The summer of 2018 was devastating to those of us living in Northern CA. Everybody knew somebody who had been adversely affected by the Carr Fire. The fury of fire decimated our homes and businesses and left our outdoor recreation areas in ash. When my local artist group challenged us to create a work of art to bring hope to our city, by portraying “Beauty from Ashes”, I sat for the longest time pondering how to do this. Several of my friends then posted photos on social media of the Belladonna Lilies that had surprisingly sprung up on several of their properties. It is also known as the Resurrection Lily. These lilies oftentimes emerge after a fire has occurred. I knew for certain that the lily would be a key element of my painting. Hummingbirds are frequent visitors to homes in Northern CA, and if you listen, you can hear them continuously chatter with each other. Symbolically, they are messengers of Heaven, reminding us of the Infinite healing of God’s Love, Promises, and Joy. I added a turquoise ribbon in which in its underlying layer is written Isaiah 61:3-4 “to bestow them a crown of beauty instead of ashes. . “ The turquoise color artistically represents the heart of God speaking to the spirit of man. So as the crown of beauty arises from the rubble and ash, God has already secured and gifted restoration to a higher degree. ~Melissa Carter
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