The Ascent sprang from the biblical story of Jacob’s Dream, growing and developing the way we all do, throughout our lifetime.
Brightly colored angels climb the many intricately patterned stairs and golden ladders. The clouds are galaxies of colors, each formed from many layers of fine dots and stippling.
The ladders and stairs lead the dreamer to see visions of beauty, expanding in every direction. Each step, and ladder rung, is his gradual ascent from each of his life experiences and lessons. As he climbs the ladder, he is supported, encouraged and guided by angels.
THE ASCENT- Image History
John August Swanson’s 2014 artwork, THE ASCENT, reimagines the story of Jacob’s Dream, a theme which appeared in many of his artworks, throughout his life, beginning in 1969.
DREAM OF JACOB
DREAM OF JACOB Sketches
DREAM OF JACOB
THE ASCENT – Sketches and Preliminary Drawings
John August Swanson completed printing the serigraph edition of PSALM 23 in November, 2010. He then began sketching on the theme of Jacob’s Ladder for his next serigraph. He completed many drawings and watercolor sketches. His ideas and sketches continued to evolve. The image that developed moved from the traditional Jacob’s Ladder theme into a Ladder of Ascent. This new artwork was initially planned as a serigraph edition, to be completed at Aurora Serigraphic Studio by Master Printer James F Butterfield. With the death of Mr. Butterfield in January, 2011, the serigraph project was abandoned. Swanson returned to it in 2013, creating an original painting.
THE ASCENT – Painting
In late October, 2013, John August Swanson returned to his sketches and drawings, starting a new painting. He completed the painting in May, 2014. In a letter to a friend, he wrote about the new artwork:
The colors are strong. I used a tooth brush to spatter the dots to create a stipple effect with the opaque white paint. I would create stencils to isolate areas for this stippling.
-John August Swanson, June 1, 2014