Tom relates, "I tried to include it all. Each character is a complete painting in itself; each group of characters is a painting. And all their stories come together as a cohesive unit with Christ as the focus, the very center as He is in our lives.

"I donít consciously think of including symbolism as I paint. Usually, I feel the need to add something or change something, only to see later that there was something more at work. The statue of Caesar is one example. I was having a hard time with it. It was cold, distant, and powerful. I heard Roman citizens called him Lord Caesar. And I could see he was fighting to maintain his hold. I began trying to soften him, but I ended up leaving him as he was, but with flowering vines beginning to overtake him, and I realized that only the love of God could take away his strength.

"I am a perfectionist, and Iím absorbed by the tiniest details. After talking to collectors of my work, I always feel that the details I include are just as important to them, too. I began this painting last fall (2001), and it has consumed me for more than a year. There were many moments of frustration, and many moments of delight as I finally was able to bring the images in my mind and heart to the canvas."

Tom admits that this is the most complex and detailed painting he has ever created. You see stories that complement — and stories that conflict with — the central story, Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Part of the fascination one has in studying this work is finding those elements of confict and complement. When you own yours, you'll truly enjoy finding them.

The work utilizes groups of characters, each of which plays its part in the drama. As you can see, each detail from the painting tells a small part of the story. This detail is rich with symbolism. Christ reaches out his hand to the blind beggar one of the least of people symbolizing His grace. The spotless young lamb represents His approaching sacrifice as atonement for all sins, and the infant in its mother's arms is an analogy for the spiritual rebirth of all who believe. As with most of Tom's editions, a Bible verse will be printed in gold around the image:

"And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, 'Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest'!"

..............................................-- Matthew 21:9