I chased Lily down the hall to pose for me early one morning before the first bell. The sun was streaming through the classroom windows and I quickly sat her with the sun falling over her shoulder, setting her red hair on fire. I gave her a book to look through and quickly started grabbing items that were scattered around the room from a recent still life assignment. As a high school art teacher, students were accustomed to me posing them to satisfy my creative excitement when the moment struck. Another 5 years would pass while that beautiful sun-lit red headed image simmered on the back burner of my mind. I painted it at one point through the years but never put it out for exhibition. It just never seemed done.
As the months ticked closer to this competition deadline, I sent up prayers for an idea. This image kept stirring my imagination. And one thought kept coming to me, "The battle is won in the mind."
This launched me on the journey to complete "Lily, Lily Light." I chose to do the artwork as a drawing in Charcoal and Pencil. I wanted a value range with the purest white light falling upon Lily's hand and the Bible that she is reading. The darkest areas were around her head for visual contrast but also for symbolic purposes to show the intensity of the battle for the mind. The symbolism is subtle throughout the drawing. But warfare can be extremely subtle. It creeps in and around and catches us unaware. There are numerous references to Christ in the drawing: The Light of the Written Word, the Lily (symbolic of the Annunciation), the living water, the candle glowing as the Light of the World. However, the object that cannot be overlooked is the encased arrow within the circle. It is pointing up. I have been looking up recently (literally looking into the sky) contemplating that Jesus often looked up when He prayed to His Father. I have been looking up in anticipation of His coming. This is the main reason I placed the arrow in the drawing. But, it can work on different levels for the viewer. The battle is being fought in the higher heavenly places. Our success comes as we look up; clearly the answer is the Living God of this world.
(Lily) wrestles not against flesh and blood but against the ... cosmic powers over their present darkness against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. The arrow is pointing to where the battle is taking place in the heavenly places. Lily is putting on the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God by meditating on scripture. Seen and unseen forces play out in the shadows surrounding her head and even in the shadows falling across the written word. But the light is streaming in illuminating the scriptures and the scene. Truth, righteousness, faith, and salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ is represented symbolically through examples that were found in the scriptures -- the Light of the World, the Living Water, and The Light of the World.
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!