Lift Hope High!

Lift Hope High! is the final painting in the Transforming Injustice! Watercolor Series.
To order this print or browse the gallery, please click HERE.

My inspiration for this painting comes from a photo taken by Adrees Latif of Reuters on June 8, 2020. At a candlelight vigil honoring George Floyd, the photographer captured an image that depicted small lights of hope lifted up by local residents and alumni of Houston’s Yates High School.


Cornell West has said, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” Indeed! I see in the people depicted in this image the kind of love that led them to gather as one community, expressing their love for their community and a longing for “Beloved Community.”*  

In this image, the sky is filled with ominous dark clouds. Yet there is light that that peeks through to help us remember that hope abides. Hope is veiled at times, hidden from those who need light most. The people in the image are holding up tiny lights. They doing this together, near one another, raising the light as one people. We cannot see the color of their skin, but it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they are lifting lights of hope — together. Perhaps when we lift lights of hope together, it will be just enough light to illuminate the next step in our quest for racial justice. 

May the God of justice make it so!

They’re Still Not Hearing Us!

Watercolor #4 in the Transforming Injustice! Series

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 Watercolor #4, in the Transforming Injustice! series is entitled,
“They’re Still Not Hearing Us!”

The painting is inspired by an Associated Press news photo taken by Jacquelyn Martin, who captured this moment in history in her photo of demonstrators gathering to protest the death of George Floyd — on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington. 

What inspires me is that this is a  protest of voices calling out for justice and arms raised, imploring their government for change. It is not a protest of guns or clubs or other instruments of violence. It is simply a protest from hearts that cry out still, “They’re still not hearing us?”

Indeed “they” are not hearing. “They” responded with military force to this nonviolent event. According to Associated Press reporters Robert Burns and Michael Balsamo, the National Guard of the District of Columbia is investigating the use of one of its helicopters to make a “show of force” against protesters near the White House, while President Donald Trump is encouraging authorities to get tougher to quell the unrest over George Floyd’s death. The helicopter, normally designated for use in medical evacuations, hovered low enough to create a deafening noise and spray protesters with rotor wash.

In a phone call with governors on July 20, In a Monday call with governors, President Trump and Attorney General Barr encouraged more aggressive action against those who cause violence during protests. Trump said he was “taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America.”

More than 17,000 soldiers and airmen have been activated to confront nonviolent protesters. An article written by Luke O’Brien and published on July 21, 2020 in the Huffington Post begins with these very troubling headlines:

Trump Has Unleashed Authoritarian Violence In Portland. What City Is Next?

From tear gas to kidnappings, the Trump administration has thrust America into a constitutional crisis.

Luke O’Brien’s article also pointed out that during the last two weeks, federal law enforcement agents in Portland have terrorized peaceful protesters by bundling them into unmarked vehicles without probable cause and pulling masks over their faces — a development experts say is a “a classic way that violence happens in authoritarian regimes” and that has deeply alarmed several members of Congress.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) called it “the activity of a police state.”

“This is what dictators do,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) tweeted.

The Wings of the Morning


“The Wings of the Morning” reflects on Psalm 139:9, 10. The Psalm has been one of Great comfort to me in difficult times. I hope you enjoy this piece, calligraphic art rendered in ink and pastels.

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Refiner’s Fire!


“Refiner’s Fire!” is watercolor #3 In the Transforming Injustice! Series.

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To visit the Transforming Injustice! narrative page where you will be able to read about the inspiration behind this series, click HERE.

The painting is inspired by a photo of a Minneapolis check-cashing business burning to the ground as a protester raises his fist. (Photographer: John Minchillo / AP)

This watercolor is almost completely filled with fire — raging, out of control, consuming fire. In the center, a man stands in the embers unafraid, raising a clenched fist. Why is he raising his fist? In protest of racial injustice? Or perhaps to welcome the refiner’s fire, the kind of fire it will require for America to dismantle racial injustice!