Doc's Art

June 26, 2016
Please note:  over a period of time there may be other random art pieces displayed, but the GENESIS PROJECT will be presented as a priority over others

THE GENESIS PROJECT:  Creation and Science through Art

Artwork by P. Clay Sherrod, 1989-2004

To many people, there is a clear-cut defining belief between Biblical "Creation" and Scientific "Creation"......or dynamic evolution of the physical and biological worlds.   As a scientist throughout my life, it has always been supposed by those who I meet that I am only the latter - an Evolutionist

The Genesis Project from P. Clay Sherrod is a series of 27 multimedia flat artworks of the most simple notations of The Bible, particularly the Book of Genesis.  Whether you are an atheist, agnostic or believe in God does NOT matter: Creation DID happen.

Evolution was created through Creation, and Creation could have never progressed without Evolution.

sea of lifeV sm  ("Waves of Evolution" - Genesis Project - VII - description below)

The Project is intended to take simple and self-explanatory phrases and impressions that are given in Genesis, and expose the visually so that they can be interpreted in the complexity in which these acts of Creation were rendered.

Something as simple as “…..and there was light” is something that we hear from childhood as the basic teachings of the Bible, but we all know that the “simple” act of creating light was not in any way as simple as expressed and accepted through the short educational phrases offered in the Bible.  Such explanations were intended for oral communications and simple people with no physics nor science background. The teachings sufficed for the times in which they were written.

The Genesis Project presents visual perception intended to provoke thought and hidden insight by the person viewing the piece.  It should stimulate the appreciation for the fact that Creation, the Bible, and Science can all co-exist and in fact agree with one-another.  This presentation is intended to PROVOKE thought, insight and discussion.

Upon viewing each artistic piece, the individual is exposed to many more elements that immediately demonstrate that nothing was simple in the Creation of the Heavens and Earth and nothing has been simple in Mankind’s ability to survive within the realms of this Creation.

Each piece of art is accompanied with the verse from which the rendering was inspired, and each is explained in terms of the elements included with each visual experience.  Please take the time to read my philosophy and explanation of the visual impacts of each is from that which I hope to provoke your thought into the ultimate beginning and ending of all that we know as human beings.

Note that there are NO unneeded components to any of these paintings; every small detail is a integral part of the complete story and intended to evoke all senses. Viewing the art will expose, sight, sound, smell, fear, anger, loneliness, anxiety, frustration, touch and other human experiences that should be triggered when considering the incredible complexity of creation.   In the originals, the fibers of a feather can actually be felt as scored embossing in thick paper.....the edges of a book are clearly "real" as one runs a fingernail across, and windows of distant skyscrapers are "illuminated" using tiny scintillating cutouts carefully placed.  Stars have been created, not with paint, but via a "secret" delicate technique which results in depth against the darkness of space.

All pieces employ the celestial night sky as a common theme, for it is in that ethereal ether that Creation and Evolution began and continue today.

My explanations include the various types of media used to complete each work, some very unorthodox but necessary to present the work in such a way as to emphasize the importance of the elements of the piece.

The Genesis Project was begun in 1989 and continued until 2004, consisting of over two dozen large pieces that represent the day BEFORE Creation until the day before the final Armageddon.  Each piece measures 24 x 36 inches unframed.  The photos presented here have been taken under glass, and are resized for the website; thus some loss of resolution has occurred in each.

NOTE:  A few of the Genesis Project paintings are presently on loan or exhibit and not available for photographing; they will be inserted in their proper order in coming months.
I hope that you enjoy.

P. Clay Sherrod
July, 2016

The breezes of primordial winds"

Bible Reference: Genesis 1:2
Bible Quotation: “In the beginning ….."

  Sherrod, 2004

Artist Commentary

Surprise here....not much to look at.  Unless you allow your mind to interpret for you.
Close your eyes and imagine …..nothing….absolutely nothing.  Impossible? Indeed it is because in the finite and closed mind of a thinking creature there cannot be "nothing".

You see, the minds and souls of all living organisms are driven by an electromagnetic energy that are the essence of the biological world, from propagating our own species to traits of instinctive survival of our own bodies.  As we experience more, see more, feel more, the more "something" accumulates within our thought process.  Soon, that thought process becomes complicated - perhaps with direction - and that driving force becomes our soul.

Trees do it, humans do it, raccoons and protozoa do it….we think.

In the brains of creatures, the thought process becomes increasingly complicated and refined the longer the creature lives; in humans and like animals the brain has always been a complex computer of synapses, firing in a necessary sequence to create instinctive response and later inductive and logical reasoning.

The first synapse firing will take place long before an organism ever leaves the womb or emerges from the fertilized seed in the ground. With that spark is the soul of the life generated, becoming more and more complex as the engine of life begins to emerge. Within minutes of the first emission of energy, hundreds of thousands and then millions of synapse firings begin to take place. Memory is being forged with every synapse firing.

Our “thinking and doing” is beginning to create the electromagnetic fingerprint that becomes the definition of our life. The longevity of the electromagnetic wavelength and the ever-increasing complexity of it is what makes the “soul” of our being. The first synapse firing creates the will to live and every firing thereafter intensifies the ability of first instinct, then survival, and then logical thought. Since electromagnetic wavelengths survive in the abyss of time, this energy that we have created becomes our soul, long after the body awaits its recycling.

In the beginning there was nothing.  Because our minds “think” via a process requiring something, the ability of our minds to comprehend emptiness is impossible. But this opens up an incredible philosophical debate that apparently only the human mind can ponder: What existed before “nothing?” We do not have the mental raw material to know the answer to that question.

Philosophers for centuries have pondered, worried and even fought over this.  So far as we know, the human mind is the first to be able to contemplate its own existence. We have attained - through the proper and orderly firing of all these synapses - logical thought which the perspective of our own lives can be studied.

Was it the "Big Bang" or was it "Creation?"
What area was there to place all that was created if space did not exist before creation?

Where did the raw “stuff” come from that we believe comprised the primordial atom which made all of this?
What energy source could have triggered the Big Bang if energy also did not exist until after creation?

Suppose that we do not believe in a “creator” - a God, which many do not.  What we call “creation” certainly took place at some point because the physics of all of this tell us that all things are finite and cannot maintain themselves forever….not the stars, not the galaxies, not the short human life. These things must be cyclically created, even the greatest of all things in the Universe.

Suppose that we DO believe in a creator.  We can call that Creator by many different names and still believe in the same results of that Creator's work.   Even in that realm we have many physical and scientific limitations that our confined intellect cannot address, much less solve.  Even if God is “all things”, where did he place creation?  Where was the firmament - space - before he made the Heavens and Earth?  If God created the Heavens and Earth on the first day, where does the spirit of God reside if not in the very Heavens that he created?

Perhaps all of this that we perceive is merely a BLINK in the eye of the creator….a firing synapse… incredible existence created through the electromagnetic thoughts of God.

Proverbial Brick Wall"

Bible Reference: Genesis 1:2
Bible Quotation: “....the Earth was formless and void and darkness was over the surface of the deep ….."

the brick wall sm   P. Clay Sherrod, 1993

Artist Commentary

I have expressed many times the oxymoron between our abilities to learn more, become wiser in the abilities to understand all things, yet as we do discover and learn it seems we know so much less.

It is certainly true that every discovery leads to new and far more complex problems that either need to be solved or cannot be solved. In the world of physical science there are two extremes: the SMALLEST of all things and the LARGEST of all things; in these realms we have the molecular and atomic scientists who attempt to unravel the mysteries of the workings of the atom and its subatomic components, while the astrophysicist attempts to explain “the big picture” of the overall expanse of our Cosmos….the Universe in which we are but a small part.

No one needs “creation” more than these two groups of scientists. We can study atoms, photons, gluons, quarks….all entities that we assume exist, yet most of which we cannot prove their existence. Astronomers can tell us “the age of the Universe” or the distance to the “edge of the Universe”, but how do we know that limit is simply how far we can see? Does something happen to LIGHT at great distances that disable out ability to see it?

Mathematicians, in order to keep order in our orderly identifications of all things, will create particles that can quickly be the “missing link” to balance equations necessary so that theorists can move onto the next step of the growth of our intelligence. Cosmologists can contrive the existence of other dimensions, other universes, to explain the loss of both mass and energy from our Universe into other realms to maintain that matter cannot be lost, nor can in be gained in a balanced nature. If energy is lost in from our dimension, it simply pops up in another.

But how do we know, and why do we have to assume, that we have a “balanced nature?”

Such is the proverbial “Brick Wall of the Scientist.” At some point, things simply cannot be explained.
Our telescopes and incredible sophistication in the astronomical world can now gaze nearly 20 billion light years into space… astounding value equal to 20 billion multiplied by 25 trillion miles in every light year. Then suddenly, things appears to cease. We do not see concentrations of galaxies nor even light past that great distance, and those that we do see that far away are thought to be the first created and the farthest in existence.

Electron microscopes and “atom smasher” cyclotrons have produced brief introductions to subatomic particles that we assume are the building blocks of the atom. And in some cases, even those building blocks have been smashed into even smaller components that may explain light, gravity and even a definition of space itself. But surely, those smaller particles MUST be constructed of building blocks even smaller than themselves as all things are.

So, from the very largest expanse of all that exists - The Heavens - to the very basic of all particles - the one that we have not seen….the one that is really the basic foundation of every thing that exists, we just keep going and going….outward in search of the end of the Universe, and inward in search of creation.

The “Brick Wall of the Scientist”.

Perhaps the Brick Wall is more than simply our ability to eventually learn these things. Maybe if we surpass the Brick Wall we would know ALL that is known of creation...all of the answers….how and why was created all that we see. At that point, we would become EQUAL to God or to the act of Creation, would we not?

The Brick Wall is there for a reason: creation has given us the foundation of knowledge in our pursuits to understand why we are here. If we find those answers, full and complete, then we have no future knowledge to gain.

There would be no purpose to human thought…..there would be no purpose to human life.

Spectrum - The colors of life....."

Bible Reference: Genesis 1:3
Bible Quotation: “....and God said: 'Let there be light', and there was light."

Bible Reference: Habakkuk 3:4
Bible Quotation: “His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden. “

god creates light sm  
P. Clay Sherrod, 1993

Artist Commentary

“There was light...and it was good….”

We certainly cannot disagree, but we also must agree that it had to be just a bit more spectacular than this commentary suggests. I suspect that this event was about as breathtaking as they can be….
The creation of light must be simultaneous with the creation of matter. And with that comes heat and further complications of the electromagnetic spectrum. The sudden advent of light must have been quite a fireworks show. Whether we believe in a divine creation or a Big Bang (in essence, we are talking about the same process before, during and after), light would have been instantaneously released as the energy of the expansion of the Universe forced all matter to move away from one-another as we know that it is doing.

Every galaxy is moving rapidly away from every other galaxy, with some random gravitational interludes which result in galactic collisions and close passes. This is the Expansion of the Universe. No matter where a being might be on any island galaxy of stars, all other galaxies will appear to be moving away from you; it is this expansion, and the speeds at which the distant galaxies are moving, that allow astronomers to calculate the 18 to 20 billion year age of our Universe.

But we must see all galaxies to determine which are the farthest from us, and to see them we must see the light - and the color - from their stars and energies. The human mind has opened intriguing facts regarding the behavior of light as it travels 186,000 miles per second through the cosmos. When an object reaches a velocity moving away from our vantage point anywhere close to that speed, we believe that the properties that we know light to behave under, begin to “change the rules” and as yet we are not certain just what those changes are and what they do to our interpretations of the size of our Universe.

Even within our known electromagnetic spectrum the human eyes and human “inventions” can view only a very small portion of the known expanse of all that comprises “light.”

Although we believe that the Universe is 18 to 20 billion years old that figure is based on the most distant objects that we can SEE…..are there perhaps other objects beyond that limit that we cannot see simply because light behaves differently over so great a distance than it does close to home?

If so, then we may well have an infinite Universe...beyond limits, no Brick Wall, constantly expanding every-so-greater into a limitless space that we do not know exists.

But, back to simpler things, just like the synapses create electromagnetic wavelengths in our brains which result in thought and perhaps the very essence of life, light is merely another series of wavelengths that fortunately are perceptible to our eyes. Basically, the slower the wave (wider expanses between crest-to-crest), the more red is the perceived color to the human eye; faster waves conversely shift that color perception to the human eye to blue.

The truly wonderful gift of light is that it gives us colors that are balanced and define the natural world in which we live. We have a yellow sun, whose light reflects off of oak leaves to our eyes which see that wavelength ultimately as green. The petals of the Black-Eyed-Susan reflect as brilliant yellow, and the Rose as red because of the changes in sunlight that reflects from these surfaces….the sky is deep blue and sunsets astounding.

There was light….and it was good…..and there was color, and that was even better.”

God's Got a New Rolex"

gods rolexV S   P. Clay Sherrod, 1993

Bible Reference: Genesis 2:1,2

Bible Quotation: “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.  By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.”…
Bible Reference: Genesis 1:14, 1:15
“Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so.…

Artist Commentary

One thing that dominates human life more than any other is keeping time…..being prompt to work or appointments, planning an outing for an upcoming weekend, or deciding on worthy resolutions on the New Year.

But there actually is no such thing as “Time.” Not at all. Time is a convenience for the only specie on planet Earth that needs a calendar: HumansMankind concocted the idea of time to predict when the seasons would change. Earliest humans likely had some type of celestial signal - the sun rising behind a distant mountain on one morning, or the first appearance of a bright star on the horizon at dark - that would indicate, say, the coming of winter and the movement of their animal food sources to other locations.

Later, humans likely perceived that the sun swing far to the north when it rises in northern summer and far to he south on the same horizon in winter, and midway during the equinoxes of fall and spring. With this added precision the earliest agriculture could begin to flourish since the planting seasons would be predictable; such is the case of the first sighting of the rising of the bright star Sirius on a spring morning in Egypt which to the priest foretold of the flooding of the Nile River and that civilization’s ability to irrigate crops for the people.

There was no need for hourly or even daily time keeping….we have always known that the sun would rise in the east and set in the west and there was a pretty dependable period of daylight in which to hunt and gather and an almost equal period in which to rest. Such was a “day”.

Time was nothing in creation. Within what we know today as around a millionth of one second, the Big Bang had created everything. Biblically, Creation took seven days, but if we accept the science of today we know that each those “days” in reality would have been hundreds of millions of years.

The Big Bang “happened” about 20 billion years ago; shortly after - probably on the order of 12 billion years - stars began to coalesce from vaporous hydrogen, and then the earliest galaxies became universal “islands” of hundreds of billions of stars, some of which developed planets. Our own sun ignited some 7 billion years ago, followed by the formation of the planets two billion years later.

About one billion years ago, the Earth began to slowly cool, but was still a fiery and noxious world unfit for life. Not until about 500 million years ago did the seas cool enough to allow the development of the first simple life.  The mighty dinosaurs entered the picture about 350 million years ago, followed by the first humans perhaps as long ago as 3 million years ago.  It was not until the intellectual surge of the Chinese, Egyptians, Central Americans and a few other isolated cultures only 8,000 years ago that the human ability began to surpass the other animals on Earth.  That human life now can last perhaps 85 years and the clock’s pendulum ticks off the seconds.

So, seven days for Creation must be taken in the Biblical sense, not common sense. There was a lot to be done in only one week. But look carefully at this portrait: Is there a suggestion that perhaps Creation is not over?

Is it any wonder that God rested on the Seventh Day?


Waves of Evolution"

Bible Reference: Genesis 1:20
Bible Quotation: “Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens."

Bible Reference: Job 26:8
Bible Quotation: “He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills."

sea of lifeV sm  
P. Clay Sherrod, 1995

Artist Commentary

The Biblical scripture and science agree more often than most people realize. One such agreement is that of the evolution of life forms on the Earth.  Clearly Genesis indicates that the oceans of the world were teeming with life forms long before land creatures walked the Earth.

Indeed, through the fossil records dating back half a billion years, we examine direct evidence of sea life, from shellfish to sharks and many creatures long gone from extinction never to appear on Earth again.  We see evidence of shallow seas worldwide, and beaches where creatures would wash ashore to be covered by the sands of time and found hundreds of millions of years later as fossils.

The geologic strata of our cliffs demonstrate these epochs of floods and recessions, with clear traces of advancing evolution in each layer higher than the other.

There is no reason to not accept both Creation and Evolution… believe that God made the seeds of the creatures and gave all biology the ability and the instinct to adapt to the environment as it rapidly changed in the early history of Earth.  What greater gift could a creator bestow on the thinking and logical humans that would emerge very late in his creations, than to be able to see all the creatures - plant and animal - around him and be able to study and learn how all has adapted over time to live on this planet?

Some of God’s experiments worked….some did not. Extinctions throughout geologic history have occurred to rid the world of many plants and animals that apparently simply did not adapt well enough through evolution to survive the every-changing Earth. We know of many such extinctions in the geologic timetable, such as the largest some 350 million years ago and the famous Cretaceous Extinction of 65 million years ago when a huge asteroid plummeted to Earth and ultimately eradicated the huge dinosaur population from our world.

The first life on Earth developed in the warm and shallow waters of the ever-changing brackish seas; one celled virus type life formed which rapidly evolved to mobile and more-enduring virus and protozoa type creatures. For enhanced mobility and greater chances of survival, these tiny animals and plants evolved to more complex biological structures, all characterized by the forces of their own local environments.

It would be hundreds of millions of years before the complex fishes developed paddles strong enough to propel them onto land where further evolution would take place.

As Charles Darwin correctly stated 200 years ago, survival of the species is paramount with all living things.  The strongest instinct which all animals and plants possess is that to propagate - to produce more of our own specie. Secondly would be the instinct to survive and maintain your own kind, though whatever means necessary.

The strongest tool available for all living creatures to perpetuate is simply Evolution.

Diversity - As the Engine of Life"

Bible Reference: Genesis 1:21
Bible Quotation: “God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind…”

great beasts dimetrodonV2 sm   P. Clay Sherrod, 1989

Artist Commentary

One statement that is often heard in debates and discussion about the accuracy of the simple phrases of Genesis is that it leaves out references to the creatures that we know today as “dinosaurs”. This very omission has provided tacit proof to fundamentalist for hundreds of years that the fossil bones that we exhume of these prehistoric creatures are nothing more than curious rock formations, and thus the epoch of evolution is skewed, thereby “proving” that the Earth was created around 6,000 years before present.

We must also keep in mind that the bible does not directly refer to elephants, armadillos, raccoons, pecan trees, jellyfish and Bermuda grass…..but we know that those things do indeed exist.

The scientific fossil record cannot be ignored and it cannot be denied. The very layering of strata - one later period laid down atop and earlier epoch - demonstrates not only that he building of the Earth to be a billion year process, but also that we can identify clear proof of evolution of species from one epoch to another.

But aside from the conflicts, arguments and criticisms have always been two real issues with extinct life:

1)  what was the purpose of these lifeforms, and
2)  what happened to them?

What is the purpose of any creature? Is it correct that any creature in this world would be superior to that of another? According to the Bible, yes….humans have superiority over all other things. Perhaps this is because for the first time in creation, a life form exists that can directly ALTER its environment by making and using tools through a process we call “logic” and skills. The human is the only creature on Earth that can change the environment in which it lives ON PURPOSE. Mankind is also the only creature which can intentionally DESTROY all else.

Perhaps the realm of the great Dinosaurs - the longest surviving genre of creature to ever roam the earth - was nothing more than a huge experiment that was deemed a failure 65 million years ago. But for 300 million years before that, these great reptilian forms stalked the Earth, the herbivores devouring the lush forests, and the carnivores consuming them at extinction rates.

It did not matter their culinary etiquette: in very short order, all of the Dinosaurs, along with tens of thousands of other species of creatures, disappeared from the planet, likely indirectly from the results of an enormous Earth-jarring impact of an asteroid slamming into what is now the Gulf of Mexico at a velocity of likely 35,000 miles per hour or greater. The scientific evidence for such an impact is now overwhelming.

Creating huge clouds of dust and ash, setting off earthquakes and volcanoes, changing the levels of the seas, the Earth became a completely different place via “Nuclear Winter”…..the sun became dim for thousands of years as it could not penetrate the thick clouds of debris; vegetation became scarce and the temperatures likely fell to where those great beasts which survived vanished slowly over generations.

An interesting aside on this subject:
Had the Dinosaurs survived, the survival of mankind on this planet likely would not have been possible. Fate or Fortune?

The Mall Theory of Evolution:  Born to Shop"

Bible Reference: Genesis 1:24
Bible Quotation: “Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind"; and it was so. …”

mall theory evolution sm   P. Clay Sherrod, 1993

Artist Commentary

In the contemporary world, whether it be interpretations of religion, political uproar or scientific pursuits, about half of everything that we hear, read and assume is theory. Rumor and theory actually take precedence over fact because normally those messages are more fascinating and filled with embellishment.

In the world of science, evolution of species is not a theory, but fact that is laid down literally in stone in the layers of Earth strata; every layer represents a time period that is slightly more recent than the one below it. Contained in those strata many times are the remains of plants and animals that lived throughout a period of the Earth’s development, only to be covered by sand and silt and preserved as fossil evidence for us to study today.

Why does evolution ‘happen’? The Earth is a changing structure, although far less dynamic today than it was just 400 million years ago. Any creature that lives must both LEARN to adapt to its surroundings to survive (instinct and skills) and MUTATE to adapt from generation-to-generation so that the actual form and function of that creature can sustain its specie.

How does evolution ‘happen’? Many factors contribute to the necessity of evolution: changes in the thickness and composition of the air that we breathe; concentrations of new substances in the waters which make up our bodies; external factors such as climate and volcanic activity; the changing output of our sun; the available food sources and even temperature of local areas. If oxygen is scarce, for example, a land creature will eventually develop larger lungs for greater consumption to support its body.

The driving forces of evolution are simple: the DNA of any living body, whether a tree or human, begins to reprogram the genes of the living cell when external factors force the living body to adapt or perish. These changes are minute and incredibly slow, requiring in many cases thousands of years to develop; for example, early giraffes did not have their distinctive long necks as long as their preferred tree leaf food source remained low to the ground; but competition for the same food and the decline of lower brush in its Savannah environment dictated that the giraffe must grow a longer neck to reach higher into the tree where no other competitor could reach….or simply become extinct. So….the giraffe eventually grew a longer neck.

Theories of evolution are rampant and are as common as a copper penny.  Researchers worldwide have spent entire careers inventing new ideas about the driving forces of evolution, but the basic premise is quite simple:

Evolve or Become Extinct.

The Mall Theory of Evolution: Born to Shop” is a humorous way to simply drive home the point that evolution requires millions of years and is not something that we simply set out to do, like go shopping. Evolution is a FORCED change in a plant or animal that allows it to survive on a changing planet.

From the Big Bang to an ape-man pondering whether or not he should partake of carcinogens, evolution continues and will so as long as any Biology exists on planet Earth.


Mothers of Earth - We are all...."

Bible Reference: Genesis 1:21
Bible Quotation: “God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."…

madonnaV sm   P. Clay Sherrod, 1989

Artist Commentary

My appreciation for the existence of other creatures has always been a dominant part of my living world. Recently my respect for the fact that every living thing - botanical as well as zoological - has the ‘life force’ that we, ourselves, possess has become overwhelming clear. We are cousins, all of us life forms.

All one needs to prove that other living species have thoughts and souls is to share life with a dog.

My attitude toward the “Great Lizards”, the Dinosaurs, changed dramatically in 1983 when discoveries in Colorado revealed many nests from these great creatures….nests of all species of them in close proximity. The fact that Dinosaurs were revealed at that time as possibly bird-like and suddenly to find “nests” of Dinosaur eggs was important enough, but in addition there was strong paleontological evidence to support that the PARENTS of the newly hatched Dinosaurs stayed around and actually nurtured and protected their young for many years after birth.

One merely needs to watch the protection from parents of an Eastern Phoebe after breaking into life from what was previously an inanimate egg, or see the caresses of a mother gorilla across the body of its young to realize that they are not distantly different than we. There is a force that binds us to our offspring.

As a brutal winter approaches, unknown to other species around it, a great White Oak tree will produce and rapidly begin dropping large acorns in an effort to perpetuate itself should the tolls of ice and snow break its mighty stance in the forest. All the while, the frisky squirrel will gather as many of these as it possibly can and store in its dry habitat enough to assure that it will not perish during winter.

These are all descriptions of “the life force” which exists in all things. This is the soul of the being, whether gorilla, oak tree, or Dinosaur. The will to live…. the will to propagate….the will to survive and defend that which we produce are the strongest among all of us biological creatures.

What is this “life force” and what creates it in the living?

As mentioned, a Life Force is the essence of existence. The body of all creatures is nothing but a combination of water, carbon and a few other necessary ingredients thrown in to support the life force. As any creature becomes older and more complex (the oak larger and mightier, the human wiser from years of learning), the greater the life force becomes, all created from complex circuitry of the basic core of every cell. Ironically as the life force grows, the biological body begins to fail. In simple animals and likely in all plants, the life force stays within the cell nucleus and every combination of like cells produces the essential driving force necessary to sustain its part of the organism. In humans and advanced animals, the brain produces electromagnetic waves for every thought and action demanded by the creature…..over time, and with more and more commands issued, the wavelengths of this life force become complex and intertwined and literally defined the ‘personality’ of this creature.

This force becomes the Legacy of the creature which created it….hence the eternal “life” of the being preserved in the form of the most simple of energies, all wavelengths still intact after death and transient to any destination imaginable. The more complete and complicated that a life is, the greater is the complexity of the electromagnetic field that comprises a soul. At death, we all must be able to look back and feel the creation of our life forces.

Thus, the force of life - the soul - will continue and persist long after the non-essential host body returns to the Earth.

Mother of Extinction"

Bible Reference: Genesis 7:21
Bible Quotation: “So the LORD said, "I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created--and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground--for I regret that I have made them."

Bible Reference: Genesis 9:2
Bible Quotation: “The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands

mother of extinctionV S   P. Clay Sherrod, 1989

Artist Commentary

All things that live must ultimately die; there has never been nor will there ever be, immortality of any creature.

In “Mother of Extinction” the starving mother is asking God ‘ why ?’, knowing that with the death of her infant the fate of the dinosaurs will ultimately be extinction as the sun sets over the barren horizon of this last day.

Life spans of living things are vastly different, depending on the environment and makeup of the living entity. Ancient trees may span thousands of years, propagating hundreds of thousands of other trees to comprise future generations through the strongest driving force of all living things: The reproduction of its own kind.

That driving force is at the cellular level, purely instinctive and self-preserving. Similarly are the instincts to protect your own survival and to protect the survival of others of your own kind.

Humans are not the only creatures that grieve as the witness death of one of their own, or facing impending death themselves. Many animals sense the onset of illness and death not only of themselves but of other species; cats, dogs, apes and many other species are keen to recognize the ultimate. Many animals will separate from the herd or family when they are terminally ill, going far into the woods or other habitats to die days or weeks before they succumb.

And humans are not the only living entity to grieve from death either. It is proven that many advanced mammals have long periods of grieving after losing a littermate or parent.   Likewise domesticated pets noticeably are affected by the loss of their caregivers.

The death of an individual of any specie is one situation….imagine the anguish, grief and pure exhaustion if you realized the death of your entire kind….that you would be the last of your legacy.  That is extinction…..

Surely, if a creature has the instinctive behavior to reproduce and care for their young, they also have the drastic feel of dread upon the death of one of their own. But in the plant world, does the mighty Oak or Olive tree sense the arrival of death of many years of maturation? If not, then why do the plants suddenly make efforts to produce the very highest possible output of fruit or seeds, grow the thickest bark, generate fibrous roots and produce leaves larger than normal just prior to the onset of the death of that plant?

Genetically we possibly will never die as long as the seed lives on; that is of the upmost importance in understanding the living realm. The Oak does not die…..its life is preserved in the acorn which is dropped to produce many of its own kind, passing the life force legacy directly at the cellular level. The DNA between parent tree and sapling will be nearly identical.

Through genetics we know that the physical attributes of our living biological bodies and structures will never die so long as we produce like kind. That is the reason for propagation being the number one driving force in Biology.

In any creature with advanced synapse-induced thought processes, the MENTAL aspects of your entire life may also be preserved for eternity intact amidst the electromagnetic spectrum.

That energy is your immortality and your learned assets are never lost through time nor death.


Chaos Meets Paradise"

Bible Reference: Genesis 3:3,4,5
Bible Quotation: “….but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'" The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die!   For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."…

Eve and serpentV sm   P. Clay Sherrod, 1993

Artist Commentary

Sin is universal….literally, as we see it emerge from the normally serene and peaceful night sky above Eden.   As can be clearly visualized, the image and introduction of sin to confront Eve is the dominant force of this Portrait.  Nothing else is even close in terms of intensity and result.  Yet SIN is inherent apparently so far as we understand only in the Human Race.

Yet sin does not exist in any plant, animal - any living thing - outside of mankind, nor is it an entity without provocation by man.

Likewise is knowledge dangerous as sin. As Eve contemplates the extent of her actions from the base of the fallen Tree of Knowledge, we witness as Paradise is subdued, withering in fact all around compared to what was provided prior to the temptation of wrongdoing.

The serpent was created out of temptation and sin and formed in such a way as to represent that it is not only grotesque and evil, but that it is always present and abundantly large compared to all else.

Reflecting in the eye of the Serpent we can see the red of the fruit, something needed back by evil to induce the temptations to others. One bite is all that is missing from the otherwise perfect fruit and all that was needed to propel the future of mankind into the abyss of war, hatred, bigotry, and unbridled evil.

Because mankind has developed to have logical and intuitive thoughts, evil and sin were allowed to be part of those thought processes, if chosen, along with perfection and all else that immortality could promise. But the power of temptation proves far greater than the power of promised tranquility for all times.

As we see a gentle but subtle transition of Eve’s legs into the dying once verdant vines of Paradise, we know that for the rest of time mankind is destined to be drawn to Paradise, but pulled into the lure of evil. Yet examine the expression of Eve’s gaze to the Serpent… she regretful, remorseful? Or is she contemplating yet another bite out of the passionate fruit from which the cycle began?

As she is progressively lured by the serpent, the divisions between good and evil are beginning to make less and less sense to her and the logic of not partaking in something forbidden becomes less and less clear to her.

The future of mankind awaits on the bleak horizon, barren of hope and lacking the promises of Paradise and all that would be part of it; it is all gone and the tree of knowledge will no longer be available for the betterment of mankind as it lay down and decaying among the receding hopes of Paradise.

We must ask: “Was the Serpent really there to entice the sin…..or did he emerge from the nocturnal dark because sin and evil and part of the makeup of mankind and inherent in us all?”

Evil is in all humankind; it is the individual which suppresses its influence and pushes the grotesque back into the dark abyss. There is no devil that lurks in a place called “Hell.” There is an evil force that resides in the human spirit. Hell is sitting on the Tree of Knowledge amidst Paradise content in knowing that the human race will never benefit from any of it.

Nothing can create Hell as perfectly as the Human Race.


All Creatures Large and Small - Altered Destiny"

Bible Reference: Genesis 8: 6,7,8
Bible Quotation: “So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark.   The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again. “

noahs dove sm   P. Clay Sherrod, 1994

Artist Comments

This is satirically directed at mankind’s attitude to all creatures other than himself/herself. This includes our treatment of other humans as well.

Time after time, the human race throughout both scientific and Biblical history have been given “second chances” to survive what other species could not: extinction. Through floods, wars, famine, disease, evil and natural disasters throughout the epoch, mankind has persisted for over three million years.

Humans can alter their environment if it does not suit them….or if their surroundings threaten them or make their survival less likely.  Only the human race can do this....change the environment to offset evolution.

We have beat the Grim Reaper time….and time again.

The dove was released and did not return and the assumption is always that the dove did not find dry land, which of course scriptually is implied as correct. However, in this depiction, the fate of the dove ended up in the hands of humanity which - instead of caring for the messenger with just respect and nurturing - places it in a zoo assuming that all will come to see what is offered in nature freely.

As we were taught, all of the world was destroyed, only Noah, his family and two of every animal were spared; the Portrait suggests that it is only a matter of time before the respect of the living things saved on the Ark would succumb to the greed of the mankind.

Also implied is that the fate of Noah and his Ark filled with two of all species will ultimately be the same fate as the dove. Two by two the animals will leave the Ark only to find enslavement and abuse by the human race.

But the fact is that the rains have cleared, verdant green lands are seen below and the skies are clearing from the massive storms which swept the Earth; Noah and his Ark are landlocked atop the mountain, while the dove that he sent in search of dry land DID indeed find land and attempted to return an olive branch back to Noah for proof of his discovery.

But instead of fulfilling the destiny assigned to the bird,  the dove is captured, and can never return with his confirmation and Noah is left unknowing as to whether to offload what is left of the zoology of Earth.

Either way, the creatures on board the ship are doomed to extinction; if there is only water surrounding the frozen ship, then the animals will ultimately die into extinction. If there is dry land, then historically, the tendencies of the human race will be to entrap the animals where they ultimately will die into extinction as well.

What was the ultimate purpose of rescuing all of the world’s creatures from the Great Flood if their ultimate fate is to be caged or abused for our pleasures?

At what point does all else of nature….every living thing that is adversely affected by human intrusion…..start to fight back?


Broken Trusts"

Bible Reference: Genesis 8: 21, 22
Bible Quotation: "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. "While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease."

rainbow covnent sm   P. Clay Sherrod, 1994

Artist Commentary

After the Great Flood, God spoke to Noah and made a covenant that he would never again destroy the face of the Earth through such a catastrophic event as the rains that encompassed the globe.

Since the advent of mankind on the face of the Earth, and since the times of Noah, God has kept his promise to not destroy that which he has created. In “Broken Trusts….” the rainbow is a reminder from God of his faith and love for humankind, as The Tree of Knowledge remains with only a glimmer of hope hanging onto its fragile life amidst manmade destruction.

On the other hand, the descendents of Noah failed to maintain this agreement.  Although the Earth has remained unscathed by the hand of God and nothing of the magnitude of the Great Flood has occurred, it is mankind that is destroying he world that God built.  Indeed, God kept his promise so well that even miracles are no longer seen.

Of all the species on planet Earth, only humans have the ability to construct, change and destroy their environment through intentional means. Not only do humans have the skills necessary to alter nature and the natural forces of this planet, but they also have the mindset and logic to justify it.

The simple creatures of the planet: Dolphins, raccoons, monkeys, oak trees, have no ability to alter their environment. Only the specie homo sapiens has both the dexterity and the will to do so.

Through the history of mankind, from 3 million years ago through the middle ages, mankind has destroyed only what it has built and produced.  One man takes the life of another man, then that of his mate and children, then destroys the tools that were the fruits of his labors.  As the population of Earth grew, so grew the evil within man to destroy others, and equally developing were the tools to do so.  Soon, fortifications could be destroyed with fiery weapons, fighters felled with the shot of one bow.

As the Earth’s population grows to tens of billions in this century, so grows the animosity of man against man. Whatever force there is that drives the evil to always be at combat, grows with the frustration of an overly populated world. Fighting machines can now change the face of the planet forever and can “...destroy every living thing…” as God did before Noah.

We must stop and listen to what our synapses are telling us: what is the madness that drives a learned civilization toward ultimate self-extinction? In the past 200 years, mankind has developed the technology to rid the world of virtually every living human, not to mention the near extinction of all other life forms.  We have this technology in the hands of only a few who seem irresponsible in their challenges of responsibility.

All it takes is one mistake…...could it be that mankind is so smart today that we accept evolution as fact and subconsciously we realize that eventually evolution will remove the humans that we are TODAY to those of us superior in the future?  Can this be our instinctive “Survival of the Species” at its worse, working in ways of which we are not consciously aware? Are we creating our own extinction?

We are on that path; mankind has cursed the ground on account of his fellow man.  We are living on a world that is unable to sustain our energy, our air, our water and our patience.  The perfection of modern science has simply allowed us to all live too long and has put us in charge of our own destiny.  It seems we are very poor managers.

We are a world with too many humans and our destiny could lead us to an empty planet.


File Not Found"

Bible Reference: Genesis 11:6,7,8
Bible Quotation: “The LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech." So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.… “

confounded languages S   P. Clay Sherrod, 1993

Artist Commentary

In your daily activities do you ever attempt to explain something to someone and realize that they have absolutely no idea what you are talking about?

Ever felt like your conversation was unimportant while your friend right next to you texted on their cell phone?

No doubt within Biblical records the conflict between good and evil is paramount, but particularly so I the accounts of both Noah and the ultimate flooding of the world, and later in the curious account of Babel (Babylonia) where the people decided to construct a tower so impressive that it would stretch all the way up into Heaven so that they would make a name for themselves and always be remembered.

Curiously, this was something that we assume God did not want, seemingly because anyone who could achieve such a feat could achieve virtually anything and become "God-like."

This is not unlike the story of Eden in which partaking of the Tree of Knowledge was prohibited because to KNOW all of what God knows would be to virtually “be God.” In the case of Babel, they were capable of achieving great things as they were in the process of doing simply because they all spoke the same language and understood each other.

God, thus, confounded the languages in such a way that all people spoke different languages and were forced to move away from Babel and scatter throughout the world.

Such is incredibly ironic today when we live in a world of confusion where language is still a massive problem. Even within our own spoken languages, there are so many dialect differences that in some cases those speaking the same language cannot properly communicate. Today we communicate via “social media” which essentially requires absolutely no human contact whatsoever. We are reaching a point where conversation is unnecessary.

File Not Found” represents the persistence of the confounded languages; even in today’s world where we have such technological advances as the television, radio, computer and phone, we still are unable to clearly communicate what we ultimately want to say….and yet “communication” via cell phone has become addictive.

This Portrait shows the huge frustrations of confounded languages and starts with the prehistoric aboriginal rock art (far right), to the inscribed tablets of the Dead Sea, and to the papyrus scrolls of ancient Egypt, and progresses into the books and manuscripts of mankind; each depiction is an actual hieroglyph, rock painting or inscription of ancient history; every book title is one that exists through the development of mankind’s growth and knowledge.

The writing pen feather is actually inscribed so that you can feel the texture of the quill, and the edges of the pages of books turned toward you are also inscribed so that you can actually feel the expanse of the pages.

The large red book is the Book of Ascendency of the ancient Chinese, telling of the secrets necessary for only the learned to ascend to the level of God.

The computer has not solved our inability to communicate: if you look carefully at the screen, you will see the dreaded message appearing in DOS computer language so common in our searches for answers:



Eve of Armageddon"

Bible Reference: Genesis 6:5, 6 and the book of Revelations
Bible Quotation: “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.…

Artist Quotation: “...and God looked back at what he created and cried…..

eve of armageddonV sm

Explanation of this Genesis Portrait:

This is the final Portrait of The Genesis Project and perhaps the most powerful of the collection.

Of all the resources and treasures that Planet Earth provides the human race - as well as all other biological species that share this world with us - and with the pure paradise afforded at no risk and nothing asked in return except to avoid the temptations of evil, Mankind has finally succeeded in the slow destruction of the only inhabited world in the Universe so far as we may ever know.

The human race, for all of its intelligence, is reckless. It is also the only specie on planet Earth that does not give something back to the environment for all the resources that he consumes.  Even in death our bodies are treated and protected such that they return nothing in the way of “ashes to ashes” when our life spans are finished.

The vulgar taking with no return by the human race has not always been such; it has existed only in the final several thousands of years of our occupancy of Earth. Early man sought only “a living” through hunting and gathering….we lived as lived the animals of the planet. Intrusion by our presence did not change our world.

Today, our world is changing rapidly solely because of man. The population of this world has gone from barely over one million people just 1000 years ago to nearly 20 billion and the number is rising exponentially with every day.  Life expectancy has nearly doubled, while the birth rate in many countries is all but out of control.

Every living being expects the same luxuries as all the rest: a home, a place to put a home, a vehicle to transport in, and roads for the vehicle to travel as well as large open areas in which to park the vehicle.  The vehicle must have some form of energy through which to propel it, so we scavenge the earth and rape it of all its resources for greed, taking far more than is actually necessary to maintain the minimum required.

All of this affects the air and the oceans, once pure and providing.  Today the oceans float trash and debris, impurities and poisons to virtually every seashore across the globe.  The life of our oceans, once teeming, is now slowly dying away, poisoned and choked from the impurities that we daily dump into the waters.  The air is becoming more and more saturated with carbon dioxide, both from our industries to provide us with luxuries and necessities as well as the simple exhaling of all of the billions of humans on the planet.

Our growing green photosynthesizers - the once lush forests and plains of Earth - are being reduced to asphalt parking lots and wastelands with no hope for reclamation. The cycle between plants and animals that allowed life to flourish on Earth is now broken.

The people of this planet are violently at war constantly, and the war machines grow in number and intensity every single day. The mental state of mankind appears to be on the brink of insanity if one looks simply at the inconsideration of one human to another.

“God looked back at what he created and cried…..

God made a covenant to Noah that he would not ever again rid the world of “….every living thing”.

But perhaps he has changed his mind about the Human Race.....or worse:  the human race is doing this to ourselves.
There is a lot of Biology left without us.

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