I was incredibly honored last month to win my third award for Transformation, a 24" x 50" oil painting I created in college when I was 21 years-old. It came in Third Place ($200) in the Oakton Foundation Spring 2019 Visual Arts Competition. I'd like to share the original sketch as well as some insight behind the painting.
Like many, depression runs in my family. As a teenager I was caught in a downward spiral of anxiety and depression, and after a life-threatening crisis at age 16, I was briefly hospitalized and started getting treatment.
A few years later on my first day of college I met Sarabeth, a born-again Christian, who invited me to the Christian Fellowship group on campus. I went on and off, but mostly did my own thing for the next few years. But I became good friends with her and had many other Christians reach out to me. Even though I had been raised in church, it took me a long time to believe that the Heavenly Father really loved me and that all my sins were forgiven through the work of His Son, Jesus. It was difficult for me to grasp that Jesus bore the punishment for my sins, wanted to wash me clean with His blood and make “all things new” in my life. It seemed too good to be true! But in 1984 I cried out to the Lord and received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me, and a journey that I look forward to continuing for all eternity!
(To learn more about God's gift of salvation, click here.)
This painting reflects the transformation that took place in me. He brought me out of a dark place into his marvelous love. Colossians 1: 13 AMPC, "[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love."
A book I'm currently reading which addresses healing in our hearts and I highly recommend is, Unlocking the Heart of the Artist by Matt Tommey.
A visual diary