This is an impressionist piece of abstracted birch trees. Light filters through birch trees toward the viewer in a rainbow of colors. Most of my work is of scenes that highlight the light in a subject. I use a lot of palette knife work, and my painting results in a good deal of texture.
Every piece of art, especially one done in an impressionistic or abstract style, allows the viewer to formulate what they see. For every person, there can be a different interpretation of the work. Sometimes an artist does a painting with a theme or meaning in mind, but oftentimes for me, I do a painting and it later is "revealed" to me as to its significance in my life or what it might mean to me.
I had done this painting of a sunrise coming through a cluster of birch trees. Rather than painting this in "natural" colors of greens, blues and browns, I chose to push the colors, and therefore the feeling of the painting, more into the abstract. The "rainbow" of colors sort of reminded me of an not-of-this-world image, and perhaps the light that one might see approaching heaven or a divine power. I titled it Godlight and it was framed and put aside.
Not too long afterward, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I suppose it is human nature to question "why" someone who did all the "right things" of Mediterranean diet, regular exercise and recent mammograms could still get cancer. It was a shock and crushing news. But what compounded my questioning were the well-meaning people who felt that God had something to do with their healing. They shared stories of "hearing God's voice" or being awaken from a dead sleep with a Bible verse in their head, telling them things would be ok. While I felt happy for them, I was not hearing any voices or being woken up with passages. Where were my messages that things would be alright--that I would survive?
In those many days of waiting for test results as to what my future held--surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hair loss, nausea, dying--I started to question my relationship with God. I have always felt I had my own personal relationship with God. On more than one occasion, I experienced what I could only describe as Divine Intervention.
So now that I was in desperate need, why wasn't I hearing from God now? Was this the sign that I was not worth saving? Or I was...abandoned? Remembering those days, it was the scariest, most heart-breaking time. Worse than the feeling I had cancer, it was the feeling that God was not there for me.
After numerous surgeries, tests and weeks of waiting for results, I started hearing answers. Yes, I needed a major surgery, but not chemo and my survival odds were pretty good. But what was most unusual was that a pathologist, several radiologists, oncologists and surgeons told me that my type of breast cancer is one that never makes a lump. Normally, when it presents itself, it is like a net, and therefore not detected until stage 3 or 4--so much harder to treat and survive. Not only did mine make a marble-sized lump (which I discovered while getting washed), but I caught it pretty early. These doctors told me they NEVER see this happen. Looking back, this WAS my sign. My sign didn't come in voices or messages, but in a detectable lump felt while getting washed up without a washcloth! God was with me all along, I was just so blinded by fear and worry that I couldn't feel it. I didn't recognize it.
When I look at my painting, I see my experience. The beautiful light is being obscured by the cluster of birch trees. God's light is always shining on us. Sometimes we cannot see or feel it, because something is obstructing our faith. For me, the battle was of the "flesh and blood" (my own), and "the powers of this dark world" (cancer and fear), and I had to look past those obstructions and see what was there all along. God's light. God's love and caring for us. This experience is my shield of faith and feel as though my sharing of my creative abilities is part of my declaration.
Framing by Ian Wegener
Type of work: a unique original
Purchase price: $2000
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