This is a continuation from Our first set of Hand Painted Christmas Canvases! (Series A-F)
7) G for Gifts
Matthew 2:11b Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
马 太 福 音2:11 进 了 房 子 ， 看 见 小 孩 子 和 他 母 亲 马 利 亚 ， 就 俯 伏 拜 那 小 孩 子 ， 揭 开 宝 盒 ， 拿 黄 金 ， 乳 香 ， 没 药 为 礼 物 献 给 他 。
E used the references I gave on what Frankincense and Myrrh looked like. She then used colours similar to them. I gave her choices of materials and she selected those shiny papers for collage. She was hesitant at the onset not knowing how to cut out ‘gifts’. I assured her that these papers can be of any shapes to represent gifts – could be squares, triangles and any odd shapes she fancied. She then gleefully cut out whatever she fancied and pasted on the dried painting.
The next day, I proposed we add on our G and we arranged them in different positions after I cut it out from a template. She could have misunderstood my intentions and after our supposed agreement, she wailed piteously after I applied the first stroke of paint! I was like ???? I tried to reason with her to no avail. Good thing, the paint was still wet and I could blot out and ‘remove’ the paint quite effectively with tissue. It was after the attempt to salvage the painting, that she stopped crying. I was quite surprised by her big reaction. Afterwards I discovered she didn’t want the G to cover up her paper collage effects which caused her to be so upset. We then discussed the position that we could agree on and finally applied this time round, her blueish metallic G from a marker. I heaved a sigh of relief and gladness that we made it through the whole piece together in harmony! : )
8) H for Holy Spirit
Matthew 1:18b His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
马 太 福 音1:18 耶 稣 基 督 降 生 的 事 ， 记 在 下 面 。 他 母 亲 马 利 亚 已 经 许 配 了 约 瑟 ， 还 没 有 迎 娶 ， 马 利 亚 就 从 圣 灵 怀 了 孕 。
We discussed on how the Holy Spirit could be expressed. I asked them if they could see the holy spirit? Could they see wind? Then I likened that to how we may not see the Holy Spirit, it does not mean it does not exist. Just like the wind, it can be felt and ‘seen’ by the movements of the tree leaves swayed by the wind. The Holy Spirit also works in similar ways, and planted Jesus’ birth in Mary. I also gave him another more common interpretation of the Holy Spirit illustrated with the Dove. J then decided he would like to use the dove to express as well. He then decided on the light blue sky background. After it dried the next day, i taught him to use chalk pastel to illustrate. I then explained that using chalk for this would be a suitable medium as it produces the blurry/smudged effect when you rub it. This would give the ‘airy’ ( illusive) quality of the wind/Holy Spirit. I gave him an image to refer and he chose the 2 doves as reference. The letter H was taped down so that I could spray paint over it and get the ‘see through’ transparent H effect.
9) I for Immanuel
Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” [g] (which means “God with us”).
马 太 福 音1:23 说 ， 必 有 童 女 ， 怀 孕 生 子 ， 人 要 称 他 的 名 为 以 马 内 利 。 （ 以 马 内 利 翻 出 来 ， 就 是 神 与 我 们 同 在 。 ）
As I discussed with A what Immanuel means, how God made such a great plan to literally be with us when God came in the form of flesh and blood through Jesus, I was humbled by how A demonstrated his understanding. He explained that he’ll draw a BIG God who is with the little people. The black drawing is the gate from heaven. I had prayed that God would just use their little hearts to express His lofty ideas. As I see how their works developed, my heart swells with infinite pride in our God who uses anyone to give glory to Himself.
10) J for Jesus
Matthew 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”
马 太 福 音1:21 她 将 要 生 一 个 儿 子 。你 要 给 他 起 名 叫 耶 稣 。 因 他 要 将 自 己 的 百 姓 从 罪 恶 里 救 出 来 。
J asked me, ” Mama, how to draw Jesus? I want to draw Jesus.” My reply? “I seriously don’t know son!” Instead, I offered alternatives on maybe symbols that people use to mean Jesus and he eventually came up with the cross. At first, with his dark blue black background and muddy cross colour, all i could do was groan inwardly, wondering how can this work be ‘saved’ from being unappealing as a gift! I could just trust God to work out the outcome the next day! I spread out pieces of unwanted jewellery to be recycled and lots of beads, stars and odds and ends for their decoration. Voila! J started to draw ‘Jesus’ on the cross with his crown using red (since he related it to the blood that Jesus shed on the cross) Then he selected 2 pieces of royal purple and gold earrings to set as the crown and used a gold heart to stick at Jesus’ heart.
11) K for King
Matthew 2:2 “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
马 太 福 音 2:2 那 生 下 来 作 犹 太 人 之 王 的 在 哪 里 ？ 我 们 在 东 方 看 见 他 的 星 ， 特 来 拜 他 。
E wanted blue and yellow for her King. She was really enjoying her own painting while I was getting worried over her product as well. Again, I entrusted to the Lord and waited for the part Two of overlaying with the letter K. This time round, she was familiar with the method of how the Letter would be produced. However, it was the reverse method.
I had cut out the K and pasted it with masking tape. Then I cut out the template again and pasted the masking tape on the painting. After we agreed on the position, she painted over the area with her favourite purple colour. We used the hairdryer to blow dry the paint before peeling the masking tape away to produce a clear K design. The kids were impressed with the results and she went about pasting her beads and jewellery parts around the K before adding her own doodles. For the heavy pieces of jewelleries, I used glue gun to fix them down instead of PVA white glue.
12) L for Line of David
Luke 2: 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
路 加 福 音 2:4 约 瑟 也 从 加 利 利 的 拿 撒 勒 城 上 犹 太 去 ， 到 了 大 卫 的 城 ， 名 叫 伯 利 恒 ， 因 他 本 是 大 卫 一 族 一 家 的 人 。
I was pretty excited over this concept on Line of David with A. We talked about how Jesus was from the Line of David, and what genealogy means. As he has been exposed to bible reading from young, he was familiar with Abraham and David. It was after some explanation that it suddenly clicked for him on how God had promised Abraham to have descendents as many as the stars, and how it was fulfilled with the line from Abraham to David and down to Jesus. We read Matthew 1: 1-17.
After his comprehension, I showed him Piet Mondrian’s works as a point of reference. I did not let him copy the artist’s works, instead I encouraged him to use his own imagination and colour preferences. The idea of Line was suffice. I introduced a new method, called the tape resist method. Simply pasting the masking tapes and painting over to get the straight line effects. However, he was insistent on using rulers to manipulate. Well, at least I made sure he saw my demonstration and gave him the choice to apply or not the technique I taught him.
At the end of the above sessions, I grew to understand more of what my children are thinking and capable of thinking. It dawned on me that they had taken pretty much full ownership on this Christmas Project and have poured out their thoughts and put in grave effort in their creation. Each child cherished the works they produced. E was upset when it didn’t turn out the way she had in mind. J was upset when he didn’t draw well, but after much encouragement, he plodded on and found a new way of expressing himself. A knew what he wanted to do and gave his best efforts. A begged me to allow him to choose one of his canvas to keep instead of giving away all of them. I assured him that each of them would get to select their favourite work before giving away the rest. I would also do a print out of their other works for their keepsakes at the end of everything.
This has been a precious journey and am looking forward to the exciting letters ahead to unravel more of the deep mystery of Christmas together with them!
Here’s the next series from M to U!
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Have a blessed day!