Seed Parables of Jesus
Kay Reed, 2023
Oil on Canvas, 12″x 16″
Sheridan, Arkansas

The parables of God’s kingdom contain simple, everyday objects and normal people, but the stories always seem to have a twist, an unexpected ending, symbols and mysteries.  Just like the kingdom of God. In my painting above, the sower figure on the right side is rendered from a figure by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh (1888) in “The Sower.” Van Gogh modeled his sower directly from one done by French painter Jean-Francois Millet (1850). For years, I have studied Van Gogh’s painting and find it to be compelling. Who is this person moving so boldly through the field and scattering seeds?  Is this Jesus? Is it a prophet or Christian who goes about sowing the words of God into people’s lives? In the kingdom parables told by Mark in Chapter 4, the stories of seeds go on to include mysteries of the growing seeds and the harvesting, as well as sowing. Just as van Gogh bathed his subject in strong light, I used the same intensity for light and shadow for my painting of the field, the workers, and the church to mark how God’s light is in our actions. At the same time, in the growing seed parable, we are reminded that we must trust the seed (God’s creation and plan?) to do its part in this story.

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