endless flooding of mercy and grace will fill the valley, raising those who look to Jesus heavenward, both in Spirit and in physical countenance.

And in a similar manner to the shepherds, we run desperately to those around us wanting to share our firsthand experience of God’s glory and grace. But alas, words fall short. There is nothing we can do but love with our actions, the way that Christ has first loved us.

What else is to be said of this grand gesture? May a fraction of the true sacrifice of Christ be conveyed through a desperate search for words. This brilliant Light of the world entered so that the way to God could not only be created, but illuminated. There was once an eternal, indescribable treasure out of reach, sitting across the great divide, patiently waiting for the right time to seal the gap.

And now we have full access, anytime anywhere. There is no waiting for this life to pass so that we can arrive there. This gift is here and now, just as real and accessible as any other aspect of this life.

Paintings by Rachel Justice
Words by Brittanie Richendollar

The Greek Letters for Alpha and Omega

The Greek letters for Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Representing everything that Jesus is.

Jesus, the Light of the world, is seated at the right hand of God the Father. Wrapped in all of His majesty and insurmountable glory. He is surrounded by a heavenly host of angels praising his name forever and ever. He is the being through Whom all things were created, both seen and unseen. Robed in a brilliant light and array of colors that we cannot even begin to imagine, this Jesus is the beginning and the end of all things. He is the Prince of Peace. Amen.

Our souls were once faced with a shroud of darkness, living in a tomb of evil and death brought on by our separation from the Giver of Light. This is represented by Mary and Joseph shown in a tomb of misery and despair.

The red signifies the pain and suffering in death, the chaos and confusion of living in a fallen world that we were never intended to experience. It also ties in with blood being the life source for the living. Throughout the Bible, the importance and significance of blood is demonstrated again and again. In the old testament, animals would be sacrificed to provide temporary innocent blood coverings of sin so that our Holy God could dwell behind a veil within the temple of Israel. This provided an image of what was to come- the blood of an innocent lamb- Jesus Christ.

So then everything changes. Jesus bends down. He enters creation- not the original, magnificent creation- but this fallen creation under the curse of sin and darkness. Chaos, confusion, disease, death. The beautiful King of kings, the Messiah once wrapped in majesty and magnificence bends down to meet Man where he is, clothing himself in humble human skin to look his creation in the eye.

Only Love can do that.

He leaves the glory of the heavens to enter this world but Man does not recognize him. Jesus knowingly subjected himself to the loneliness and isolation that is living in this world. He left the majesty and splendors to walk the earth unrecognized by his own creation. He knew this ahead of time and he still chose to rescue us.

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

John 1:10

He came to replace the animal offerings. But unlike the animals, the shedding of his blood would defeat the reign of sin and cleanse his people once and for all. Tearing the veil and allowing God not only to dwell in a physical temple, but cleansing each individual person and allowing God to dwell inside each and every one of us who accepts the gift of Jesus. Because of this, a temple is no longer needed. We can have communion and be one with God whenever, wherever we are.

Because of the mercy and grace of Jesus subjecting himself to death and resurrection, we are no longer bound to the misery that is hatred and selfishness. We can now accept his gift and be filled with the Holy Spirit making us able to love as He loves us, making us able to demonstrate the exact mercy and grace that we have received. Through his blood covering, we are not only forgiven from our sin and united with God, but we are also ambassadors of that love. We are called to extend that gracious hand to those suffering around us and to allow God to provide relief to them.
This is our loving Creator, whose love endures forever.

Paintings by Rachel Justice
Words by Brittanie Richendollar

Stir my affections to the most radiant wonder in all the world: the advent, the giving life and work in the person of your beloved Son, Christ Jesus.

He, the perfection of our eternal hope secured.
He, the glorious manifestation of exquisite, flawless, and transcendent love.
He, our Redeemer King.

When all creation groaned in plight, affliction, and death,
You gave us this holy night-
a newborn King,
a Prince of Peace, a heritage of hope.

When we feel unable to rise, too sluggish to respond, too content with the world’s shadows of satisfaction
Steady our gaze on the cross,
Where Your inexhaustible, indestructible, all-consuming love is displayed,
Where Your perfect sacrifice paid the debt my sin accrued,
Where the light of Your love absorbed all darkness in me.

You have shown us love
from the beginning of time,
through the ages,
and for eternity forevermore.

We are saved, sealed, and satisfied
by Your love,
through Your love,
and for Your love.

O God, You are Love!
You are light and life, our greatest prize!
Your steadfast love is our eternal refuge.
You are my reason to worship.

Unabashedly, adoringly, with full voice and fervor we sing:
Praise be, to our God and King,
Our beloved, our fortress,
Our love and hope forevermore!

-Author Unknown

He will Come like Last Leaf’s Fall

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mold,
the soft shroud’s folding.

He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth opens on mist,
to find itself arrested in the net of alien, word-set beauty.

He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet and penny-masks it’s eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.

He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.
– Rowan Williams

Eve with a longing hand. Outstretched. Reaching toward a promise. A beautiful yet tragic symbol of a deep, significant Truth. Eve, ensnared by her own mistake. An evil, malicious snake that once seemed wise and appealing coiled around her ankle, now having a grip on life itself, happily bringing death and despair in his wake. All she had to do was give him permission. And then all mankind was trapped.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Genesis 3:1

All he did was propose a question, craftily worded, creating a new vision; a vision of chaos and death. He hid it in an deceitful shell that inserted a snare of doubt while appealing to her pride.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Genesis 3:6

The cataclysm that was man wrenching himself from his Creator God. It is not humanly possible to imagine the jolt of pain that went through the heart of our Lord in this moment. His all-knowing nature foresaw it, but that wouldn’t lessen the heartbreak of that instant. Sin entered the heart of Man and now there was only one option to bring him back.

But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
Genesis 3:9

Thus begins the pursuit.

So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:14

A promise of a massive redemption. A reassurance from our Creator even just moments after betraying Him. An offspring, a baby. Not just any baby, but an offspring of Eve that would destroy the snake’s deceit once and for all. Once again giving Man the option of pursuit of God.

A green root of life shooting forth from a bleak background. Black representing the death and decay which encompasses all that is separated from God. Golden life springing forward and once again bringing hope and regeneration. Redemption is near as our Lord takes the form of man and enters the womb of Mary, a regular woman. Someone’s sister, daughter, or cousin.

These golden words were prophesied from the beginning of everything material. God spoke it to his fallen children just minutes after they were torn apart by greed and pride. A loving Father delicately calling, “I will bring you back. Just as I planned, before I even created you.”

The beauty and the tragedy of this story is so wonderfully captured, as God gifts us with the expression of art through culture to express His image beyond what can be communicated with just words. Every one of us has a piece of artistic gift inside of us so that when we come to His table, we can each contribute one more bit of picture that is God Himself. He is so infinitely complex and deep, profound and immeasurable.

He created us to bear His image and reflect it back to Him in glory and praise. When Man fell, that mirror was shattered and the earth was covered in darkness under the curse of sin. But through His sacrifice He blesses us with the privilege of once again being His image bearers, despite our falling short. Through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus, our abilities and inabilities are no longer worth looking at. It is all a gift to be enjoyed in the sake of He who created us.

Paintings by Rachel Justice
Words by Brittanie Richendollar

I Cannot Think Unless I have been Thought

I cannot think unless I have been thought,

Nor can I speak unless I have been spoken.

I cannot teach except as I am taught,

Or break the bread except as I am broken.

O Mind behind the mind through which I seek,

O Light within the light by which I see,

O Word beneath the words with which I speak,

O founding, unfound Wisdom, finding me,

O sounding Song whose depth is sounding me,

O Memory of time, reminding me,

My Ground of Being, always grounding me,

My Maker’s Bounding Line, defining me,

Come, hidden Wisdom, come with all you bring,

Come to me now, disguised as everything.

Malcolm Guite

Darkness, destruction, despair. These things not only stared mankind in the face but they emanated from the very heart. They held the very reigns of our eternal destiny when apart from the intervention of our very just yet loving God. Man had chosen his own way from the very beginning and there was an unpayable debt from breaking God’s laws. We had no money, no currency when standing in the court before the Judge.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
Ephesians 2:1

What was to become of this debt? There was no work to be done, no plea, no way out on our own. There was evil in our hearts and death was the penalty. Man was a helpless slave to this corruption and it separated us from our Holy and Pure Creator. All Man had to hang onto was a promise that this darkness, these reigns of death would one day be defeated.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers, he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Genesis 3:15

Christmas marks the kickoff of an amazing plan that God had promised to us from the very beginning. Even while we were still standing guilty, ready to be charged with treason, He knelt down and looked His enemy in the face and had mercy. In the middle of this dark, bleak helplessness, there was a whisper in the breeze as millions of angels filled a dusty, dirty stable as the Miracle of miracles was coming to be.

A pain filled whimper followed by the cry of a little babe.

The very being through whom all creation came to be, arrived as a gentle, humble, uncomfortable infant. The brilliant beacon of hope for mankind was presented softly in the quiet of the night. The King of the universe, of all creation, traded his Heavenly crown for a crown of dust and Cradle cap in order to provide the only payment that could settle our debt once and for all.

Advent is looking back to the price that our Lord Jesus had to pay while looking to the current fruits of that very sacrifice. God now delights in us as we are covered by the righteous blood of His son, Jesus Christ, and we in turn can delight in Him.

We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19

As we look forward to Advent, we can be reminded of the eternal hope that is God’s promise- we are forgiven of all our debt as long as we look to and have faith in His son who died for our sins and was then resurrected for our receiving of new life in His permanent, irrevocable righteousness. This eternal hope is represented in the image of the wreath. The circle signifies God’s eternal love while the evergreen is a symbol of our hope of eternal life through what Christmas ultimately brought to us over two thousand years ago.

Words by Brittanie Richendollar
Paintings by Rachel Justice

Restoring to Their Original Beauty

… Rachel Justice, an area freelance artist who has been professionally painting and using her computer skills for 20 years, was commissioned to repaint the alcoves on each side of the entrance foyer and to repair a few faded chips and cracks in the foyer ceiling. Maintaining the original design and colors of artist John Bernat, who also painted the murals in the church, Rachel was able to match their original brilliance using a flat latex paint and a glossy sealant to preserve the beauty for many years to come.

(The above content is an excerpt from an original article written for St. Peter’s in Mansfield, Ohio.)  View the whole news article here.

When Invisible Becomes Visible

Art is being engaged in creative activities calling for skill and imagination, a tool used to portray the full range of human experience and emotion, something that makes links between the inner life of the imagination and day to day living, that forges emotional connections to other people and in some way makes concrete and actualizes things that are true but abstract. The invisible God becomes visible. Love becomes visible. Mercy becomes visible. Deliverance from sin, and a hatred against that which would destroy His creation, becomes visible through the gentle touch of a hand, the revealing of a relationship. A relationship of love and compassion for humanity, a love for the broken, the downtrodden, and the hurting. He does not send us away but allows our tears to wash His feet. The incarnation of Truth becomes the embodiment of hope. The holy presence of our eternal God becomes that which is His own image. He becomes flesh and blood, to redeem flesh and blood and brings us to Himself.

A Conversation Beyond Words

Rachel Justice paints stories across the area and around the state.

Area residents may not know the name Rachel Justice, but they’ve likely seen her work.

The big field of children playing with dogs on the outside of the Ashland County Dog Shelter. The patriotic mural on the north wall of the American Legion Harry Higgins Post 88 in Ashland. The windows promoting the Ashland Public Library’s summer reading program each year.

All of these, in addition to many signs and logos on trucks for local businesses, were painted by Justice. As a freelance artist, she doesn’t have a business with a name, but people recognize her and her work.

“Some people call me, ‘Hey, painter girl!’” she said, with a laugh.

She has painted murals, signs, windows and other materials for various clients around the state for about 15 years. She also can do faux finishes, such as wood on a metal cabinet. Whether her assignment is a small sign for a business or a sprawling mural in a library, her goal is always the same — to help her clients express their identity.

“A lot of people were telling me, if you’re going to make it, you have to express yourself,” she said, but she came to a different conclusion. “You’re happier if you help other people and help them express themselves.” …

(The above is excerpted from this page)  –  read the whole article on the Times-Gazette, here.

Visible Hope…

“That the invisible God becomes visible in Christ is a movement whose structure is paralleled in creative activity. Art is sometimes said to be about making the invisible visible- the fleshing out of concepts and ideas. The incarnation also informs our art-making, in that it is the embodiment of both judgement and hope. It manifests judgment in revealing our lust for autonomy instead of a relationship with the creator, and hope in its affirmation of the possibility of re-creation” -Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization