This self-portrait references a real moment in my life. I became discouraged during the quarantine. I chose to rely on spiritual armor.
I consider the invisible forces which protect me, when utilizing spiritual armor, to be both fascinating and important to ponder.
The swirling, thick layers of paint which surround this self-portrait, is a marker of my style and expresses the invisible force God’s armor brings. These thick layers, along with the contrasting tones of the subject against the background, display the nuances between good and evil, which may exist together at given moment.
My process begins and ends with prayer. I often reflect upon recent spiritual battles. I am obsessed with bringing beauty out from my subconscious. My art is an emotional diary. This self-portrait fits well into my contemporary realism, mixed media style, touching on texture, depth, energy and movement. These things point to an invisible battle around me.
My process involves a sketched outline with a soft charcoal stick. When proportions are finished, I layer in bright pastels, nodding to techniques I’ve learned. At the same time, I let out beauty and honesty with freedom onto the canvas. Sometimes, I’m not sure what I’ve painted until parts of it are finished.
I layer acrylic paint using an old credit card, roller brush and traditional brush. I color over in pastel to add texture.
Finally, I add, in this case, rice. (Look above the cross.) I often add at least one non-traditional or child-like element into my work, to push creativity.
The energy seen in my painting is due to the thick white textures and splash of gold paint next to the eye. This technique was taught to me by the late master artist and mentor, David Gross.
My personal journey through discouragement has greatly influenced this work. It shows up through the somber yet triumphant expression on my face. I will not turn a blind eye to the struggles I’ve endured but I have great hope for a bright future, thanks to my spiritual armor and mercy of God.
The force of spiritual armor depicted in my self-portrait (the shield of faith and belt of truth in particular) will always keep me grounded. Discouragement has no place in me, anymore. I hope my story will encourage many believers. I urge you, dear reader, to utilize your spiritual armor. What joys might your triumphs over evil bring?
Good Against Evil: Contrast Between the Emotional Weight of Spiritual Battle and the Invisible Forces of Utilized Spiritual Armor
Allow me to tell you the true story behind my self portrait:
It’s another day of quarantine in Kansas City. My knees hit the floor like a dead weight.
Bible verses I’ve known since childhood, pop into my head.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:11-12
I get up and drag my feet over to the pantry and slide my hand through the emergency rice. I press one grain into my palm.
“God, I don’t have a mustard seed but I do have this. Let this represent my shield of faith. I believe that You have called me into art. I choose to have faith right now against discouragement!”
I get an idea. I will paint this moment.
Let’s discuss how I expressed what I learned in this story.
I layered thick texture radiating from the cross and used contrast in tone and mediums between subject and background. These choices carry the emotional weight of my discouragement and depict the invisible forces around me. The removal of deep discouragement resulted from utilization of faith and scripture. I even received subject matter for my painting.
I took my roller brush and washed over thick peaks of dark paint, illuminating rich textures. This stands for how God promises to work out all things for the good of those who love Him. This is utilization of the belt of truth and sword of the spirit, described in Ephesians 6:14-17.
The rice (atop the cross on the bottom right hand corner of the work) represents faith.
Now, let’s further discuss how the spiritual truth found not only applies to myself but also the viewer.
My art may be an emotional diary of my spiritual journey but there’s no lock on it!
Consider utilizing the spiritual armor of God, viewer! You can both able to defend and fight off evil. The next time you are ‘in the thick of it,’ and you don’t know what to do, start by reading scripture out loud. If you do this, you have wielded the sword of the spirit.
It is my greatest desire to follow through on my artistic calling. I hold the shield of faith to extinguish any arrows of discouragement which may attack me. I have devoted my life to obey the instruction God placed in my heart. I will paint to encourage, inspire, and comfort my viewers.
Original work is 24" x 36" mixed media on premium, gallery wrapped canvas.
Giclees available upon request.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing/purchase inquiries.
Painting and drawing commissions of family, pets and more are available upon request.
Email Ginajacksonart@gmail.com for pricing/purchase inquiries.
View available original work and prints at Ginajacksonart.com.
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!