Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Digital Masterpiece

In February I became extremely ill and laid up on the couch for weeks. During that time I discovered a number of things that my hustle and bustle life wold not have afforded me had I not fallen ill. One of the delights God led me to discover was an art app on my iPad that allowed me to create these beautiful pictures and then "touch them up" in Photoshop Express.
Wild Beauty | Digital Print (c) 2013 Michelle Bentham, All Rights Reserved. 
 This first one is particularly fun! I love the wispy wildness of the daisies and the vibrant colors. It speaks of life, joy and promise to me.

Calming the Storm | (c) 2013 Michelle Bentham, All Rights Reserved. 

I love the volatile swirling that speaks of energy and power, but the light makes me think of peace. It reminds me of how the disciples were out on the water with Jesus. While Jesus slept a storm arose and the disciples grew afraid. But, Jesus, upon awaking to the storm simply spoke to the waters and peace came upon them all. He said He left His peace with us, a peace that passes all understanding. 

Waters Dance | (C) 2013 Michelle Bentham, All Rights Reserved. 
And after the storm... The waters dance. Bringing hope and light, rainbows and life. This digital image and Calming the Storm come from the same digital artwork that I created. Through editing the same pictures speaks different messages of life and hope.

Enjoy! And don't underestimate the power of God to create discovery and refreshing in the most unlikely circumstances.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Her Name Is Wildflower | Paper Doll Series

Her Name is Wildflower | Mixed Media on 16x20 Canvas | Price: $200.00
(c) 2013 Michelle Bentham, All Rights Reserved.
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Wildflower is close to my heart. 

You see this is who God says I am. 

I love flowers. 

Several years ago when we first transitioned to the large, non-denominational and charismatic church we've attended since 2007 I began to receive prophetic words about flowers and really vegetation in variety. But three significant occasions stand out to me. 

The first happened to be at the conclusion of the very first Pink Impact conference I had ever attended. At the end of the last session I went forward to receive pray over paralyzing fears that consumed my life. The sweet woman who prayed for me said she saw a beautiful field of flowers when she looks at me. This would be the night I received my prayer language and a very specific instruction: "When you feel afraid, pray in your prayer language - the enemy cannot understand what you are praying, but God does. It doesn't give the enemy anything to use against you to pray for what you fear in your prayer language." 

Two years later my husband and I went to receive leadership presbytery. This is a special time when presbyters (or leaders trained and operating in the gift of prophecy) pray for candidates and then speak words of edification, comfort and encouragement to members who serve in leadership in the church. Scott received what I considered to be a powerful word. I, on the other hand, received words like "You are a treasure, spiritual decorator, worshipper, dancer and a wildflower." Which, to me did not seem as exciting as the words my husband had received. I received the words with one question in my heart - What on earth does all that mean?  

And when I came on staff at that same church the same year I received my presbytery, I received a word from a pastor. He shared that he did not usually receive pictures, but he did when he saw me. He said, "I saw a flower with roots that go deep. But, the Lord is going to prune you, He's going to cut you back, so you can grow. But, its not gonna' hurt."

Fast forward to last year when I was on the prayer team at Pink Impact, I found myself drawing our friend, Wildflower. During that same season I began to research the meaning of wildflowers in Scripture. In the Message paraphrase, the term "lilies of the field" translates to wildflowers.

Two Scriptures stood out to me. Song of Songs 1:14 "My beloved is a bouquet of wildflowers picked just for me." Along with Psalm 30:11 "You did it!. You changed my wild lament into whirling dancing. You ripped off my mourning bands and decked me in wildfowers."

The beautiful message of the wildflowers penetrated my heart and I received, finally, the truth about this message from God's heart to my own. He showed me that wildflowers are unique and precious. They grow in a variety of environments, soils and conditions. They can grow in hot arid climates or humid moist climates... They even grow out of rocks. HMMM! A Flower that grows out of a Rock. Love that. Wildflowers can be placed in a vase and set on the house to benefit a few or they can be displayed on a hill for all to see. A wildflower may also be hidden away for the pleasure of God alone. Some wildflowers may be eater as food and some are the forerunner for delicious fruit. Wildflowers are unique, beautiful, productive elements of creation and I AM A WILDFLOWER.

I pray the message of the Wildflower blesses you the way it blesses me.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Prophetic Chic | Bringing the PINK!

A Beautiful Expression of God's Prophetic Word
over the life of someone who inspires me.
 +Sandi Krakowski 
This past week I created this expression of God's love as a gift for someone I'd never met before. Sandi Krakowski is pretty awesome as I learned yesterday! Thanks to my friend, Angie Leigh,  I was able to attend her #saturdaywithsandi event in Dallas. 

Angie suggested I make a gift for Sandi and give it to her at the event. I think about these types of things but rarely act upon them. This time I followed through. As the week to attend approached I began to pray for Sandi and the event. 

I guess it shouldn't surprise me anymore, but it always catches me fresh and new when God inspires me to create by talking to me about who the creation is for - even if I don't have their name or have never met them before. I have often heard people ministering in the prophetic say that they "see after people in the Spirit." I understand, at a deep level what this means. You can see depth, value and maturity in people you've never met before when you pray for them and ask God's Holy Spirit to give you revelation in order to encourage and build them up. 

This project involves creating a decoupage effect on the canvases by cutting strips of tissue paper I purchased in the scrap booking section of Hobby Lobby.

I also used a zebra striped tissue paper from the gift wrapping section, a chipboard crown and letter as well as jewel embellishments and clips to complete the look. On the crown I used the music note paper and pieces of torn sketch paper applied using painting medium as my adherent. All the while I pray and listen for God's heart to be expressed. I sponge paint the color on the canvases and chipboard pieces with very wet acrylic paints, and then add the embellishments. 

The Scripture comes to me while I am working on the crown. All I have is "She's a jewel in His crown." So I  use Google search looking for the Scripture related to that phrase.  After a few seconds of pinwheel work, Google displays Zechariah 9:16. I read it in several versions before settling on the second half of the verse in the New King James Version

I script it out a couple of times with a ruler by hand and then make the ink bolder. I read it serveral times... Did I say that? Yes, I think I did. 

Here is the way it appears on the artwork. "For they shall be like the Jewels of a Crown, lifted like a banner above His head." Zechariah 9:16

Before too long, I begin to select the little art cards fixed to the canvas at the bottom of the page. Each card has a Scripture related (from left to right): 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 You are a love letter; Ephesians 1:3-6 Identity in Christ; Proverbs 13:12 A Dream Fulfilled; Jeremiah 30:2 Write it down; Isaiah 6:8 Send me. 

I sit back and feel like I've spent most of my life knowing this woman as I type out a letter to accompany the prophetic word of affirmation represented in the art. 

I didn't understand what the word would mean to her, but to me it felt deeply personal. When she walks out on the stage during worship you can tell she is a worshipper at heart which is what God told me about the music notes. But, what would blow me away... She walks over picks up a microphone and shares her testimony about how she had been a worship leader and singer, but an illness had robber her of that ability at one point. That day, yesterday, she opened her mouth and her heart as a forerunner for those who needed to be encouraged to run after something they felt had been taken from them. 

As she begins to sing I remember the crown and sit down and write to her that I had heard she was a worshipper and that is why I included the worship notes. 

AMEN. Hallelujah. I love it when what I believe is God's inspiration is so affirmed. 

Is God speaking a Prophetic Word over your life in this season? Would you like to order a prophetic piece of artwork to represent the promise and legacy of that word? Email me: michelle@michellebenthamcreates.org

Prices vary based on the embellishments and size. If you would like to host a group event where you and friends gather together to produce a similar work of art based on God's promises to you in this season email me as well.

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