Inspiration Behind the Painting
Painted Live on a 3ft x 3 ft canvas with various mediums during 9 AM Easter Service (2022) at Lutheran Church of Hope, West des Moines Campus.
The theme for Easter was decided with prayer by a 10-member Live Art Team Lutheran Church of Hope. I was in India so I couldn’t be a part of the calls but they graciously included me through the process. After multiple calls and many praying, they decided on “Butterflies” and all the artists agreed to paint Butterflies. Butterflies denote transformation, spiritual rebirth, new life, strength, and new beginnings. The idea was to collaborate and create something to symbolize unity and balance. Empowered by that knowledge and decision by the team, I began praying. Butterflies, are honestly, quite simple to paint but was there anything that the Holy Spirit wanted to convey through what I painted. I personally felt very confused and unsure of what to paint or how to paint it but as always, I felt God’s presence being with me(and us) throughout the painting. Here are some of the things that I started seeing through the process- from canvas prep to the colors we picked…
1. My canvas prep and the last day of my painting will all say the Easter story and trust me when I say this- I seriously did not plan it. The top left quadrant depicted death and darkness. The top right quadrant represented silence and grave. Once completed, all of the death and darkness will be transformed into bright colors and life with the bottom two quadrants depicting fresh green grass. Did not plan when I started but God saw it before I could really understand.
2. As I was praying for inspiration, I saw the image of the dove overlapping with the image of the butterfly. That inspired my painting. The dove rests on the butterfly-like it’s descending and the butterfly is coming to life. This scripture became the inspiration for this painting.
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Romans 8:11 NLT
3. The 3 black dots on the right wing of the butterfly was Diya’s (my 8-year-old daughter and co-creator of this painting) idea and she painted it- they represent the 3 nails that Jesus bore. His Resurrected body carried those scars as proof of His finished work.
4. The fabric-like texture on the top left corner that depicted death also symbolically represents the grave cloths that Jesus shed when He came back to life. It’s like the butterfly leaving behind its chrysalis.
5. We used some of our favorite colors and I always believe that there is a lot of freedom for me as an artist while working with the Spirit of God. Almost always, He lets me choose the colors I want. It’s as if He allows us to paint with Him – like partners and His part is to inspire me to infuse life and hope into it through His Spirit and through His Word. It’s freeing and very fulfilling. Diya and I used all the bright colors and gold and we had so much fun using them.
6. Walk closer to the painting and you will see life-giving and uplifting words and pieces of scripture… some of them under layers of paint and some of them on the top layer.
7. While you cannot see it, there is a cross under the body of the butterfly. Jesus conquered death through death. Death isn’t the end.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; John 11:25
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