In 2016, I put the paints and brushes away, not knowing when I would be able to bring them out again. My third baby needed me constantly, and there was no block of time available for me to paint. Such is the sacrifice many mothers make – we often have to set aside our dreams for our children. Painting is not like sewing, where I could easily stop and tend to the children. Water has its own mind, and left alone while still wet, it can decide to go all sorts of directions! It is a delicate process, and requires all my focus. Putting my trade away (again) was a painful thing to do, and whenever I thought about my Sacred Art series, I would have this pull in my heart that I needed to do it! I’d tell myself that I cannot give up hope, I will paint again soon, and that God would provide a way for me somehow.
In December 2016, a friend of mine, Karin, who had seen this series from its onset, offered me the best Christmas present any friend could give. She wanted me to drop my kids off Friday mornings, for the sole purpose of finishing the series I began. What a gift!!!! She is so kind, and I am grateful for her and the gift she has given me. I look forward to my Fridays now. And so began painting #8!
I’ve had an image of “Remission” in my mind for some time. There needed to be a painting that touched on the true gravity of Christ’s atonement, and that gravity to be fully realized by an individual coming face to face with Jesus. This is the most emotional piece I have ever created, and honestly I did not think I was skilled enough to be able to pull it off. It took me some time to find the right model, and I see now that God had a purpose for that. It was so I could refine my portraiture skills enough to accurately express this particular individual.
This model had to be someone who had experienced some sort of difficulty in their life. I asked a female friend first, going off her smart whit and her beauty, but she didn’t feel she could bring to this piece the emotions that it needed, and I agreed. Searching for another year, keeping my eyes and ears out, I finally found the perfect person. He was recommended to me by my sister in law, and knowing him myself, I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of him sooner!! His name is John, and before coming to Christ, he himself had experienced some dark roads with an addiction. He had felt a sorrow so deep, and was eventually lifted from the burden he carried for so long. John is now a transformed man, and I’ve always seen him as someone who’s spirit is on fire. He is so happy to share his story with others, and about Jesus who had changed his entire life.
It’s daunting to ask someone, anyone, to model for a piece of this nature. But John accepted the offer with the kindest of hearts, and said that not only would he do it, but he felt honored to be the man to portray it. John brought what I think not many models could pull off in a photo shoot. He laid down his whole soul, and I could see it clearly in the images we took. Can you?
“Remission” depicts a man who when He meets Jesus, realizes He indeed exists, and is overcome with remorse. He falls to the floor and sobs at Christ’s feet and tells his Lord “Had I known this was all true, I would have been a different person in my lifetime!” Jesus is surrounding this man in his arms, and offering his grace to him, trying to lift the intense sadness that this man feels. I know that the Savior wants to forgive us of our trespasses.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Here are some beautiful pieces of music that inspired me while I was painting this piece, please enjoy:
“Immensities” by Craig Armstrong and AR Rahman
“This Place is a Shelter” by Olafur Arnalds
“Sanctuary,” By Assassin’s Creed 2
I hope that when we look at “Remission,” something might stir within ourselves. Perhaps we will remember a time where we made a grave decision, and felt terrible sorrow, and guilt within ourselves for that decision. Or perhaps we would feel the pain in our hearts what we inflicted upon someone else by our actions. I hope we will know that there is someone we can go to, someone who can lift us from our guilt and grief. He and has indeed felt every infliction we have made. It is the ultimate sacrifice Jesus chose to make for us, and because of that, we can all be given the sacred gift of the remission of our sins.
A special thank you to Brent Alvord, who is my Jesus hands, to John Rice for bringing an extremely personal presence to this series, to Christine Simmons who helped me capture this image I had inside my head, and to Karin Guynn for watching my children so I could share this message. I could not have done it unless all of you were there, and I thank you so much for your help and support.
I also wanted to give a small shout out to David Lysenko. I’ve realized he has become a collector, and asks for the first 16×20 prints of every piece in my series. I wanted to thank him, because his devotion to this series has allowed me to cover my scanning and receiving costs for each piece. Not a lot of artists have those kind of fans early on, and I am so thankful for his generosity. I hope one day he gets rich from it! (hahaha!)
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