Last week, I talked about setting a goal of doing creative practice one hour a day.  After a week of implementing this goal, I’m feeling so happy that I did!  I was able to complete a painting for the Spring PACT show, “Light,” in about seven hours.  It feels pretty amazing and satisfying.  I highly encourage you, especially you mother-artists, to try it.  If you can’t spare an hour, try 30 minutes.  You’ll be surprised how much you can create in short bits of time over one week.

Let me tell you about this piece, “Shafia.”

As I was praying about light and what God has to say about it in Scripture, this verse came to mind…

“Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”  -Psalm 139:12

And then what Jesus says about Himself…

“I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  -John 8:12

These two verses connected in my mind and I came to think of ‘light’ not as simply matter that exists, but also as something alive.  Light is not only captured in the sun, moon and stars.  It is also captured in people who follow the light of the world, more powerfully so.

As I thought about contrast, not just in the sense of design and composition, but in our own lives, I thought of those who have decided to follow the light of the world at great cost to themselves.  Everything about their circumstances is dark.  Dark as in violent and evil.

Hour 1

I visited The Voice of the Martyrs online and came upon Shafia’s story.

Hour 2

I chose this composition and color palette to further emphasize contrast…light and dark.

Hour 3

I wanted viewers to feel as if Shafia was sharing her story with them in person, with no words spoken.

Hour 4

Hour 4

For Shafia, the spiritual trumped the physical.  Even though the darkness surrounded her, it was like light.

Hour 5

Hour 5

She follows the light of the world and doesn’t walk in darkness, but has the light of life.  This is reality for Shafia.

"Shafia" 11x14" Oil on Canvas.  $245

“Shafia” 11×14″ Oil on Canvas. $245


Meena Matocha is a contemporary representational artist living and working near her hometown of Austin, TX.

Posted in Creative Practice, Inspiration, One Hour A Day, Paintings

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