This painting is a self-portrait meant to explore my personal interpretation of Ephesians 6:10-20 and relating messages from my lifelong study of the Bible. I have been a middle school art teacher for 20 years and as such I have been exposed to many different art styles from a wide-range of world cultures. My own personal style has developed from not only art and artists that I admire, but also artwork that I am drawn to for the impact on my emotions or something that tugs to that inner voice.
This work is indicative of my personal style that has developed over time: bright, colorful, and what I like to describe as a modern twist on Byzantine art with Native American influences.
This piece is meant to be a visual “walk” through scripture, and perhaps even a teaching tool. Many other scriptures are referenced visually and detailed descriptions are found in the next section. (You can take the teacher out of the classroom but you can’t take the classroom out of the teacher!) I feel this artwork appeals to all ages and across cultures.
For the title “Faithful Steward” I am reminded that God calls us to be faithful stewards of the beautiful earth He has given us, but fearful time is running short. All of the earth is groaning…(Romans 8:22)
I have always been enthralled by the imagery that the words of the Bible bring to mind. Including parables, the authors in the Bible use metaphors, analogies and striking language to compel the reader. Ephesians 6: 10-20 is chock full of these!
Full armor: to me this is all of the tools God gives us to fight and win the spiritual battles we face. Each one is illustrated symbolically and detailed below.
Devil’s schemes - horned figure, arrows, fiery colors, and destruction depicted in the background. (brought on by pollution, wars, moral decline)
The Devil is cunning and uses all sorts of powers to deceive us. 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-10
Belt of truth - a belt is kept close to the body, wrapped around me in protection. Knowing the truth sets us free from deception. John 8:32
Breastplate of Righteousness - in a posture of prayer, with hands close to my heart. The prayer of the righteous has great power. James 5:16
Gospel of Peace - Olive branches - Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.
Shield of Faith - wings and hands. The wings are shielding me from harm and keeping charge over me. Psalm 91:11
The hands are cradling me and also have the appearance of a boat. A boat is often used as a symbol of the church: a body of believers that encourage one another. Psalm 139:10
Helmet of Salvation: I perceive this to be the knowledge of the Word. I used a sunflower to symbolize this. Just as a sunflower always turns its face to the sun, so should we look to the Son. The sword of the Spirit is the word of God which works in tandem with the helmet of salvation.
2 Timothy 3:16 - 17 1 Cor 2:13
Lastly, arming ourselves with all of the tools God gives us and standing ready, we will see first-hand when the light overcomes the darkness! Hallelujah!
I must thank God for gifting me the ability to translate what I see in scripture into visual form. While I cannot begin to compare myself with early masters, it is not lost on me that in the early stages of Christianity, art was used to tell the stories of the Bible when people were unable to read the written word. I can only hope that my humble attempt to connect what I learn from the passages may inspire others in some small way.
Inquiries about purchasing the original art or high quality, limited edition prints can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
While teaching is my primary focus, I do also sell my art on Etsy:
Additional work can be perused on my website:
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