It was so interesting to see how different all of the final products turned out. Each person put their own "spin" on the project. I love that Gwen's has a more violet look than mine. Some of the people put lots of flowers on their lily pads. Gwen and I had a really wonderful time and I am sure that we will go to one of these events again.
In reflecting on what I actually learned that night, painting, I realized that there were some really big spiritual truths! No surprise since Jesus seems to speak to me in all of my day to day experiences...
1. We started off covering our white canvas with dark brown paint! I know! Doesn't that sound just silly? But the instructor told us that the blues and whites would not show up very well on the white canvas. They were more opaque and it would take lots of layers of paint to get the colors right. So we all took a big brush and proceeded to cover the entire canvas. Yes, we all started off (in the Garden of Eden) with a perfect, clean white soul. But sin covered over every part of us. The amazing thing is that when Jesus comes, beautiful shades of colors of the rainbow fill us.
2. We actually added RED to our paintings?????? We were all sort of wondering where we were going to use RED on this blue, green and white (with a touch of yellow) painting we were making. But what we found out was that we needed that red to really make all those variations of the shades of blue. Not only that, the red was used to bring depth to the edges of the lily pads and the shadows in the water. The red was a very necessary addition to complete our pictures. And we need that shed blood of Jesus to blend into every area of our life. It brings out all those colors and highlights exactly what Jesus knows needs to be highlighted. Sometimes the blood shows us things that we need to get rid of from our life. Sometimes the blood shows us what is really important. Always the blood brings us life and the presence of Jesus!
3. As we were making the lily pads, the instructor reminded us that we should not make perfect circles since the perspective of our paintings was from the side! Therefore we should make longer, thinner ovals that would give our paintings the right perspective! How many times I have been reminded that we need to see from Jesus' perspective. He sees things very differently than we do. His heavenly view is timeless and Jesus sees the perfect plan and destiny that is before us.
4. Before we started adding those lily pads, we were told to divide our canvas into thirds. We needed to remember that we would be adding a "focal" point to our painting that needed to fall somewhere in the middle third of the canvas. Well, I love that the canvas was not divided into quarters....no it was thirds. How can you not think of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? And Jesus falls into that middle third! Nothing else needed to say about that! Our focus should be on Jesus.
5. We were actually adding white to the green and the blue as we covered over all that brown paint. I never knew how much adding white to blue made so many amazing shades! And the greens seemed to just come to life when you added white. Isn't it true that when we add the righteousness of Jesus to our life, we have a depth of compassion and peace that changes how the world sees us. The interesting thing is that often, people don't know WHY we are different, they just know that we are not like everyone else.
6. The white flowers just brought a bright freshness to the painting. That became the focal point. Those pops of white just seem to spring up from the dark colors. I love that the Holy Spirit just pops out of us (or flows out in that living water) and becomes a focal point for all to see. I especially love thinking about the Holy Spirit being the main thing that people see in me! Wouldn't that be just great?
7. And then there was that yellow. We seemed to have a very large amount of yellow for just those little tiny blips in the white flowers. But actually, we were adding yellow to the green to make the reflections of the lily pads in the water. We were adding yellow to the green on the lily pads to bring a hint of the sunlight shining on them. Yes, the light was everywhere. Isn't that just like Jesus? He IS the light of the world and He is everywhere!
8. And then we added some "finishing touches" to the painting. One thing that was suggested was to add a small amount of a very light blue to the petals of the white flowers. Suddenly they seemed so much thicker and more real and not so flat. And then there it was, the white presence of the righteousness of Jesus, mixed with the blue, living water of the Holy Spirit with the golden glow of the glory of the Father! A perfect picture of God.
Yes, I love that painting now even more than when I completed it. I am so thankful that it is hanging right above my desk where I can see it often and remember these lessons. What an amazing gift!
Jesus, thank you so much for all that you have shown me in this wonderful experience of painting. Help us all to see you everywhere around us....in nature, in our homes, in our lives. Holy Spirit thank you for helping me comprehend and hold on to these lessons! Thank you Jesus for colors and paintings and for the joy of creating! Amen