Artist bio

Brandi Neighbors [drawing, painting & photography instructor] is an artist and photographer. She has completed degrees including her Masters in various areas of art from institutions such as NC School of Communication Arts, Fayetteville Technical Community College, and Pensacola Christian College (PCC). While attending PCC, she would realize that her true passion was in representational art and teaching. While earning her Bachelor’s and Master of Fine Arts degrees at PCC, Brandi learned various techniques in oil and charcoal and wants to continue to grow in her art. Along with producing art, she was blessed with opportunities of teaching different subjects in the major as well including drawing, painting and photography at a collegiate level. Her dream is to continue to use those skills as well as pass on the information learned to others for the glory of God.


Armor Up



Artist Statement

This piece was a personal study on Ephesians 6:10-19. I wanted to paint myself in the armor since we armor up daily. I was battling with fear and realized the need to wear the armor. Below is the full story behind the piece.

How it fits into contest

The story behind the painting, "Armor Up, Ephesians 6:10-20". When completed my degree from Pensacola Christian College, I moved from Florida back to my hometown in North Carolina. It was always great to come home to my loving family and friends every opportunity that I had. I missed them more than words can say, and although the campus was wonderful, it just wasn't home. But when I moved back, I didn't realize that I was about to go through the hardest battle of my life. It all started with feeling like a fish out of water, and through that depression began to creep in. I started reading a book by Dr. Charles Stanley called "When the Enemy Strikes", and although it is a great book with a wealth of information, while I was reading satan twisted this in my life as an inferno dart that I was not prepared for. I had been battling and could not sleep and one night I decided to read the second chapter which was "Knowing your enemy" right before bed. While I was reading, the spirit of fear entered my bedroom. I felt like things were crawling on me and there was a darkness in that room that I had never felt before. Instead of standing, I crippled. The enemy became elevated and all that I knew became smaller. For months, I went into a deeper depression. Terrified to move. I was terrified of the enemy. I would read the Bible and pray, and it seemed to no avail. I even got to the point that I had to ask myself is God even there and do I even believe His Word anymore. I went to counseling with my pastor and I told him that I just want to feel God. He told me, "That's our problem. We're fleshy." I said, "Pastor, I am not battling with physical sins; I just want to feel God's presence." He said, "That's just it. You want to feel God. You want to touch God. You want to hear God. Those are all senses of the flesh. Faith is knowing that God is there even when you don't feel Him." That day I made a choice that I would trust that God was with me even though I couldn't “feel” Him at the time. The battle continued on, and my faith continued to grow. The following year was when the movie “War Room” opened and that movie began to open my eyes to the true battle and the schemes of the enemy and how important it is to “Armor Up” daily. I had read and heard messages on the Armor of God so many times that it started becoming to common, but this time it was becoming real. I began studying the armor and doing lexicon studies of each word in Ephesians 6:10-20. I studied about the Roman soldiers and what they wore. I listened to messages, and every where I would turn, I would learn something new about the armor of God. When the book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer came out, I can't tell you the number of times that the very battles that I was facing were the very battle plans that were presented in that book. Personal Bible Study, books like Fervent, Battle Plan for Prayer were teaching me about Spiritual Warfare and knowing how to fight the real enemy. I realized one time that with all of the armor on and with the shield of faith that I am completely covered. I shared that with a friend, and she said," True, it does cover you completely, but it was not given to you to hide behind. You have been given a sword, Now swing it!" Over time satan started becoming smaller and I started knowing Jehovah-Nissi The LORD my Banner and my Victory!! Jehovah-Shamah The LORD is HERE! Jehovah-Shalom The LORD my PEACE! He is Truth, He is my Righteousness! He is my Salvation!! He is my STRENGTH, and He did not give me a spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND!!! I have been studying the armor for about five years now and I still can't get away from it. I am still learning new things every time I hear messages or read God’s Word. I am learning that God has given me an arsenal of SWORDS and to swing them! Last summer, the Lord put on my heart to illustrate the things that He is teaching me. I felt like I needed to paint the Armor of God. While thinking about who to get to model for the painting, I tried to come up with some big, muscular, soldier-looking guy to model for the painting, I felt like God was saying, "paint you in it." I said, "God, I don't feel like a warrior, I don't have a warrior physique! And at times, I still struggle." He reminded me, "but you are to armor up daily." So, I painted it with me in it. I don’t know if anyone is going to through the same battle or one similar, but I just felt on my heart to share the painting with you. There is a lot of symbolism in the piece that I wanted to share. As I painted each piece, I read and studied that area while painting in the order that you would put the armor on. The greenish blue mist represents the enemy and principalities and powers and rulers of darkness, its cold and the setting is dark. The mist is all around because that's where I felt like I was... surrounded by nothing but smoke, but it was choking me. The belt of Truth-Jesus is the Way, The Truth, and the Life, The foundational piece of Armor. In Dr. David Jeremiah’s book, “Overcomer” he mentioned that the soldiers would have all of their rations and sword on their belt so they were equipped with everything they needed for hand-to-hand combat. God gives us His Word to be equipped for every battle we will face. We shall know the Truth and the Truth shall Make us free! Thy Word is Truth! The Breastplate of Righteousness - Jesus is my Righteousness, JEHOVAH Tsidkenu, This Locks into the TRUTH! The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace - Cleats so that the Soldiers could stand firm. Firmly planted on the Gospel of Peace. Jesus is my PEACE, He is the Prince of Peace. The Shield of FAITH - Romans 12 - God gives each of us a measure of Faith with the gifts that He has given us. FAITH comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things NOT SEEN.” Hebrews 11:1. The Shields where soaked with water. The Bible talks about the washing of the water by the Word of God in John 17 and Ephesians 5. Jesus is The Word (John 1) Faith soaked with the water of the Word to quench the fiery darts of the enemy. I heard a pastor say," Its not that the darts won't fly at you because they will. The question is, "Why are they sticking?" The Helmet of Salvation - Knowing Who God is and Who I am in Him! and The Sword of the Spirit - The Word of God, The sayings of God. God’s Word is ALIVE!!! (thus the flames). The Holy Spirit teaches us new Truth’s as we are in the Word of God. These are our swords. Memorize them, write them all about your house. Keep His Word before you because these are the Swords that God is giving you for our daily and future battles. I wanted an inferno because His Word is so powerful! The light of the SWORD is touching all other pieces of armor in the painting. The handle of the sword is a cross because Jesus is the Word. The Word of God cuts through the enemy’s schemes that is why there is no mist beside my foot where the sword has swung. And lastly, Prayer.. I love how Paul says in Ephesians 6:20 to pray for him that he may have boldness. I look at Paul and he seems so brave and bold. But he is asking for prayer. The war is definitely won, but the battle is not easy. Without Christ I could not have the strength to stand. The Roman army would lock their shields one with another to form an protective shield as they moved forward to get close to the enemy to start swinging. This would help with soldier’s anxiety and encourage them to keep pressing on through the hard times. I am so thankful for those that lock shields with me in prayer on the hard days; those that constantly encourage me to armor up and stand against the enemy’s lies and keep on pressing on. Praise God for the armor! Praise God for His Word! Praise God for sending His Son! Praise God! THE ENEMY IS DEFEATED!!!! STAND FIRM! FEAR NOT! AND SWING THAT SWORD! GOD IS SO GOOD!!! Thank you for your time! Keep on pressing on and Swinging His SWORD!



How to Purchase this Artwork

This is an original artwork oil on linen, and the cost of the piece is $1950.00

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