Drawing from the Word
Thougts on Art and the Bible
Woman's Healing Hurt by Carole Ruffin, 11 by 14- mixed media
It's a challenge to draw an inward journey. How do you draw something you can't see? As a Christian artist and writer, I'm met with this hurdle often. Putting into strokes- or even words- the life changing experience that happens when we encounter the cross is almost impossible. Yet so much of our experience is internal: salvation, growth, and personal change to name a few. I can communicate the journey by adding text or I could also use symbols like a dove or a cross, but I'm challenging myself to push beyond quick telling techniques.
In Woman's Healing Hurt, the first of my Transformation series, I used visual cues that represent change, such as color, texture and expression. My aim here is not to actually show the inward journey, but rather the emotional effect transformation has on a person. My goal with the broader series is to capture the emotional arc one experiences in his or her journey of transformation.
Joy and pain are linked in life's experience, though never more clearly so than at the cross. When we come to Christ with our sin and pain it's hurts. Jesus says, "And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces" (Matthew 21:44). Brokenness doesn't feel good- as reflected in the woman's pained expression- but healing can only come after we see our need for it.
Consider your own journey as you came to Christ. Was it quiet like a seed falling to the ground and dying? Or was it more like diving into the sea from a cliff? In a sketchbook, cut strips of verses (printed on heavy stock paper) and stick-glue them to the page in a collage. Let it dry. Then, using watercolor, pick an color emotion to reflect how you felt (sorrow- blue, peace- green, joy-yellow, or combination) Let the wash dry. Then sketch one metaphor for your transformation on top of these verses. Feel free to share, we'd love to see it!