My Favorites: Lenten art 2016

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I’ve continued my practice from last year of creating something rather than giving up something for Lent. For us, the Lent season started with loss, as my husband lost his job (and we continue walking in that reality). So much of what I processed with art had to do with worry, surrender, trusting God, and finding His encouragement. I decided to share my favorite pieces with you, along with little explanations.

Many of you have asked if I would sell this art (which, frankly, surprises me). I’m so new at this, and I see all the imperfections quite clearly. So I’m not sure if I will offer these for sale. I’m praying about it.

The last one I created: Happy Resurrection Day!

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There’s something powerful and graceful about deer standing at attention. And oh how I needed to know that God would give me strength like that.

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The world is a broken place, but our broken savior heals the broken.

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This one I created because my emotions were running dark, and I needed a reminder of Christ’s amazing light.

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My daughter Julia told me this was her favorite. I’m a sucker for blue and green together, and the word means a lot to me right now.

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I didn’t have words to describe my mood on the day I painted this, other than I was longing for mountains again. (Something I don’t see in North Texas).

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I say this phrase when I speak. It’s one thing to say, make art about it–it’s entirely different to actually believe and live in light of it.

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I still have a huge affinity for birds, particularly those in flight. I googled pen-drawn birds and saw one similar to this. One thing I struggle with as an amateur artist is I can’t necessarily create something from nothing. I need to look at something first.

lent35Even though this is not very artsy or interesting, it has profound meaning to me. I’m learning the art of letting go this year, not easy for someone who likes to control things or cling tightly to the status quo. On one Sunday, we sang a chorus that included “I surrender all.” I came home after that and made this. I truly, truly did surrender. Now the catch: can I live in light of that great relinquishment?

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I googled Lent art, and saw something similar to this (in terms of the crosses, not the verse). I enjoyed messing with different shades. (My medium this Lent has been exclusively watercolor and pens).

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I found a picture of a watercolor rooster a while back, had the foresight to print it off so I could attempt to pain it. I think it turned out fun and crazy. I remembered as a child being awakened by our evil rooster (we should’ve named him Satan). Then, when I woke up, I didn’t understand the mercies of God. But I’m so grateful now that every time I wake up, new mercies greet me.

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I wish this verse were true of me more and more. It’s hard to let everything filter through me as love instead of envy, comparison, inconvenience. I’m pretty sure the mechanics of this blue bike are not right, but it was fun to try to paint it.

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One of those pieces to remind me again, during this season of everything being up in the air, that God is in control. I don’t have to be. And the fact that there are flowers in the world (and God cares for them) reminds me that His care is real and present and available.

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I love how butterflies represent resurrection and transformation. I still wonder if maybe this picture would look better if I had outlined them.

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This looks just like a large banner that hangs in my office. A reader sent me this phrase, saying it referred to me. Such an encouragement! It’s so true. I was a victim, but Jesus has transformed me into a carrier of light.

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This was created on one of my down days where I let worry rob me of my joy. Enough said.

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God continues to give me gardening/flower imagery. Perhaps that’s because I’m a gardener at heart. When Spring comes, I’m reminded that what is dead can return to life. Perhaps He will resurrect my husband’s career. Or mine…

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I struggle with body image, so I painted this for me, and for everyone else out there who has a hard time believing they are beautiful.

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I’m not too wild about this painting. It’s messy, and my words aren’t written very purposefully. But the Scripture is such a good reminder. The next time it rains, remember that it’s a reminder that God will respond to your prayers.

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There’s that word again. I wanted to portray it as a flower surrendering its petals. And when the petals hit the ground, they become like nature art for all to see.

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Another one of those days where my worries loomed larger than God in my mind. I created this to remind myself of the enormity of God in light of my problems.

 

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My lovely word for the year. Maybe it won’t be such a hard word if it’s created in rainbow colors?

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My next book, Worth Living, releases in just a little over a month. This phrase comes from the book, and is an important reminder for us all.

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I love story. I love stories. (Obviously since this is the Restory site!). This piece reminded me that our current storm will one day be a cool story.

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One of my goals during this time of financial insecurity has been to stay generous. I’m trying very hard to think in terms of blessing others, rather than focusing on my own needs. It helps my perspective.

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In anticipation of Easter Sunday, another butterfly, reminding me that what I was (a fuzzy caterpillar) is not what I will be (an elegant, flying butterfly). Because of what Jesus did, I can soar free.

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My friend Kelly gave me a table runner that had bees on each end. I loved those bees, so I thought I’d try my hand at painting one. And the Scripture fits right alongside it. Pleasant words have sustained me this season.

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I saw a tree like this somewhere (I can’t remember where or when) and printed it off. Then I drew and painted it, adding the mustard seed verse. It reminds me that God takes little things and makes them big. I’m praying my faith will be elongated and strengthened during this time.

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This is one of my favorites by far. I enjoyed creating the feathers, the impossible colors (a turquoise bird?). It reminds me that God is a God who protects and covers and loves us just where we are. He doesn’t despise our shivering.

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Q4u: What is your favorite art piece? Why?

Comments

  1. Kimberly March 31, 2016 #

    I LOVE the honeybee one. That is different from the others. My second favorite is the feathers.

    • Mary DeMuth April 1, 2016 #

      Thank you! That one was so fun to create.

  2. Susan G. March 31, 2016 #

    Wow! Didn’t know you had so many talents! I love so many of these and I could comment on almost all of them. 😉 So many favorites…and so many favorite verses!
    I think my absolute FAVORITE is the FEATHERS. Love the verse and colors!

    The butterflies are perfect with no outline because they have such lovely sometimes see-through wings… Love the idea and colors of the “relinquish” piece… Love the idea and colors of “You’re beautiful”… I like the bee that is “praising God”. 🙂 I love the lettering and colors on “The generous…” Prov. 11:25. I love the artwork on the “cross” – Gal.6:14 as well as the “deer” colors and idea. And the Lord has shown me this saying for the past 2 weeks “It’s a matter of perspective.”, so this piece stood out for me as well!.
    Loved this post Mary! Thanks for sharing your artwork as well as your talent!
    Well done!

    • Mary DeMuth March 31, 2016 #

      I think I’ll hire you as my personal art critic, Susan. 🙂

  3. KFDP March 31, 2016 #

    Those are all so beautiful! The tree is my favorite!

    • Mary DeMuth March 31, 2016 #

      That’s mine too.

  4. Krista France March 31, 2016 #

    These are all fabulous, but I think my favorites are the bee and the feathers. I love bees and what they do via pollination; spread love and life. The feathers are just cool and I love the verse you added.

    It’s perfectly fine that you look at things to create this art. Every artist does to some degree. These are beautiful and inspiring. I’ve stopped creating art and long to get back to it.

    I’m still praying for provision through employment for your husband. I know that may sound empty and placating, but it’s all I have. I really related to this post of yours because I struggle with generosity through the lean times and times have been lean for a loooonnnggg while. But!!! I know that things could be much worse and I am thankful for His faithfulness. For all this, I have Jesus!!! I am blessed and need reminders for the times I grow weary. Thank you for the reminders!

    • Mary DeMuth March 31, 2016 #

      Your prayers are a huge blessing, Krista! Thank you.

  5. Julie March 30, 2016 #

    This really is art! Believe it! I am an artist, also, and there is no shame in looking at inspiration before you begin to paint or draw. It does not make you less of an artist. Your work is wonderful. I think my favorite is the bird, but I really like them all, had a hard time choosing. Having come through unemployment three times in the last four years, (and no guarantee that we won’t go through it again) I want to offer some encouragement. (Also because you were a great encouragement to me the first time we went through it, and were stuck in another state far from home, too broke to move back.) Hang in there. God sees. It will end. He will see you through it. And the joy will be magnificent! Because He and His ways are magnificent! And because he really does wildly love you, your husband, and your children.

    • Mary DeMuth March 30, 2016 #

      Ah, thank you! And thanks for the employment encouragement. So good to hear of His faithfulness.

      • Julie March 30, 2016 #

        He is completely faithful. And as I finished typing the above, tears came to my eyes. I am so humbled that God would use me to encourage you, in your situation, because you encouraged me, in the same situation. He works in circles, our God. Wonderful and mysterious, are His ways.

  6. James Watkins March 30, 2016 #

    Wow! Those are beautiful. Each is so unique. Any thought of created a book of your art? And to answer your question: the light bulb.

    • Mary DeMuth March 30, 2016 #

      I just don’t have enough confidence that any of this is “art.” Thanks for the vote on the lightbulb!

      • Sophia DeLonghi March 31, 2016 #

        There is not a one of these that don’t cause me to stop and take pause! I want to make some of my own although I am not artistic like you, I’m willing to give it q try! Thank you for sharing.

        • Mary DeMuth March 31, 2016 #

          Thanks for your kind words, Sophia. And I bet you’re great at creating. Sometimes we just have to do it and forget about the critic. 🙂