Tag Archives: Faith

Hope in the Darkness


“But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.”-Psalm 9:18

One of the things I aspire to do with my art as a Christian artist is to help spread the love and hope that I have found in Christ Jesus through my art. Sometimes that looks like me creating art that testify’s to what God has done or is doing in my life and sometimes that means I use my creative gifts to help others feel that same hope.

As I was finishing off the first batch of my new mixed media mini’s today, painting my edges black I was struck by how bold and vibrant they stood out against the dark edging. As I left them to dry I just had this feeling that the Holy Spirit was calling me to use these small paintings for a big purpose to shine light into darkness. The more I thought on it the clearer it seemed to get in my mind and heart. God has a funny way of lining things up when we’re attentive to his voice and I knew just where to use these paintings that would make a difference Hope Mission.

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Hope Mission is a not-for-profit Christian social care agency caring for the impoverished and homeless men, women and children in Alberta. Basic and emergency care is provided to over 800 people daily as well as counsel and referral services for men, women, and youth. Each day Hope Mission provides over 1000 meals, and shelter for over 500 people.  Specialized care and treatment is offered for men and women through faith-based addiction treatment programs. Hope Mission also facilitates an after school recreation and hot meal program for children. In all, our desire is to provide compassionate care and offer hope to hurting, hungry and homeless people in Edmonton.

This series is now being called “Hope in the Darkness” because no matter how jagged or textured our past, no matter how dark our life, God can ALWAYS bring Hope out of it but it starts with us using what God has given us to help bring hope to others. Each painting in this series is as unique as the person it will go to help. For every piece sold I will donate 25% of the sales back to Hope Missions to help support them in the wonderful work they are doing in our community!

I hope you’ll help me in my effort to bring Hope through art.

Amanda

 

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You can purchase or commission a piece in this series by leaving me a message here to see the available pieces or by messaging me on my Facebook page AmandaMilkeArtist. Each mixed media piece costs $40 is one of a kind and measures 4″ x 4″ x 1.5″ and is done on canvas. Perfect for a small space, shelf or desk or buy several to arrange in sets of 3, 5 or 9 tiled cube patterns.

I’ll also be adding a new page to my website with this series in the next few days.

Wedding of the Lamb


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So sometimes paintings just seem to happen. I’m going about my business and then a canvas kind of screams at me and the next thing I know I have a new painting on the go. That’s exactly what happened with this painting. I wanted to do a lamb piece to go with my series of Biblical inspired animals but I hadn’t planned this lol.

I sat down one morning and it just flowed out of me by the time lunch had come the layout was complete and that’s the way this painting kept evolving. Every time I sat down it was a whirlwind of creation and the next step would be complete. It’s crazy how God can use my talents for his purpose. I thought all along that this would be an Easter piece and I thought for the longest time I would call it “the Passover lamb” but the more I painted and embellished and layered and texturized the more it seemed like it was a celebratory piece. Not a pre-cross sacrificial painting but a joyful conquered death let’s party type of painting and so what’s more jubilant than a wedding.

So here the lamb is clean and radiant. The flowers are in bloom, he is crowned and gleaming wearing his bridegroom clothes of covered in song and ready for the church his bride. The work has been done and now it’s time to celebrate.

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Each sets of words woven into the lambs wool is a hymn title, I emphasized the trinity by crowning in in triplicate “holy”s on his forehead.

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He is clean and pure adorned in gold and sparkling rhinestones that flash and glimmer in the light and he seems to radiate and glow.

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The birds who fly and adorn him with music singing are gold and jeweled but pale in comparison to the light surrounding him.

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New life grows up from his feet and even the earth is growing with hymns embedded in it. I did a double emphasis on “art” along the bottom of the piece because I do believe God enjoys art and to be praised through it as I’ve spoke on in previous posts.

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And finally the lambs position of facing straight out at the viewer was intentional because Biblically we as Christians make up the body of the Church, and the Church is the Bride of Christ so here the Bridegroom, Christ is looking at us the Church on his Wedding day as through him we are made pure and holy and most assuredly ready to celebrate.

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I used a large variety of materials to create this painting including genuine peridot stone chips, rhinestone crystals, gold leaf, paper clay, modeling paste, acrylic, oil paint sticks, beads and old choir music / hymns.

I’d love to hear what you think of this painting or any of my other works. You can comment below or email me and I’ll be happy to respond.

Cheers,

Amanda

Broken Hearted-the Golden lining


 

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The problem with the human heart is it’s so damn fragile, like an egg.

This whole human experience of dealing with other broken humans leaves scars on us.

So when we enter into a relationship as two broken individuals, that doesn’t mean we complete each other and that we magically fill in all the blanks. Don’t believe me?

Try taking two separate broken eggs and fit them together without causing further damage or without spilling any yolk. It doesn’t work. Cracks will worsen, more damage will ensue and things will get messy.

That’s humanity.

And let me tell you, I am one broken egg.

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You see all along for this painting I had this image of this light shining out of a broken heart just like that children’s song “This little light of mine” based off of Mark 4:21.

This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

If you’re like me you’ll have that stuck in your head all day now. You’re welcome haha.

Anyway, I wanted this piece to be a testament of my love, trust and faith in God. A light shining out of my heart illuminating the way for others to be healed, to understand humanity’s brokenness and the need for an all loving, all forgiving Abba, God.

However, God is Good at using us in these moments to shed light on issues that we need to address and in this moment, this painting, He stepped in and said “Amanda, you haven’t let go of this. You’re being tight fisted about these past hurts and you need to open up and share to be healed.”

It’s not that I didn’t think God could help me through it because I knew he had brought me to where I am now and had already blessed me and rebuilt so much of my life. It was more that I didn’t want to deal anymore with those things.

You see I had spent a lot of time and energy trying to fix it myself, but despite my best efforts to crazy glue, duct tape and cement that sucker back together it was still broken, so I gave up, I dug deep and I buried it so I wouldn’t have to deal with it ever again.

But dammit, it comes at a cost and that debt was starting to come due. I had walled off part of me, buried it deep to protect myself from the past and future hurts, and I never once realized how much of me I had shoved down that hole with it. And I was scared. I was scared to let it out, I was scared to be hurt or broken again.

I mean my shell was just barely holding together as is. If I pulled it out from that tomb I buried it in, I might break beyond recognition. But man, God has a way to fix the un-fixable and nudge us toward his image of us. So here I am, heart in hand, broken into a million pieces handing it to God to fix and do you know what HE brings to my mind? Two things.

#1 Kintsugi.  Kintsugi is Japanese and it translates into “Golden repair” and is a centuries old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a special gold lacquer as a crack filler. God was reminding me that He was the potter and I was His vessel and that there is VALUE and BEAUTY in those cracks that make me me. Just because I was broken doesn’t mean I was irreparable and to be discarded. It didn’t even mean that God’s love and my faith in Him would make me perfect and flawless. No. it meant that He would use my brokenness, highlight it in Gold, draw attention to it because it’s those Golden cracks in my shell that are the true value, the true testament of what God has done in my life.

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#2 He reminded me of the purpose for those shining broken seams in Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” You see, that’s the true miracle, the true testament of God’s love. Can you image sitting there patiently repairing something so broken with something so valuable as Gold? It seems inconceivable, but you are loved and valued that much by the one that made you. You are worth the time and effort because once God is done, you will gleam, radiate and shine a true testament to His craftsmanship.

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This painting is gritty and cracked and the inside is flawed but shines with Gold because inside that is exactly what God is doing in my life and is the truest testament I can give. If you pass over your brokenness, God will repair you, the vessel he loves and values. I am proof, because I’ve traded in these broken pieces for beautiful healing golden repairs: Abandonment, Rape, Neglect, Abuse, Depression, Suicide, Loss, Divorce, Anger, Fear, Infertility and Loneliness.

It’s easy to want to lock away the past and the pain, but God can use my golden highlights to help shine hope to someone else. You may be broken now, but you are loved and you are valued and this is not the end; you will glow again!

xo- Amanda

Snowy Good Friday…a reflection 


People ask me all the time where my inspiration comes from and it can be the simplest thing…today on this Good Friday it was the snow. 


I was reminded that Jesus died for my sins on a cross in a most cruel manner spilling his blood, giving his life for me. Let me tell you most sincerely that “I” didn’t deserve it and honestly there’s been times in my life that I didn’t want it. I didn’t want the son of God’s blood on my hands. I didn’t want to be the source of his suffering. But most of all I didn’t want to let HIM down again by screwing up. 

But here’s the thing. Jesus didn’t stay dead. It wasn’t in vain. It wasn’t death and that’s it. He conquered death, He washed sin away so that I could know Him, have a relationship with Him, walk my life with Him. You can’t do that with a dead man only one that’s truly Alive. God knows that I’m not perfect, He knows that the whole “Free Will” thing will still get me into trouble. But my mistakes aren’t the end. He gave up His life for me out of love not to abandon me when I screw up next, but to help show me a better way. This overwhelming Love and True Forgiveness is what makes me so Thankful that He remembered ME. While he hung there dying in pain on that cross WE were in His thoughts, in His heart. WE were why He died and I thank Him for it. 

In a world where true unconditional love seems like a fairy tale it’s hard to accept, but my life is testimony that it exists. He took my brokeness like these stain glass pieces and He put me back together, He washed my sins white as snow and made ME a new creation, a wonderful made piece of Art that Hopefully like light through glass will reflect His Love to others and for that reason I will gladly and humbly accept His Blood on my Hands ❤

Happy Easter