Commissioned by a Collector in Michigan.
Size: 30″x40″
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Working Title: Redlands (Akeldama)


Underpainted in red and yellow acrylics, with my signature black edges.
Roughed in the layout for a horizon line.


Areas where sky will show have been added. Beginning to frame the sky with clouds.


Sky areas framed and cloud details started. I am beginning the work to set depth and dimension.


Some finer details and highlights have been added to clouds. I am beginning to layout elements of focus. I still have one major cloud area to define. I am now at that painful period where drying is required!!


Finally getting dry enough to continue! With oils, you either work while it’s wet, or wait until it’s dry. Working in-between usually spells disaster. Today I worked primarily on the lightning and surrounding area. I am looking forward to finishing the cloud details and moving to the forground.


Lightning detail.


Her I placed cloud formation in the forground, and continued to build depth and distance.
I added a lot of highlights in the other clouds, and brought rain down from the heavens.


I’ve done quite a lot of detailing in the clouds and worked to bring some groups into the forground.
I also added a glaze over the lower portion of the sky to slightly darken it and give it a bit more depth. I am trying to set a slightly more ominous tone to the piece to further enhance the feelings created by the subject matter.


In this sitting I have added the mountains and some trees on the horizon, and have begun to work on the forground.
I’ve added the Abattoir and started to rough in the road.


Detail on the Abattoir.


I completed the foreground, with the road and fence etc, and did a little more detail work on the Abattoir. I have added the animals on their way to slaughter.
Getting pretty close now…


Details on the Abattoir, animals and road.


Here is the finished piece. The gentleman who commissioned the work is donating it to an animal rights group. He wanted to depict the souls of the animals flying from the slaughterhouse, and a tearful God looking down in disappointment at the scene below.

Regarding the name;

Akeldama (Aramaic: חקל דמא; field of blood) is the Aramaic name for a place in Jerusalem associated with Judas Iscariot, one of the followers of Jesus.

The earth in this area is composed of rich clay and was formerly used by potters. For this reason the field was known as the Potter’s Field. The clay had a strong red colour, which may be the origin of the modern name. More recently it was used as a burial place for non-Jews. It was used for this purpose up to the first quarter of the 19th century.

During the era of the Crusades, it was used to bury the fifty or more patients who died each day in the hospital run by the Knights Hospitaller in Jerusalem.

Christian tradition connects the place with Judas Iscariot, who is said to have betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. According to the Acts of the Apostles (1:18–19) Judas “acquired a field with the reward of his unjust deed, and falling headfirst he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. This became known to all who lived in Jerusalem, so that in their own language they called that field Hakeldama, that is, ‘Field of Blood.'” The Gospel of Matthew has a different account: Judas returns the money to the Temple authorities before hanging himself. Deeming it as blood money, and therefore illegal to put into their treasury, they used it instead to buy the field as a burial ground for foreigners: thus the place gained the name “the Field of Blood”. The implication here is that the name refers to the blood of Jesus, whereas in Acts the name is said to refer to the blood of Judas.