It has been quite some time since I've shared the story behind one of my paintings so I thought it was due time for another. My latest painting, Enduring Hope, was inspired from deep inside my heart making it the perfect candidate for a good story tellin'.
Enduring Hope 24 x 36 oil on gallery stretched canvas
For those who have followed my blog for awhile now, I don't want to sound like a scratched record repeating myself over and over again so please excuse this part of my post. If you are new to my blog, let me give you a little summery of a topic that is near and dear to my heart.
Human trafficking is something that I heard of, I've seen all the Taken movies, but the reality of trafficking especially sex trafficking didn't hit me until two years ago when I participated in an auction raising money for Love146 (an organization who works to end child trafficking). It was through that experience my path crossed with a sweet lady, Char. Char is in her 70's and has dedicating her life to helping children right here in my state, city, neighborhood...that are victims to this type of slavery. (You can read more about my partnering with Char and The Butterfly House in my past blog posts Painting for a purpose and Why I chose to support The Butterfly House. ) You can't be around Char very long before you feel her passion for these children...it is so deep and so raw that it grabs you right in the heart, and that is exactly what happened to me.
Painting of Enduring Hope by Beverly Gurganus
I have been working with Char for about a year now, and a percentage of sales from my collection "Children of the King" benefits her non-profit organization The Butterfly House.
When Char invited me to exhibit at her past event, A New Beginning Fashion Show and Benefit Gala (look for an update on that event in the near future) we talked about creating a painting especially for the event. The images began to come together as we were in mid conversation...
I thought about how The Butterfly House's purpose is to provide these girls a long term safe home as they heal and also prepare them to freely live again. I imagined how cold and dark their life of slavery is, and how they must feel unloved and worthless. I imagined the loss of hope they must feel at times, and then other times how the smallest sliver of hope can get them through the worst days.
close up of the butterfly leading the girls to freedom.
With all that imaging happening in my brain, Enduring Hope was born. The dark room because the dark horrific life of slavery. The two girls holding hands because you are never alone. The crowns because you are valuable...so valuable that God wants to bring you into his family and call you his. The Butterfly because organizations like The Butterfly House wants to help lead these children to freedom. The beautiful garden because freedom is beautiful.
It is my hope and prayer to bring awareness to this horrible modern day slavery, but in a more positive way. I don't want to paint the ugly side of sex trafficking, but rather use my paintings to remind us of the innocence of childhood, the value each life has, the love of our Heavenly Father, and the hope we have through his Son, Jesus Christ.