Though many of my paintings begin with a more general inspiration and feel, I knew from the start that this painting would be focused on the spiritual armor spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 5 and Galatians 6. My hope was to represent spiritual weapons as opposed to the physical armor and weaponry that were part of the every day life of the first recipients of these New Testament epistles. I wanted to remind myself and those who view my painting that our battle is spiritual in nature, and that victory comes through Jesus Christ.
This entire canvas was first covered with textured gesso and then a layer of metallic copper paint. Much of the paint on the canvas is metallic - silver, gold, copper, and micaceous oxide which is a blackish paint with a very fine sparkle. I also used black, white, and quinacridone nickel azo gold. The quin gold adds an antique look, and deepens almost every color it touches.
The first few image layers were shapes and words that directly referenced the parts of armor mentioned in these passages from the New Testament, like a helmet of salvation and shoes of the gospel of peace. I used heavy paint and lots of texture to represent these things. You can still see part of the belt of truth across the middle of the painting if you look carefully.
As I painted, I worked to limit my tools to metal, wood, natural bristles - things that I imagined might be part of the life of the people to whom Paul wrote as he described spiritual armor. I would imagine that all of them had seen Roman armor, and the picture in my mind is of metal, wood, leather, etc. I find it interesting that in contrast to that kind of armor, Paul was referring to hope, faith, love, truth, righteousness, peace, and God's word. What a striking impact that must have had!
Painted with artist quality heavy-body acrylic paint on 36" x 36" x 1.5" deep gallery wrapped canvas
Edges painted black
Today's global picture is full of physical examples of struggle - war, disease, poverty - the situations seem endless and insurmountable. It is too easy to either take matters into our own hands and fight with whatever we have at our disposal, or to give up in hopelessness.
My painting, The Full Armor of God, is a reminder to myself first, and then to all who see it that our true battle is "not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Galatians 6:5) With this in mind, our armor is surprisingly different from that of the world. Our armor includes truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God.
In using a circular composition built over a cruciform foundation, I indicate a shield of faith built on the foundation of Jesus' sacrifice. The first several layers of this painting include symbols and words from these passages. Though difficult to see in the finished work, they serve as a foundation and direction for the painting to encourage complete dependence on our victorious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in the battle against spiritual forces of wickedness. (Please see more in my statement about the painting.)
This piece is in a private collection.
To see other works available, please visit my website at www.brendastichter.com.
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