“Fishers of Men” acrylic on canvas, c. 2015 © by Donna Gonzalez
I was having a conversation the other day with a friend of mine about how I create my works of art and that I pray during the whole process that God will use it to communicate His message. He encouraged me to consider sharing this with others how God communicates a biblical truth which is not at first seen in my artwork but later revealed.
The above artwork is entitled “Fishers of Men” and undoubtedly you may be thinking right now “huh?” Well so did I until it was completed and shown to me!
This artwork, like many that I paint, is based upon an original acrylic painting of a mosaic on canvas. Afterwords I duplicate and rotate the individual mosaics and in the process a pattern will appear. Not just one but several different patterns will emerge from this one mosaic painting. I don’t know how many patterns there are let alone what they will look like and sometimes adding an effect may change the entire look of the pattern.
Iconography: Starting at the top row in the middle of the artwork there appears what looks like a blue fishtail entering into the water. (See blue highlight on image below) The fishtail is centered between two pairs of outward slanted dark pink box-shaped houses complete with triangular burgundy roofs, (highlighted in yellow) and a small door upon a small hill. Below that is another row of 5 pink-lavender slanted houses – with the third one being shorter (highlighted in pink). There are 6 alternate rows one with a row of houses with a fishtail and one row with 5 houses.
When finished with this artwork I asked the Lord to show me just what He wanted to convey, because it just looked like a haphazard pattern of geometric shapes and hues of purples, dark blues and greens. In prayer I was reminded of Matthew 4:19, looked it up and thought “huh?”. Then it became clearer to me what I was actually seeing and it all made sense! Now for the record, not once did that scripture ever occur to me nor was I thinking of houses or fishtails when making this composition.
And that is the awesome wonder of it all, God communicating His truth in patterns from this artwork! Letting Him put His fingerprints all over it however He wants. Praise God!
Now some may think I’m just trying to force what I want to think I see because I’m a Christian and I’m already predisposed to thinking that way. True I do ponder on the Lord, but in all honesty, I don’t go into a painting with a premeditated scripture and message already in my head, figuring that all out on canvas is a lot of work! I simply paint, manipulate it and the patterns just emerge.
Nor is it coincidence, luck or superstition because that would mean something else is in control, more powerful than God. And the funny thing is…He won’t even reveal to me what the pattern will be until it’s all finished! 😀 Jesus already knows what all the patterns and symbolisms will be, He knows the end from the beginning and I think He likes doing that. Proverbs 25:2 is appropriate: “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” Indeed it is a blessing and a joy!
Jesus is speaking:
19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19
This artwork is a subtle reminder for all of us believers in Christ as we follow Him walking in different places, nations, cities, neighborhoods (rows of houses on hills) that He has called us to go forth with the Gospel to become fishers of men (fishtail), even within our families (center short houses under fishtail) and to go make disciples for Jesus! Glory to Jesus!