Quality is the first norm for art, but its final norm is love and truth, the enriching of human life, the deepening of our vision.


Kaai, Anneke - VM - Eugene Peterson

Anneke Kaai: Death
by Eugene Peterson
Life defines who we are, these complex arrangements of protein and protoplasm, skin and bones, muscle and tissue, blood and water—and, yes, hopes and dreams, words and songs, love and hope, courage and beauty. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14). Death puts an end to all this. We experience it as an intrusion on a world of wonders, a violation of a holy creation.
But it is not all bad. The death sentence (Genesis 2:17), after all, was given by God, the same God who spoke life into being. Death puts an end to a life of disobedience and sin. It puts an end to pride and pretension. It puts an end to cruel behaviour and brutal abuse. It puts an end to betrayal and rejection. “Death is a good thing,” wrote poet Alan Dugan, “if we were immortal we would be insufferable.”
And it also seems to be a good thing to have limits to our lives, to work under a deadline that can’t be postponed. We are not then so apt to squander what is precious. Responding to the Psalmist’s “teach us to count our days” (Psalm 90:12), Martin Luther commented: “Moses wants all of us to become such good arithmeticians!”
The death of Jesus radically reconfigured all this and amalgamated the good and bad of death into a gospel: this death went on public exhibit as the worst that can happen; this death gathered up all death and offered it to God to atone for the sins of the world, the best that can happen. In the tangle of pain and beauty, blasphemy and prayer, humiliation and majesty that composed Jesus’ death by crucifixion, God secretly and profoundly worked a new light-filled creation. From that black hill we catch the first rays of the “new heavens and new earth.”
Anneke Kaai, Death (2001) and Eugene H Peterson text, from Anneke Kaai & Eugene H Peterson, In a Word, 2003 (Piquant Editions), pp. 38 and 39. Used with permission. This book contains well-known words from the Bible like love, grace and eternity that evoke associations, memories and sometimes strong emotions. It took three and a half years to complete these 23 paintings. I delved into the core meaning of each word and then interacted with it in a direct, spontaneous way in order to give it a contemporary 'body'. The style of these works are symbolic-abstract. The paintings are all in the format of 80-110 cm, in acrylic on plexiglas (perspex). 
The work of Anneke Kaai (b. 1951) is inspired by the Bible and her faith. Her paintings are quite literally "windows" to display her inspiration, which is intimately linked with her faith. A wealth of Christian images is worked into her compositions.
Eugene H. Peterson (born 1932) is a pastor, scholar, author, and poet. He has written over thirty books, including The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Navpress Publishing Group, 2002), a contemporary paraphrase of the Bible. He was Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C., Canada until retiring in 2006. He now lives in Montana.

The following books are obtainable about the series of paintings by Anneke Kaai :

I believe (Paternoster Press, England) 1995
The Psalms, An Artist’s Impression (Piquant, England, 3rd) 2002
The Psalms (InterVarsity Press, USA) 2002
In a Word (Piquant, England/ Paraclete Press, USA) 2003
From Beginning to End (Piquant Editions, England) 2007
CD-Rom From Beginning to End (Piquant Editions, England) 2008
Seeing a new Song (Piquant Editions, England) 2008
She shall be called Woman ( Piquant Editions, England) 2009
Ich bin und ich glaube (Brunnen Verlag) 1995
De Principio A Fin (Editorial Unilit, USA) 2007
CD-rom De Principio a Fin (Editorial Unilit, USA) 2008
Visión de una nueva cación (Editorial Unilit, USA) 2008
ArtWay Visual Meditation October 31, 2010