I want to share about a recent watercolor I completed.  It is a piece that came out of a prompt from Fellowship Bible church ministry of Spectra.  The opportunity was given to whomever wanted to create a piece of art telling your story / your faith.  I was nervously excited to participate.  Brene Brown says it is a good thing to be vulnerable and what better way for me as an artist to share in my language of art.  So here is where I went with it…

I follow an uber talented artist, Kathleen Giles .  Her work excites me.   She paints in watercolors and her work of people is stunning.  I want to paint like her.  The shadows, the light and dark contrast in her paintings are brilliant and illuminating.  So I used this Spectra challenge to practice painting like Kathleen.  I used these images of hers as a map to follow.

My story my faith journey is about not feeling enough and looking to the world’s standards for validation.  Then slowly learning (still in the process) of exchanging the world’s standard with God’s standard for me.  Accepting that I am already enough without “doing”, “earning” or “striving”.  He made me perfectly imperfect.  Just as he wanted me, born already enough. Psalm 139

13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

15You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,

as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

16You saw me before I was born.

Every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was laid out

before a single day had passed.

17How precious are your thoughts about me,b O God.

They cannot be numbered!

18I can’t even count them;

they outnumber the grains of sand!

It is a bumpy acceptance because of the enemy’s voice in my head that keeps interrupting God’s voice.  My journey is ongoing, forgetting and then remembering to ask for His guidance and strength to step around the enemy who is always trying to trip me up.

My life since giving Christ Lordship of my life has been God revealing to me, his best for me.  When I invite him into my struggles and joys he gives me this inner peace and direction that always leads to love.  Love for myself and love for others.  On my own I resort to selfishness.  The closer I draw near to him the more I recognize his voice.  Holy Spirit helps me differentiate the voices in my head and put off the enemy’s taunts and lies. 

My journey is ongoing, imperfectly perfect. I am enough.  

So back to my art piece connecting the story of my faith with my painting.  My daughter Brooke has a tattoo on her arm that says “You Are Enough” in hebrew.  To remind her and others she comes across, just that!  In Him, Christ, You Are Enough.  I knew I wanted to paint her and her tattoo to help tell my story.  I wanted it to be a painting that matched Kathleen Giles style.  I began taking photos of her trying to capture a good reference of light and shadow.  I wanted the tattoo to be highlighted but also a natural pose.  It is hard to pose someone and have it not looked posed…  here are a few that I took:

then my husband Joe took this candid picture of Brooke on her way to OBU for the new school year.  I loved it for the reference I was looking for.  Her tattoo showing and the dance of light and shadow.  So this picture became my reference photo to create a watercolor telling my story, my faith.

Here is my set up.  My painting in progress, with the magazine and article on Kathleen Giles process next to me to refer to.  My ipad with the color photo of Brooke to be able to zoom in on details.  And the black and white photo copy I used to trace her onto my watercolor paper with chaco paper.

Here is a progression of the painting:

then, the completed painting!  This was so fun to paint and be able to connect it to the telling of my story, my faith.