Then, at the Supernatural Creativity Conference, a young woman named Stephanie, on the worship team, told us she woke up that morning with a song and although it was rough, she felt it should be sung that morning. As she sang about the Good Shepherd my imagination was captured and I saw in my mind the composition and the sheep’s head looking at the shepherd and the shepherd’s hand on the sheep. It was time to paint “I AM the Good Shepherd” from John 10. I had been saving a canvas, the same size as the others, in faith that at some point I would be painting Jesus as my Good Shepherd.
A few days after I came back home I got the canvas out and roughly drew a charcoal sketch of the idea. At our home group that evening I told them about the Good Shepherd experience and asked for prayer about my upcoming event,”evening with the artist”, and talking about the I AM series. Bob, our fearless leader, strongly suggested I bring the unfinished Good Shepherd painting to encourage someone. I first thought, “No way, it’s just a rough sketch. It took me a month or more to do each of the others and the presentation is tomorrow. That’s breaking all the art presentation rules. No!” But then I thought, “What if it does encourage someone? Am I willing to put my perfectionism aside and risk it?” I heard the still small voice say, “Be open, you will not be painting alone.” So the next morning, rising earlier than usual, I made my way to the studio, asking the Holy Spirit to lead the project. I was still painting at 4:45 pm and getting ready to leave for the art presentation at 5:15. The painting was in the car and I drove off thinking, “This must be a God thing. It’s too bizarre. I haven’t ever done this before.”
At the church I put the painting on an easel and covered it with a table cloth. I talked a bit and we had a great discussion. I gained a lot of insight from the experience of others and what they saw in the paintings. When I unveiled the “I AM the Good Shepherd” the discussion went deeper. It was sweet, vulnerable, and I felt incredibly humbled and blessed. The painting is posted below. It is not perfect, but it is personal. I made a few minor changes since, but this image is what was done that night.
It is my hope and prayer that each of us will experience the love of God, the Good Shepherd, and the power of His Spirit!
The project also included a large 4′ x 8′ panel and side panels that include a cross with nails, handwritten text from the Gospels, Messianic prophecies from the Hebrew Scripture and their fulfillment in Jesus recorded in the Gospels.
Giclee fine prints of the I AM series are available to purchase. They are printed on canvas, stretched on 1½” stretcher bars, and are suitable for hanging without framing. The original “Yeshua’s Sacrifice, cross and side panels are also available for purchase. More information is on my website www.valeriesjodin.com and/or you can e-mail me.