Primitive, Native, To The Cross

Whenever I look at a piece of art I look to see what I can see in it. I look to see what story it is telling me. I look to see and feel the emotions in it, but most of all I look to see the light and darkness in it, and how it falls to make the picture more captivating. I look to see what will catch my eyes from the first moment I choose to do a reading on it.

The first thing I see in this painting is the light and darkness in the background, and how it creates shadows to form a forest in the background with tall trees that comes right off of the painting. I can feel the coolness in the painting because there isn’t much light showing through, just enough to give it a little light. I see many shapes that make figures in the painting.

Starting from right to left: There is a figure that looks like a gorilla. If you look closely, you can see the shape of it, the eyes, nose, mouth, and chin which stick straight out. It looks like it has happened upon the place it has journeyed from only to find an empty teepee with a big stick that has been thrust through it. It tells me that it has been abandoned because something may have happened there that was catastrophic.

In the background, I see something that looks like a mountain in the distance surrounded by light. Looking back to the right of the painting, that which looks like a gorilla could be a hut built from mud bricks and covered with grass and straw to make it liveable for whoever was living there. Looking closely at the bottom right of this painting, I can see a stream of water flowing from the hut that’s flowing to a place unknown.

To elaborate more: Sometimes in life, we come to a place where we want to settle down whether it be with someone, or just by ourselves. Life is a journey that has twists and turns, and roadblocks to slow us down to keep us from reaching our destination. Sometimes things are not what they appear to be. It can be one thing when it is really another. This is why we have to look closely at where we are to decide if this is where we want to be.

More From the Painting: I see a cross right in the middle of this painting. Look where the light falls between the two objects from the left and the right of the painting; it is the light that makes the cross.

Even in the shadows, the light of the cross shines through. We have to realize that the light of God is everywhere even in dark and shady places. When we are traveling in the darkness, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We have to keep going until we find that light so we do not stay in the darkness. Darkness to me represents fear, doubt, death, confusion, depression, stress, and anxiety. We all have experienced being in dark places in our lives, but we can find a way out. How do we find the way out? We find a way out by calling out to the One who can deliver us from that darkness.

When you look at a painting don’t just look at the picture that’s there, but look beyond what you see on the surface. Look for what speaks to you. Look for the emotions that it makes you feel. When an artist paints, they paint with their heart and soul. They put every feeling that they are feeling into that painting. They are sharing what they are feeling on Canvas to share it with the world. It is how we express ourselves through our art. Art is raw. It is not something that’s processed in a factory by machines; it is created with human hands.

The next time you are visiting an art gallery, look at the painting(s) in a different way. Think about all of the time and effort put into it to make it look the way it does. Then look for things in the background that only you may see with your eyes. Write about what you saw in it, and how it made you feel. You will be surprised at what you may feel, see, and experience just by taking your time to examine a piece of beautiful artwork created by the hands of the artist.

Photo by Anni Roenkae on

Published by Shaunelius Sterns

I have been married to my wonderful husband for 21 years now. I am a Christian, poet, singer, songwriter, and artist. I have five beautiful children. I enjoy writing and reading my Bible. I also love to pray for others. I love nature and being outside on sunny days. I love spending time with my family and watching shows that makes me laugh.

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