[first published November 2015]
“Unfinished Symphony” is a portrait of our daughter Gillian with a Rwandan girl named Arielle. Gillian met Arielle when she was serving with a church group that feeds street children in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali. We have many pictures of that time; this one struck me because of the juxtaposition of expression, the joy on Gillian’s face, the more somber look of Arielle.
I worked for a while on the painting and got to this point—and then I stopped. I loved where it was and every time I picked up the brush to continue, I couldn’t bring myself to do more. As silly as this sounds, I love the fact that Gillian is mostly green, and that Arielle is many colors as well. It reminds me of the children’s song that goes “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world”. Leaving this painting as it was meant more to me than continuing to work on it.
Allowing it to be “unfinished” also gives it more meaning to me, as I can then look at these two girls and see them as representatives of much in the world that is unfinished, but that is beautiful. I see them—and the painting—as a symbol of hope