A Celebration of Life
by Jim Cox
Meditating on the Lord
As a portrait artist, I believe that every face tells a story. In today's “image-conscious” society, the general public works very hard to display a facial expression that reveals their achievements in life. “Look at me!” “Look at me,” their smiling expression says. “I’m a success; I know where I’m going and I’m in complete control!”
However, the person who displays a hint of sadness or wistfulness in their eyes that may indicate possible uncertainties about where they’re going, is the individual I want to draw.
I work in the mediums of graphite, charcoal, soft pastel, and 3d collage. My portraits are a celebration of life; an attempt to capture subtle emotional traits that reveal the inner workings of my chosen subjects.
An example of this is the portrait above entitled, “Meditating on the Lord.”
This young lady may be thinking about how precious the blood of Jesus is or how many times He’s strengthened her to cope with earthly problems as she waits for His soon return. It’s a mystery but my desire is that this picture might reflect some of the quiet times in our personal Christian experiences.
There’s no easy short cut to capturing the physical likeness of a person. Like anything worthwhile, it just takes hard work…draw, draw, and draw some more!
In 1960, I began drawing faces from reference photos. I drew constantly, until I could capture an exact likeness almost every time. After fifteen years or so of constant drawing, I realized I had become a self-taught copy artist.
I was very discouraged and wondered what God was doing with my life. I didn’t realize that these artistic expressions would be the vehicle the Holy Spirit would use to impact many lives in the future.
In 1976 my wife and I decided to go to college in New Mexico. It was there that I auditioned for a position as staff artist for Doctor George Agogino. He was the head of the Anthropology Department at the university. The Lord was merciful and I got the job and began illustrating famous western personalities that my employer lectured and wrote about. My art along with His writings, were published in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
I soon added mountain men and trappers to my artistic repertoire because I felt that their rugged faces, sculpted by sun, wind, and rain told stories of determination to survive hard times. In 1980 word spread around the college campus and the local area about my talent for drawing people and many contacted me for portrait work.
It’s 2015 now and I can’t believe how much God has blessed by opening doors of opportunity over the years. I have paintings portraying the resurrection and other scriptural subjects hanging in quite a few churches. What a joy it is to worship the Lord with the gift He has provided!