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  • Writer's pictureAllie Sherron

Shaping the Earthen Vessels Collection

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

"Light shall shine out of darkness."

My Inspiration: 2 Corinthians 4:5-12

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

The eight pieces that belong to the Earthen Vessel Collection are my impressions of the Light shining in and out of the earthen vessels described in chapter four of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. Some vessels hold flowers, and others are left empty as I imagine they might have held water, food, or even torches for light.

My Method

When my heart was stirred to illustrate this passage, I made an intentional decision that the vessels would not themselves be painted with any kind of lasting medium. Instead, they almost needed to be part of the background, seemingly unintentional, except to the artist. In fact, the negative space needed to be the star, albeit counterfeit, of the watercolor in order for the Light to shine out of the darkness, the true and illustrious Life, not made possible in any way by the vessel itself but rather because of the shielding nature of the masking fluid applied by the artist beforehand and removed by the artist subsequently. Thus, each vessel was sketched softly onto the canvas first with pencil and then painted over with masking fluid, a medium that resists water, paints, inks, etc. Once I was satisfied that the vessel was carefully protected beneath the masking fluid, I mixed various shades of deep watercolors to wash over the entire canvas. Each canvas was painted with slightly different washes of watercolor as well as with somewhat distinct methods. For example, on some canvases I used more water to create softer edges, and on other canvases I used less water in order to make the brush strokes more visible. Once the watercolor had time to dry completely, I used an eraser to rub the masking fluid off, revealing the appearance of a vessel which had been kept safely sheltered underneath.

My Heart for You

Hang an earthen vessel on the wall of your home or office to remind yourself throughout the day that Christ is the true Light who shines in and out of you, His earthen vessel, and that you, the earthen vessel, constantly carry the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus might be revealed through you.

Hang an earthen vessel on the wall of your home or office to spark conversations with those who see it about Christ, the true Light, and the abundant and everlasting life available to them through Him.

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