I finished my mandarin orange for 2021. This was a very challenging painting. More practice in brush techniques, rough and shiny surfaces, and light and shadow were all part of the process.
I learned many lessons, but I think the one that will stick with me the most has to do with reference photos. The reference photo for this painting made the inside of the peel look deep orange. So painting true to the reference made the orange look alien! (We’ve never seen a mandarin orange with a dark inside to the peel.) Lots of adjustments, changing the format, scrubbing with plain water, and the artist’s stubborn streak saved this orange from a hiding place far, far away from view.
Likewise, if the reference image we have for our life is faulty, we will not turn out as we were intended to be. We are made in His image and intended for His pleasure. But if we don’t see Him clearly, we won’t get to know Him well. Then He cannot help us, heal us, discipline us, and grow us into His image. He will help us fulfill His purpose for us, if we allow Him to make some adjustments, change some things, and scrub us with His water. He won’t give up on us and hide us away from view. (Oh, possibly for a while to make the major changes, but not for too long.) He wants us to be like a light on a hill that shows others the way to Him.