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Behind the Scenes: "Redeemed"

Kelly's Notes

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1

This woman in this painting is in a dark place. She is trapped, and has been trying to get her freedom, but all it has done is made her weary and hopeless. She is tired and dirty, and her beautiful wedding gown is torn. She realizes that she cannot free herself on her own. At that moment, Christ rescues her. He reaches out and lifts her head with his tender touch. She looks up at him and realizes that he is, and has always been her only hope for freedom. She represents the Bride of Christ; the church.

A few years ago, a friend had told me about a short story he was writing about a captive bride and a warrior prince who was fighting to free her.  Images of the bride were playing around in my head, when I spoke with my Mother, who told me about some things she had recently learned at a conference about redemption.

Immediately, everything came together, and I knew I needed to depict the images in my heart on canvas. I gathered the models and photographer, and we set the stage for what I hoped would be a powerful depiction of redemption.

It was winter, and the bomb shelter on my friend’s property was icy cold. A small space heater provided a little bit of warmth to us during the two hours that we spent photographing the models. Later, the woman told me that she had been experiencing some distance from God in her personal relationship with Him. She had a lot of questions and was in the process of sorting some things out. The photo shoot was a healing time for her, and having to look into “Christ’s” eyes and trust him for two hours actually reminded her of how much she could actually trust Christ. It was a turning point for her.

Since then, grown adults have wept in front of this painting. Women have poured out their stories of abuse, neglect, and fear to me, and have found solace in “Redeemed.”

I am honored that God has given me dreams and the ability to depict truths about Him on canvas. It is the highest goal that I can reach for in my journey as an artist.

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