my bible journal: a journey of illumination

my bible journal: a journey of illumination

Remember that the most important lesson is the one you're learning right now. I purchased the book of Acts for the sole purpose of illuminating it myself. I'm no master artist, and I'm definitely not inspired in the same way as the 23 artists over 15 years who created the St. John's Bible, but I've been truly blessed by what I've learned just watercoloring in my little book.

Here's what I have so far:

This is Paul and Barnabas preaching to the crowd. It's my first piece and I really love its simplicity. You can even tell that the people in the crowd have their backs facing you as if you were really there hearing the new message of Jesus for the first time!

This is Peter just before he raised Tabitha from the dead. I really wanted to practice getting the light right in this one. Even though it's not perfect, your eye is still drawn away from Peter (who almost blends into the background) and toward the sky, just like he would have liked it.

This is Paul with his companions as he was on his way to massacre more new Christians. I love the lighting on this one, especially how the light from heaven makes everything around it appear darker by comparison. Even though it's only as bright as a normal page, my eyes still try to adjust themselves every time I look at it.

This is the first face I attempted, and I think it went well. This is Joseph wearing his coat of many colors with the stars and wheat from his dreams surrounding him. This was the first time I noticed that Joseph's dream about sheaves of wheat could be foreshadowing his future in Egypt controlling all the grain in the nation.

Now we have Moses, but not the part of his life I'm used to talking about. I made this one look "primitive" because it's so early in his life and early in his story. This is the part where Moses murders an Egyptian then runs away like a coward because the other Israelites (the ghostly figures in the background) are accusing him. Or those same ghostly figures could be the patriarchs watching Moses as he becomes the next step for God fulfilling the promises they waited for their entire lives but never saw fulfilled.

Whoever they are and wherever Moses is in his story, all of this led to the burning bush. If Moses hadn't been a fugitive wanted for murder, he never would have been on the hill on the day that God chose to call the Israelites out of slavery.

This is Paul preaching. Very simple, but can you imagine what it would have been like to hear the Apostle Paul himself calling you to follow Jesus? I imagine it's quite different from what we hear in church today.

This is Peter when he saw the sheet coming down from heaven covered with all kinds of unclean things. I've never been quite sure what would have actually looked like, but this is my best effort. I painted this my senior year at Rice while two of my favorite people led my Bible study for the first time.

This is Paul casting out a demon. I'm not sure if this is exactly how it looked, but this is what came to mind when I tried to imagine it. I'd like to think that this shows the spiritual reality behind the black text on the page. Try to put yourself in the shoes of one of the onlookers in the background!

I think this one is my favorite of all I've done so far. This is the beggar clinging to Peter after being healed. I know there's supposed to be a crowd around them, but I want to move in the direction of these paintings showing the spiritual realities.

I looked at pictures of what Solomon's Portico actually looked like and copied them for the background. But in the foreground I wanted to show only the figures filled with the Holy Spirit. That's Peter standing up with the beggar at his feet.

Now, imagine the crowd all around them: mostly the religious leaders who hated that someone had been healed. The few shadowy figures you see are those who listened to Peter and came to believe through what they saw.

This is Paul on trial. As before, I show Paul as the only solid figure. He should be surrounded by his accusers on all sides, but they're invisible in this painting. In their place, I've painted all of the heavenly host watching and listening carefully to everything Paul had to say that day. God promised that he would be with us during our trials, so why wouldn't he bring his whole entourage of legions of angels with him on such an important day as this one?

let me know what you think!

I'll send updates as I paint more. They will be much smaller than this post, but I'm sure just as illuminating!

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