|"Transformation" by Valerie Sjodin, acrylic & mixed media, Copyright 2011|
This symbolic painting represents the transformative power of God at work in an open and willing heart.
You may notice the butterfly is very similar to my logo. A number of years ago I bought a chrysalis from a pet store and then I witnessed the process of a creature emerging into its intended form. I chronicled the process with photographs and drawings, and have been using the drawings as symbols of transformation ever since.
Swirls and circles usually find their way into my artwork. Swirls represent to me: life process, a journey, growth, and mystery. Some of the other symbols in the painting are obvious: the broken chain, the edges of butterfly wings on the young woman, the key hanging from the words:
My heart is open to your transforming power O God, You are the healer of my soul.
Although the woman in the painting is generic, this particular painting was also inspired by a young woman I know who was willing to risk, step out in faith, do the hard work, and trust God for her inner healing. She modeled the pose you see here. When I first met her she would not make eye contact and was full of fear, burdened by abuse of the past. But God had other, better plans for her. Now she is emerging like the butterfly: beautiful and ready to soar.