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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

TITLE: The Revealing
By Mona Purvis


He sat on the bench for hours watching and listening as they stopped to observe the painting. Sometimes, art classes filled with young, eager students, would analyze and dissect each brush stroke. Lovers would hold hands while searching the painting for hidden meaning to endorse their romance. Occasionally, the lone observer would stand and seek answers not available on canvass, answers to questions of Why? Why me? Why go on?

He knew the artist well. Self-portraits empty the subject of secrets long-hidden and flaws underneath the covering of skin and tissue. For years, he argued against painting it. He asked what does it matter how a man sees himself? But, he knew. He knew nothing mattered more.

The museum accepted the work with much appreciation, paying tribute to the estimable home-town boy who turned the art world upside down with his incredible gift. Art critics and museum patrons joined the mainstream to review the treasure.

He listened while a teacher gathered her students close and pointed out attributes found in the painting. She emphasized the calmness shown by his demeanor, the modesty of his attire. She saw trust in the eyes and humility in the smile. Students took notes and walked away confident in the knowledge that they saw and understood the painting and the painter. He sat overlooked on the bench; the admirers preferring hypothesis to truth.

He waited patiently for sunset when the light would stream through the tall windows and fall just so on the painting.

The artificial light-source used in museums controlled the measure of light on sensitive art, protecting paintings from the intensity of natural light. But, it was natural light, true light, that revealed the painter.

In the True Light, the demeanor disclosed anger, not calmness. The attire announced pride, not modesty. Where trust was claimed in the eyes there was jealousy and envy. No humility in a smile, but swagger in a smirk.

He sat and watched, fully aware of the ugliness within revealed by the True Light. It would never do to leave while the artificial light distorted, while the comments of devotees praised. He needed to be reminded of his true self, who he would be without forgiveness. Only then, could he portray creation in his work.

Lord, shine Your Light on me

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This article has been read 760 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jeanne E Webster 05/14/09
Wonderfully developed introspection! You got me on the ending...I didn't see that coming. "In the True Light..." Very well written.
Seema Bagai 05/15/09
Unique and creative. I enjoyed this piece.
Ruth Ann Moore05/15/09
I think we would all benefit from seeing ourselves in the true light. A wonderful story.
Dolores Stohler05/17/09
Wow! Too bad everyone cannot see themselves as clearly as this artist. This is truly great writing--very well done.
Betty Castleberry05/18/09
This is one of the pieces that call me to read it again and again to catch all the nuances. In fact, it's probably a lot like your painting in that respect.

Well written and well done overall.
Glynis Becker05/18/09
Beautifully written. I, too, wish we were all willing to allow ourselves to be seen in truth and humility, an eternal struggle for me. Very well done.
Gregory Kane05/18/09
Excellent. I love the layers of meaning in this, much as is the case with good art. A powerful lesson in self-awareness.
Rachel Rudd 05/18/09
I like the use of "the self-portrait" to visualize truth. It's so true that it's easy to get caught up in "one's self" and forget what we would be if not for God's grace. Thank you for sharing this!
Bryan Ridenour05/18/09
Very creative and superbly written. A lesson for us all. Truly may the "True Light" shine on us but through us as well.
Genia Gilbert05/19/09
This is excellent, in message and in writing. I love it!
Catrina Bradley 05/19/09
Ooo, I like this one! Only True Light can reveal to us what we really are - ugly sinners. Excellent writing. Very good!!
Marilyn Schnepp 05/19/09
What an insight into the very soul of man! Now I understand the Title. Great writing, terrific creative talent, and something to "Ponder and think about."
I loved the writer's sly way of telling this story (by having the painter, himself, sitting on a bench watching and listening) and then introducing him as the self portrait painter who saw the Real Person behind the false facade. Excellent writing, very Impressive!
Colin Swann05/20/09
Very profound and thought provoking. Enjoyed. God the Great Artist is the only one who can paint a true picture of us. As you say by his light and perception.

Diana Dart 05/20/09
Sigh. Emotional, deep, crisply written. This was eye-opening and skillfully presented. Well, well done.
Sheri Gordon05/20/09
Very good writing--captivating from the beginning. Excellent job with the topic.
Myrna Noyes05/20/09
It's so true that others can look at us and see what they want to see..but that it's not an accurate picture at all.

I like the introspective quality of this piece. The determination to peer past the surface "skin" to the real heart within.
Patricia Herchenroether05/20/09
Very insightful and loaded with meaning. We all need to look at ourselves with this type of honesty. Well-written.
Karlene Jacobsen05/27/09
Isn't that how it is? Others look at what is apparent and decide what is really there; whether good or bad. We all need the light of Truth to shine on us.