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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: "Splash" 4-11-13 Deadline (04/04/13)

TITLE: Slashed Red
By Sarah Dirk


“All right, students, welcome to today's art class. Today we are painting a portrait. You have a few minutes to choose your character. It can be a self-portrait, or someone you know.”

The student picked up a thin paint-brush and didn't hesitate before starting. Biting her lip in concentration, she began her painting. She was lost in her work as the past screamed at her and flowed from her mind, through her shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers until it appeared on canvas.

An average face came into being.

“Allie, you will never be the homecoming queen. I'm afraid you just don't have what it takes in looks.”

The student gazed at her reflection in the mirror for a moment, then added matted and stringy hair to the creased brow.

“Eyes are important, class. They must have depth. Don't rush those eyes.”

“Are you Allie Wilson? I am afraid I have bad news. We just found your son hanging over a bridge. He committed suicide.”

The eyes on the easel became glazed in pain as the student splashed red around the lashes.

“If your portrait has hands in your painting, make sure that they are the right size. Don't mistakenly make them larger than life.”

“Mom, I want to go overseas to work as a missionary. Will you let me go?”

The hands were open, creased and gnarled. The student splashed a drop or two of red to show sacrifice.

“The mouth shows huge emotion, students. Watch those curves.”

“Ma'am? Your husband just had a stroke. You need to come with me.”

Red splashed onto the canvas and stained the white teeth that bit cracked lips in exhaustion.

Details and depth showed in her work as she laboured on the portrait. Brushing back grey hair, she frowned in concentration. What was missing? A tear dropped as she realized. Reaching for the red paint-brush, she cruelly slashed the body in red.

“Are you going to be okay, Allie? The kidnappers beat you up pretty badly.”

“All right, class. Time's up. We are done for the day.”

Allie laid down her brush and gazed at the easel for a long moment before turning and slipping out of the room.

Eternal eyes, glazed in pain, stared after her from His place on the cross, His body slashed in red.

“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:4 KJV

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This article has been read 289 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Nancy Bucca04/12/13
Wow, what a thought-provoking piece. You do a great job weaving the teacher's instructions with Allie's artwork on the canvas. I like the way you ended it, pointing to Jesus' shed blood on the cross, the stripes that soothe our pain and make us whole.
Bonnie Bowden 04/12/13
There was so much depth to the ideas in your story. I like how the piece of writing painted Allie's life picture.
Loni Bowden-Horn 04/13/13
This is a hauntingly beautiful story that shows snippets of a life done on a canvas background.

The piece was well constructed from beginning to end. I really like how the Savior's red blood was introduced at the end as a way of showing redemption.

This piece tugged at my heart.
C D Swanson 04/15/13
This multi-layered piece held so many messages, and was well written. I enjoyed it, and the way it was wrapped up. Good job.

God bless~
Michelle Knoll 04/16/13
The depth of feeling in Allie comes through very clearly. I like the way you related each piece of the painting to specific incidents in Allie's past. I was captivated by the story from the beginning, and I had no idea where you were going with it until the very end. Beautiful.
Judith Gayle Smith04/17/13
Gut wrenchingly poignant and beautiful . . .
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/18/13
Congratulations on ranking 30 overall! (The highest rankings can be found in the message boards)
Judith Gayle Smith04/20/13