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King Of Kings - An Inspiring Painting

Updated on December 14, 2016
Hanavee profile image

Brian Gray, obtained his degree in Language from Lee University, and has been a published author and professional writer since 1985.

King Of Kings

King Of Kings - An Inspiring Painting

I was reading the newspaper one morning, when I saw an article about a painting. Vivid, strong colors, exotic people, exquisite costumes, beautiful detail...I was drawn to the photo in the news article about this interesting painting. One glance would not do. I stared at this one for quite some time, studying the wonderful details, the facial expressions, and, of course, the message the painting was supposed to evoke. I began to scan the article for reasons behind the painting, then went back to the painting to see if the artist had indeed captured the intention of her destination. I have a rule that, if I pass something and keep on going, it was not worth turning back to consider, but if I look back more than once, then I must go back and honor that deeper voice that says “Explore this, it is worthy of your time and will be rewarding.” This painting did just that. Titled “King of Kings,” it is a painting by artist Liz Hess of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Liz Hess And Her Red Umbrella

Back to the painting in a moment. As I read more about Liz Hess, I discovered a signature of her paintings is a brilliant red umbrella. As I was later told by Wayne Baer, her gallery manager, Liz had painted a beautiful snow scene in Venice many years ago, and she felt that it needed something to brighten it up. The thought came to her to add a red umbrella being held by a passerby. The painting was a hit, and ever since then, Liz has cleverly added a signature red umbrella to her paintings. Anyone perusing her beautiful paintings will immediately fall in love with the red umbrellas in them. The red umbrella does not overwhelm the painting, it completes it, a skill that is destined to bring Liz Hess accolades for many years to come. Buyer, you had better start collecting now! These are investment quality.

The First Red Umbrella Painting

This was the painting created by Liz Hess in Venice.
This was the painting created by Liz Hess in Venice.

How The Painting Came To Be

So, as I read the story of how the painting titled “King of Kings” came to be, I studied the painting even more. Here, in her own words, is how Liz Hess tells of its inception.

“Global Disciples, a worldwide mission organization with headquarters in Lancaster, approached me this past September about designing the image they would use for their Christmas cards this year, which go out to all their supporters. They envisioned a typical nativity/creche with wisemen, shepherds, manger, etc., but all of the individuals would represent people from different nationalities. There would be Africans, Asians, Europeans, Indians, etc, all factored into the figures of the nativity. But they told me to be creative and to feel free to follow anywhere I felt the inspiration (and Spirit) was leading me.

I prayed about it and asked God to guide me and take the painting in the direction He would like it to go. Almost immediately I began to see images in my head. The typical creche and nativity scene disappeared (including Joseph and Mary), and what I was left with was a lone manger with a celestial lion rising out of it in the form of stars, and a lamb below. Instead of wisemen and shepherds, I saw a host of kings and queens from around the globe gathering to pay homage to the baby, falling prostrate or kneeling and laying their crowns before the manger in recognition that the baby was the true king.

I emailed Global Disciples and described what I was seeing, and sent them a rough sketch. I asked them if they liked the direction this was going, or if they preferred that I return to the original concept of the creche. They unanimously approved of this change of direction and gave me their enthusiastic support to create this image, instead. They also gave me the freedom to incorporate my signature red umbrella if I wished. My initial reaction was that, no, this painting was not going to be about my trademark. It almost felt sacrilegious to introduce it into the scene I was seeing in my mind.

When I sat down and began to create the image, it just flowed! I could not shut off the inspiration. I could have stayed up all night after each day of painting, but I forced myself to go to bed. It was a very worshipful experience for me as an artist, and I felt the adoration and majesty toward the King of Kings as figures began to emerge on the canvas. As I worshiped, the figures emerged worshiping.

At one point during the creation of painting, I came across a photo of an African king/prince with a servant walking behind him, shading him with a yellow umbrella with gold tassels. It was then that I knew I could incorporate my red umbrella and it would make sense, but I made sure to put it at the very back, and not as a focal point.”

Demand For Copies Has Gone Through The Roof

Once I had finished reading, I decided that I needed at least a postcard of that wonderful painting as a Christmas gift to my sister, Sandra Price, who lives in New Hampshire, because she is a talented artist, and I knew that she would genuinely appreciate the newspaper article and the story of the painting. What a unique gift this would make, the newspaper story, the beautiful picture in the paper...and an accompanying postcard from the art gallery. The newspaper gave the address as 140 N. Prince Street in downtown Lancaster. I decided to drive there immediately and purchase a nice postcard of the painting, then mail it with my sister’s Christmas card. I parked a block away from the gallery, dutifully paid the meter, thinking forty minutes was more than enough for the brief adventure, and began walking south on Prince Street. I had planned perfectly, because I was only one block away. There, on the right side of the street, I saw the gallery, crossed quickly before the traffic started, and opened the door into a world of beauty. Liz Hess paintings were everywhere, as they should be, I suppose, and there to my left as I walked in was the incredible and inspiring painting. I stopped, transfixed... and just stared. The colors were even more stunning in person. I will not try to describe the faces on each character in the scene, because I truly feel that each person who sees this painting should take the time to do that for their own reverent experience. The painting draws you in, each person a unique universe of deep spiritual and individual journey. They are each observing something of great meaning to themselves, and in turn, to the entire world from which they come. Look at the painting for yourself. It has created an overwhelming sensation, and the staff at Liz Hess’ gallery have been working overtime and around the clock to keep up with demand for prints.

King Of Kings On Display At Liz Hess' Gallery

The painting on display in Liz Hess' gallery at 140 N. Prince Street in Lancaster, Pa.  Note the beautiful red umbrella in the gallery.  A fitting touch.
The painting on display in Liz Hess' gallery at 140 N. Prince Street in Lancaster, Pa. Note the beautiful red umbrella in the gallery. A fitting touch.

The Painting Is Actually For Sale

I spoke with Wayne Baer at length, and he told me that the original painting, which is on view right there in the gallery, is actually being auctioned off as we speak. Silent bids are being accepted at the gallery, and the bidding will close on December 21st. All of the proceeds will go to the Global Disciples effort. I thought for a moment, and I decided to help. This is a good cause, one I believe in, and I told Wayne that I would be interested in doing a story about this extraordinary painting and the bidding. He put me in direct contact with Liz, and I told her what I was going to do. She provided me with the watermarked and copyrighted version of the painting that I used at the top of this article, and she told me that people who wish to bid on the painting can do so by contacting the gallery at 717-390-7222, or by going to their website at http://www.lizhess.com/shop/king-of-kings/ . The bid for the painting as I write this has topped $6500.00 , and I hope that it sets a record. If you are not one of the top bidders, I sincerely advise you to make a fast trip to Lancaster and see this awe inspiring painting before it leaves. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. And a word to the savvy investor, better get something with Liz Hess signed on it quickly. From what I saw while I was in the gallery today, she is going to explode onto the art scene in a great way.

Some Liz Hess Paintings For You To Peruse

Wayne Baer allowed me to take some photos of various Liz Hess paintings for my article. I am posting them below. I think you will agree, she is uniquely gifted and well worth collecting. I am now a big fan!

I think I am going to have to buy a copy of this soon.  Love it!
I think I am going to have to buy a copy of this soon. Love it!

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    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I have never heard of Liz Hess, but I will never forget her. Her painting's are uniquely beautiful. I had a sister, Eva who painted beautiful pictures. She started school when she was five, and the teacher noticed the first day that she was gifted. My family was poor, so the teacher bought supplies for her. When she was fifty years old, she was living in Atlanta, Ga. and had gone out into the country to paint. She saw a cherry tree in full bloom, she stopped to paint it. After completion she backed up to view the painting at a distance, she stepped into a well that had been abandoned, fracturing her spine. She was wheelchair bound the rest of her life, but she continued painting. I think some of her best were after the accident. I am an avid admirer of beautiful art. Thank you for sharing this story...

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 7 months ago from Pennsylvania

      always exploring,

      Thanks for reading my latest. Yes, Liz Hess is an artist worth watching, and I plan on collecting her works.

      What an amazing story about your sister. Though sadly unfortunate, what an incredible outcome that she continued to paint. That is a story worth writing about, because it shows fortitude and character in spite of adversity. You can be proud of your sister.

      Brian

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I did write her story, it's titled," A True Story Of Love And Devotion. " I must apologize for the crooked pictures. I am terrible with a camera. I wrote it three years ago, so you have to scroll down pretty far to get to it.

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 7 months ago from Pennsylvania

      always exploring,

      I plan on reading that. Thanks for letting me know.

      Brian

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 7 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Global Disciples,

      Thank you for reading my article on Liz Hess. I have become a fan of her work, and will be adding some of her art to my house soon.

      Brian

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