OREM The latest book in the Son of Man series by Susan Easton Black and Liz Lemon Swindle is a kind of tough love book.
It's difficult to read about and visualize the last difficult days of Christ's life on Earth, but then it's written, painted and sketched with such elegance and beauty.
Even though the scenes of torment and pain are heartrending, this is a book to buy and own.
Through 12 magnificent paintings, 8 pencil sketches and 56 pages of inspiring, informative text, this account of the ministry of the Son of God portrays the Savior in his mortal life as a friend and leader.
The paintings are done, as are all of Swindles' works, in realistic tones and with genuine care.
There are tears in the eyes and sweat on the brow. There is fringe on the robe and oil dripping from the tumbled lamp.
The colors are rich and earthy from a silken purple robe on the distressed, ill-prepared virgin to the scarlet poppies in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The text is based on interesting details researched painstakingly by Black interwoven with scriptural references and quotes.
This is a book to have in one's collection to share with others, with family and with students interested in learning more about the triumphal entry, the betrayal of Christ, the crucifixion and the resurrection.
Swindle has both paintings and pencil sketches included, drawn from live models whom she hired to portray the various incidents from Mary's drawing comfort in the refuge of Elizabeth's embrace to Christ's seeking the lost lamb.
One of her favorites is the picture of the Triumphal Entry, but she says, "I have a lot that I love."
She estimates she and Black spent about 10 years on the series, which include "The Early Years" and the "Miracles of Jesus."
Black said the text for Volume III took much more time than did the other two books.
"In each of the Gospels, a third of the text is about the last week," Black said. "It took a lot of research, a lot of time, plus I wanted my words to complement Liz's paintings."
She also said working on the book helped her overcome tremendous challenges in her own life.
There will be one more book with 18-20 more paintings, Swindle said. She expects that to be ready for release within the next two years.With that release will be a CD with music written by Kenneth Cope and a stage presentation correlated to the series.
SON OF MAN, KING OF KINGS, Vol.III
Author: Susan Easton Black with artwork by Liz Lemon Swindle
Publisher: The Greenwich Workshop Press
Pages: 56Cost: $16.95