Edge of Faith May 2017 - Page 70

Ophelia Jessica Shirley www.jessicashirley.com My artwork often borrows from stories, both real and fictional, whose characters illustrate themes of death, resurrection, or identity. The characters move through paintings as symbols of the universal struggle for hope in the midst of brokenness. Death is usually seen as a posi- tive symbol foreshadowing rebirth. Struggle and desperation give way to the hope and simplicity that comes with a stripping away of everything non-essential. I am consistently drawn to the sacred meta- phors of my childhood, but do not wish to cre- ate work that is only accessible to a churched audience. I come back to my roots of biblical and mystical imagery time and again; yet my faith, as well as art, have evolved to something hopefully deeper and richer. My aim isn’t art for art’s sake, but to somehow develop a visual vessel into a transmission of hope. 70 • The Art of Faith Magazine • www.aofmag.com Polly Alice http://www.newthingartstudio.com The Biblical image of a man too poor to pay for his toll to cross the water has  always stood out in my mind. As an artist, every time I am faced with a need I remember Jesus words to Peter. Faithfulness to do the daily work we are called to do streams from the words of Jesus. He plans ahead before we ask, and there is always enough.   This painting speaks to my calling to be a Christian artist and illustrator; to have faith like a child, and trust that each piece will come in time. If I have the sense of that small fish, I will be ready with some to share in time of need.   Part of a series of art, I created this in the style of stamps commemorating first loves. I love the play between words and images. Sometimes I want my art to be signed, sealed. I want a higher authority to stamp approval. Sometimes I feel torn away from a book of squares just like me. Most days I feel stamped flat … waiting to be delivered. More and more, I feel I’m being sent with long story folded neatly inside. The Art of Faith Magazine • www.aofmag.com • 71