Liz Lemon Swindle is a renowned Christian artist who believes that one of the most successful ways to teach and inspire children is through having uplifting Art in the home and through dinnertime conversations. She has an immense love for the Savior and is a believer in His life and His teachings. Liz has painted more pictures of Christ and His ministry here upon earth than any other artist— living or deceased.
Liz invited MMB and some other local bloggers to her studio to learn about her latest campaign entitled “Bringing Peace Into the Home” It is her goal to get a picture of Christ in every home across the country. By simply having a picture of Christ in your home, it changes the feel of not only the room the picture is in, but the entire home.
For example, notice the difference between these two photos:
Simply putting a picture of Christ on the table completely changes the feel of the home.
Gina, one of Liz’s employee’s, taught us a powerful lesson about Time Outs and children: "Does putting our kids in time out really work? I was giving this some thought one day and came up with the idea of "Time Out with a Twist". Instead of taking two arguing children to their rooms I decided to put them in front of a painting of Jesus that hangs in our home. I then told them to look at the picture of Jesus and talk to each other about what it meant to them. I saw a difference with these two children. I have since looked for art to put into my home that teaches and inspires. Art is an incredible way to teach lessons to children and even ourselves. Often when I need a break I will sit down and look at the painting of Jesus on my wall and spend a quiet moment or two learning a few things about myself."
Hearing this idea about changing up the whole Time Out was an ah-ha moment for me. I loved the idea of setting the misbehaving child down in front of a painting. It totally changes the Time Out scenario and helps soothe both the misbehaving child and frustrated parent.
Steevun, Liz’s son and president of Foundation Arts, taught us about the hidden symbolism in her paintings and the “back stories” of her art work. The spirit was quite strong as he testified to us on the power that Art has, and how it can change lives.
First he showed us the painting “I Would Gather Thee” which is a very nice painting of the parable found in Matthew 23:37 about how He would “gather us as oft as a hen gathereth her chicks.” I thought it was a nice painting that I would probably hang in my kitchen (which he aptly predicted is where we would all put that painting). He then showed us Liz’s modern day version of this painting “ A Mother's Vigil: I Would Gather Thee (Modern)” and every woman in that room started to cry. Steevun says that when he shows the paintings in that order, he gets the same reaction from women. This is because every woman knows that place that the painting is depicting—That dark place every woman has been where you are begging for revelation and help from God. It was a profound moment and the spirit was strong as the Art testified of Christ.
When Liz begins a painting, she hires models and a photographer to actually shoot what it is that she is trying to paint. She begins each photo shoot with a prayer and scripture—inviting The Lord to guide and direct the photographer and models to portray the scenes in ways that He would have done.
She said that it is always inspiring to hear about the models and what lead Liz to find them and why they needed to model for the particular painting.
For example the model used in A Mother’s Vigil was not the original model. The original model was sick, so they contacted one of their friends and asked if she could come down and help them out. This friend immediately started to cry, because she had been up all night the night before reading her scriptures, praying and begging the Lord for help and guidance. Her son, who is addicted to drugs, hadn’t been home in two days.
As you can see by that example, The Lord is directing Liz, her photo shoots and her paintings so that He can influence the masses.
Having uplifting Art in your home as well as a painting of Christ is a sure way to invite His spirit into your home and to feel His influence. You will be able to teach values to your children in a lasting way. Every time they see that picture, they will remember the way they felt in their childhood home, and the lessons that we, as parents, taught them.
If you are searching for gifts this holiday season, please consider adding uplifting Art or a painting of Christ to that wish list. Your children will thank you.