Matthew 4:4 Watercolor

steeplehouse studio Matthew 4 4 new

This piece was created as a memory aid for our youth group.

In Matthew 4, Jesus is tempted by Satan. Matthew 4:4 contains Jesus’ response to the temptation to create bread to satisfy His hunger – a hunger cultivated over 40 days of fasting. At this crucial time, where Jesus turns is significant. He aims His heart and mind to the Words of God. Matthew 4:4 reminds us of the sufficiency of God’s Word. We have been given everything we need for life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3). God is not unknowable. He has mercifully revealed Himself to us in His Word and He has provided a way for us to boldly approach His throne. That Way is Jesus. Jesus’ righteousness can be ours if we submit to His lordship (Romans 10:9-10).

Jesus then becomes our Mediator. Our High Priest. And He is a high priest who understands temptation and made it through without sin so we can boldly approach God’s throne.

 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. – Hebrews 4:14-16 HCSB

Prints of this original artwork are available here.

 

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Summer Morning Painting

Somewhere inside of me, I wanted to be one of  “those people” – people who gather supplies, roll out on a sunny morning, set up in a field or on a hillside, and paint.

This week my friend June and I did just that. The painting below is what I produced during our morning excursion. It is now for sale in my Etsy shop.

sheep in countryside watercolor

On Tuesday, we set out in search of something to paint. This was our second such adventure and we were less sure of our destination but more determined. I had a taste of this plein air painting thing and I wanted more.

Our journey down country roads soon revealed a compelling sight – a herd of sheep on a lush, green hillside. I had prayed about where to paint before we left and I found myself drawn to this pastoral scene. (No surprise to my husband who is quite aware of my fascination with sheep.)

We pulled up to the closest house, wanting permission before setting foot on someone’s land. No answer.

I looked around feeling a bit awkward about approaching a stranger’s home. I noticed an angled ditch that could have been a property line. This home didn’t look like a farm-house, at least not as much as the house next door.

Next door an old stone home was surrounded by more pasture, a barn, and other out-buildings. My hope was renewed. Perhaps this wasn’t the right place.

I was soon guiding my black Hyundai down the drive with a new target in mind. I explained my reasoning to June as we backtracked up the road a bit. She saw the logic and agreed with my conclusion.

After parking my Elantra, I approached the barn on the neighboring property. Two things caught my eye – a figure moving about inside and more sheep. I boldly rapped on the barn’s weathered wood. The farmer, or shepherd, emerged. He didn’t seem bothered by the interruption. Praise God.

After I laid out our intentions, he explained that the sheep were his but the land was not. He pointed out where his property stopped, gave us permission to stare at his sheep from his land, offered to text the owner of the land next door, and even told us where we could park the car.

After scoping things out, we set up. I was privileged to stare at the scene below for a while.

sheep pasture PA countryside

About three hours later, June and I were headed home with a painting (me), a pastel sketch (June), wet feet, tons of pictures, and a sense of accomplishment.

Now June and I are one step closer to becoming two of “those people.”  Not a bad way to spend a summer morning. Not bad at all.

1 Corinthians 13:1

I Cor. 13:1

God asked His people Israel to do certain things so that those around them would know that they were His.  Jesus likewise told His followers what their identifying mark would be – that they love one another (John 13:35). In a time when tattoos and branding are so commonplace, I ask myself, have I marked myself as I ought? My mark isn’t on my skin, it’s in the way I interact with others – particularly fellow Christians. It’s a mark I need to put on every day, every hour, because of Who I belong to. Jesus bought me, (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and I want people to see that in my life.

What would the world think if we the church, the body of Christ, loved each other as we ought? Oh, to truly love – something we can’t do on our own. Praise God He equips us to do what He requires of us. Through His Spirit, we can love each other (Galatians 5:22-23).

What does that love look like? We are given a vivid picture in 1 Corinthians chapter thirteen. I have made an attempt at illustrating the first verse of that passage.

1 Corinthians 13:1 wing detail

1 Corinthians 13:1 language detail

1 Corinthians 13:1 cymbal and gong detail

From Start to Finish: Watercolor Pansies

Early this past fall I did a watercolor for a friend.  She helps to organize a MOPS group.  The theme for their group this year is the Art and Science of Mothering.  The watercolor was donated to be an incentive prize for bringing visitors to the group.

After completing the line drawing, I started with a blue wash.

Next came some yellow which blended in spots to make green.

Using green added some shadow and depth.

The flowers start to pop with some purple.

I overdid it with the green, so I had to remove some to lighten up the bottom of the painting.  The flowers get some orange.

The shadows get darkened, highlights get emphasized, and the flowers get their final details.  Ready to frame.

Finished.