I wanted to paint Esther because reading her story in the Bible really inspired me.
Imagine this young woman chosen by God to be the wife of the king. And then when her people were in danger her relative told her to be courageous because God put her in that position for a reason. So she decides to risk her life and go to the king to plead for her people. Before going she said:
“And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (NKJV, Esther 4:16b)
Imagine how much courage it required and faith to risk her own life so that others may be saved. This reminded me of Jesus sacrificing Himself on the cross so that everyone who believes in Him could be saved.
For that reason I decided to paint Esther in red, the color of blood, as a symbolism for the sacrifice she was for her people, just like Jesus sacrificed Himself for us.
I also decided to paint her on the green background. Green is the color of resurrection, a symbolism of a new life. Because of Esther, her people were given hope. Just like because of Jesus people received hope.
I painted the flowers all around her that are blooming right now to show how temporal life is. Those flowers come up, bloom for a little while, and then wither away. It reminds me of this verse:
“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (NKJV, Esther 4:14b)
Esther used the time she had been given and did what God created her to do. This is a reminder for all of us that God has us alive now for a reason. Each one of us has a purpose to fulfill while we are still here.
This painting was kind of like an experiment for me, as I combined a more realistic girl with a more abstract flower background. But I am glad I took the risk as I discovered that I actually enjoyed painting flowers in a more abstract way.
It was my first time using a palette knife for painting and I really had a lot of fun just putting paint on the canvas without worrying too much where it lands. This helped me to tap into the joy of making art as a child and not caring about the results.
There is still so much that could be improved about this painting, but I have been working on it for a few months now on and off, and I felt like it was time to release it. But I still hope this painting can encourage or inspire someone out there!