On my daily walks, my artist’s eye sees extraordinary details in design, color, pattern, movement, and texture.
One day, amid the shadow play on a stucco wall, I discovered a grouping of Hebrew letters piled atop each other.
One word, Derech (meaning “path”) stood out, as though it had been intentionally placed there for me to find.

Derech isn’t just any word; it encapsulates the concept of journey, direction, and purpose. 
As a Judaic artist, this was a serendipitous moment that spoke to my own spiritual journey. 
Clearly, Derech would become the next painting in my series of Dvarim.

At the heart of the painting is a compass, an age-old symbol of navigation and direction. In Jewish tradition, the compass can be seen as a metaphor for the Torah and its teachings,* which provide moral and ethical guidance. Derech not only denotes the physical path one walks but also implies a way of life infused with purpose.

We each possess a unique Derech created by G-d. Our mission is to use our internal compass to make
good, kind and wise choices as we mindfully navigate through life on our path.

* Torah laws are divided into Chukkim and Mishpatim. Chukkim are sometimes referred to as "inscribed laws,"  emphasizing their nature as divine commandments that are followed because they are decreed by G-d, regardless of whether their rationale is understood by human reason. The word "chukkim" itself is derived from the Hebrew root "chakak" (חקק), which means "to engrave" or "to inscribe," highlighting the idea that these laws are permanently inscribed as part of the covenant between G-d and the Jewish people.
It was most fitting to discover these letters inscribed into the wall.



This painting was created for Simchat Torah, Oct. 7, 2023.
Because of the horrific events that began to unfold on that day, I was
unable to share the joy that I had be experiencing just days before.
Recently, I came upon some sage words from Elie Wiesel from 1973,
that will serve as the accompanying text for this piece:

“On the eve of Simchat Torah following the war, rabbis in America were faced with the question of whether or not their congregations should celebrate this joyful holiday. And the answer was unequivocal: YES they should. Never mind that it wasn’t easy. Never mind that they didn’t feel like singing and dancing. Never mind that there were so many reasons against celebrating. We had to celebrate. This has always been our way.”



Holy, Holy Holy

​Text coming for Chanukah!

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                                              CUSTOM WORK FOR WEDDING and BAR MITZVAH


The fine art of Marlene Burns, Internationally recognized artist. A collection of her contemporary paintings and urban abstract photography.