From a red canvas to the valley of the shadow of death……..

You are with me 2020 by Sue Newham

As the realisation of what the Covid 19 virus would mean began to sink in, I felt, as many people did, that the world had turned upside down.

I knew that this was the “valley of the shadow of death” which is spoken about in Psalm 23, King James version.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”(NIV)

I wanted to paint a picture to encourage myself and to encourage others. It was a process of glue, tissue, paint, mineral texture gel, more tissue and glue, and more paint. I started with a scarlet base coat, which may seem strange when the canvas is going to be covered with paint, but actually a canvas is almost never entirely covered with paint and where tiny flecks of the base coat show through, they add liveliness to the painting which is quite gloomy otherwise. If the base coat had been black, the final piece would have looked quite different.

You can see traces of scarlet here, in a close up around my signature.

painting detail

One aspect which developed during the process, was that I kept adding traces of greenery to the valley. I realised that the valley of the shadow of death is not like the famous Death Valley, which is the hottest and driest place in North America. It is the “shadow” or fear of death which makes the Psalm 23 valley such a fearful place to be, and Jesus is with us. He will not let us walk through the valley without the refreshing water of life to keep us going. That was why I added the waterfall and stream. Wherever we go, we have the refreshing that comes from the Bible, the living water of God’s word. And where there is water, there will be signs of life. Plants clinging to the rocks and moss growing on stones. I believe that God will produce life in us, and that we can be fruitful, even in these awful times.

There is light at the end of the coronavirus chasm, but it is only just visible as a faint glimmer at the moment. But wherever we are in the journey through our own valley of the shadow of death, we need fear no evil, because Christ is with us, every step of the way.

If you want to see a short video of the process on Youtube, follow this link-

This is the link to the final product.


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