A couple weeks ago, the Children’s Director for our branch of Community Bible Study asked me to bring my art supplies in and paint a picture of Heaven for the children. Normally they try to act out the story for the day, but when the story is God telling John about Heaven, there’s not much to act out.
I readily agreed and promptly started freaking out. I needed a plan for the painting, of course, and it had to be energetic and welcoming and approachable and not make the viewer feel locked out. I also needed to be able to work fast enough and smoothly enough that the kids wouldn’t get too bored. (I knew there was no way to keep all of them interested, but I could aim for at least 50%.)
So I started considering compositions and collecting inspiring photos of lions playing and the streets of Paris and pretty trees and things, and considering how much underpainting to do and whether to make stencils for the tricky bits. And finally it occurred to me that I was doing this wrong, so I prayed and told God that I’d paint whatever He gave me.
Once I finally shut up and listened, God gave me an underpainting – a smeared blue sky, and a silver arc, and a fingerpainted yellow path. None of which made any sense with any of the compositions I’d considered. He told me I’d get the rest when it was time to paint.
That was not as comforting as it should have been.
That said, it worked.
The painting is quite sparkly in real life, with gold and silver paint and iridescent shimmers. Heaven should sparkle.
The buildings are the result of God being sneaky. The day before I did the Heaven painting, I came across the Artful Parent’s pointillism activity. Since Beauty stirs all of her colors together, I chopped up an egg carton to make palettes with separate compartments. When we finished I used baby wipes to wipe them out, and then God had me save the painted baby wipes and cut them up. He’s clever sometimes.
My Documented Faith project is also continuing, though the last few weeks haven’t been as meaty as some of the earlier weeks. These things come in cycles, I think. One week I was thinking about faith and miracles and how God really offers healing like my mom offers kale (it’s very good and freely available), so I painted a kale leaf, and another week I ended up sketching a tree because I didn’t know what else to do, and later realized that it was vastly symbolic of where I was at the moment.
Linking to Paint Party Friday.