Uncork the Color
Celebrating a Creative, Joy-filled Life

Thoughts On:

“Refined Beauty”

“Refined Beauty” is the fourth drawing I created in the “Enduring Roots” series.  The orchids that I drew in this composition came from a plant that my mom gave me.  I just love the coloration of the different petals and the delicate nature of these flowers.  So, of course, I had to draw them!

As I do with all of the “Enduring Roots” drawings, I started by photographing the flowers and using Adobe Photoshop to figure out the arrangement of the flowers, and then began to research the symbolism of the orchids.

Orchids can symbolize beauty, refinement, love, and thoughtfulness.

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Next, I thought about how this symbolism could relate to Christ or my Christian faith as well as how the symbolism of Celtic patterns could tie in and/or reinforce the overall message or focus of the drawing.  As I pondered the different meanings of refinement, the definition that stood out to me was that of purification – the way that silver is refined for example.  I thought about how that refining process requires heat and fire, and how the silver is more beautiful after it has gone through that fire, that refining process.

Then I thought about how the hardships and struggles of our lives can sometimes make us feel as though we are walking through fire.  That thought reminded me of God’s ability to use those difficult times in our lives to refine or improve our character, and that as our character is refined we reflect more of the beauty of Christ.  I was also reminded that this refining process is an on-going, lifelong process – that we will never “arrive” or be fully refined this side of Heaven.

So, with that focus and message in place, I began to select the Celtic patterns to combine in my Celtic cross design for the background of the drawing.

Celtic Knot Design on the Arms of the Cross

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Celtic Knot Design on the 'Wheel' of the Cross

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Since Celtic knots can represent eternity and the interweaving of the physical and spiritual paths of our lives – the evidence of God’s hand at work in our lives (read more about the symbolism of Celtic patterns here), I wanted to use some knotwork patterns to symbolize that God is at work even in the struggles of our lives weaving and working those events for our good, to make us more like Christ.
I again wanted to include Trinity Knots, or triquetras, and variations of them to represent the Holy Trinity.


Double Trinity Knot

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Trinity Knot Variation

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Trinity Knots & Triple Spirals

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I also felt that including some spiral patterns would be important and that connecting those spirals to Trinity Knots would help to reinforce that victory over life’s struggles and refining fires is ours through the work of the Holy Trinity.
Since maze patterns can symbolize the twists and turns of life’s journey as well as a never-ending path, I wanted to use those to reinforce the idea that the refining of our character can come through the various events of our lives and that it will be a process that is on-going or never-ending this side of Heaven.
Maze/Key Pattern

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So, those are the thoughts I had as I was composing “Refined Beauty”.  But, as always, one of the great things about art is that each piece “speaks” to people differently.  I’d love to hear your thoughts or feelings on this piece.  Just leave your thoughts in the comment box below or send me an email from the “Let’s Chat” page.

Thanks for spending part of your day with me!

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