I first created a watercolor backdrop on 300 lb. Arches watercolor paper. I spattered friskit all over the paper to create a repetition of small and large dots that would remain white, and I saved the white dove shape by cutting it out of clear contact paper and affixing it tightly to the paper before I painted the background. The colors I chose for the backdrop were the ones God told Moses to use in the tabernacle of meeting: gold (I used yellow because the lettering was to be gold), blue, purple, and scarlet. I typed out and printed the verses, line by line, then cut them to fit the paper and traced each letter with graphite paper. Then I painted the verses in gold, fluid acrylic paint. The words of each piece of armor were highlighted with white watercolor paint in the background to make them stand out.
I knew I wanted the focal point to be the white dove, symbolizing the Holy Spirit. The richly patterned shapes around it were made with colored pencil in the shapes the drying watercolor paint had left. I also enjoyed the patterning of the colorful sandals and the camouflage helmet. As each element of God’s armor was rendered on vellum paper in colored pencil and/or the fluid acrylic paint, as well as the fiery darts, I wanted the background to partially show through the translucent paper. I unified the piece by repeating and harmonizing colors, feeling the gold paint on the armor pieces and the words further helped tie it all together. The armor was all positioned to best help the viewer’s eyes flow through the whole piece, held on with removable tape and then glued down when I was satisfied with their arrangement. The final act was painting my signature!
This fits into my body of work that I’m currently pushing through to paint more spiritual, meaningful artworks, not just beautiful pictures. The other paintings I’ve attached are examples of the direction I’m heading and hoping to bring delight and God’s truth to my viewers and myself.
This artwork was created by visualizing the theme verse in Ephesians 6:10-20. I first created a watercolor backdrop for the piece with colors Moses was told by God to use in the tabernacle of meeting: gold (I used yellow because the lettering was to be gold), blue, purple, and scarlet. Then I painted the verses in gold paint to symbolize the preciousness, the absolute highest value of God’s Word, and of Jesus, the Word of God. Each element of God’s armor was rendered on vellum paper in colored pencil and/or fluid acrylic paint. The words of each piece of armor were highlighted with white watercolor paint to make them stand out and to show their spiritual nature. The shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, and the belt of truth were in the Roman style as I thought about the times Jesus lived in here. The helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, and the foot shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace are contemporary, expressing the relevance of the armor for our times. The shield of faith reminds me of what the LORD says in Genesis 15:1, “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” The fiery darts of the wicked one cannot hurt us when we speak and pray the Word of God and are filled with the faith of God!
The richly patterned shapes around the large white dove, symbolizing the Holy Spirit, remind me of the richly patterned world our heavenly Father has created for us. Other shapes with white dots symbolize the stars and galaxies beyond our understanding. The Holy Spirit is always with us and in us as believers, enabling us to fight the good fight in His strength and power. The copper dove at the top is another manifestation of the Holy Spirit, who can be everywhere at once. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, . . .” Seeing He has given us all things that we need in this life to know Him and to live for Him, we should avail ourselves of His full armor to stand against the spiritual hosts of wickedness, persevere in prayer and pray in the Spirit so that we may boldly proclaim His glorious salvation and abundant life for those who will believe. Thank you for the opportunity to create an artwork for this unique, God-honoring exhibit.
Sharon B. Parker: solo artist
Original Mixed Media Painting on Arches 300 lb. Watercolor Paper, "Put On the Armor, Pray in the Spirit", 30" x 22", $500. Please contact for more information: Sharon Parker, www.sharonparkerart.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Giclee Prints are also available in various sizes.
Private watercolor or mixed media lessons/workshops for youth and adults. Commissions happily accepted.
Curious? Interested in submitting artwork to our contest? Know someone who might be? Through April 14th, 2022, the Engage Art Contest is open to the whole world! Get your foot in the door by claiming your Artist Page now!