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September-October 2018 - Adam and Eve

September 1, 2018 by Kathryn Kimball
Artist: Jago 
(England, Contemporary)

This issue’s cover art was painted using a computer’s digital painting process.  In it, Jago — an English children’s-book illustrator — depicts the story of Adam and Eve.  By this time in the story, God has created the heavens and earth, the plants and animals, and someone to care for it all.  God then gives Adam one command: “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat” (Gen. 2:17, NRSV).

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil creates a dividing line between the shadowed foreground and the brilliant background. In the foreground, the brightly colored serpent is not coiled to strike but lurking in the grass to watch the results of what he has set into motion.  Above the serpent the shadowed figures of Adam and Eve lean against the tree, their faces sad and dejected. Apart from each other on opposite sides of the tree, their clothed bodies indicate that they have eaten from the tree forbidden by God.

Beyond the shadows, the radiant sun dominates the space. The vibrant grass, land, and sky fill a much larger portion of the artist’s canvas than the shadows.  The sunlight on the horizon draws the viewer’s attention away from Adam and Eve and upward into the tree.  Through the branches of the tree come the strong, rich colors of the sun and sky — painting the leaves with hues of yellow and gold that overpower the darkness in the foreground.

Perhaps the artist is reminding us that no situation is too dire or too far gone for God.  No matter the circumstances, God still reaches out with hope, redemption, and love.

Cover art courtesy of Jago. © 2012 Jago. Prints of cover art are available online at

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