Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Nellva and Pete" Oil painting

5x7, Oil on Canvas

I know a couple that has been a blessing to so many people at our church.  They give of their time, energy and really all they have to see people loved on.  They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend and I wanted to paint them something.

As I was thinking "what kind of tree would the Underwoods be?"  I asked the Lord to direct me to a beautiful, unique tree that grows in the south (since you all are from Texas. It also grows all the way up to
Canada so it is very diverse) and hopefully had red leaves in fall (sorry Pete, I went with Nellva's favorite color). I picked the Sassafrass Tree and this is why:

It has a unique leaf shape and so can be recognized easily (three lobed in maturity and I thought of the Lord, Nellva and Pete) and mitten shaped before it reaches maturity (and I thought of all the service you all have
brought to the church and to so many lives we don't even know about). It also is a very fragrant tree known for it's oils and soap uses. I thought about how they have become a sweet scent for the Lord. Both of them help others see truth and live in that way. Sassafrass root is used to make root beer. I thought about how much they love to welcome and disciple others and how they bring that friendship to so many. The tree is also known for attracting butterflies (particularly swallowtails because of it's leaf shape) and it helps feed deer, rabbits, black bear and many birds. I guess I thought this was a neat analogy of they give of themselves to nurture, guide and teach others. Everything about this tree is really for others as I feel their lives have been to serve our Lord and give to others from that love. I have a two trunked tree as both serve in different ways but from the same root and for the same purpose.  Their are three trees staggered behind the foreground tree to symbolize their three grown children.
This may be corny but I hope it shares how loved they are by our amazing God. He truly makes all things beautiful when they are lived for Him. Nellva and Pete, thanks for doing that right before our eyes, for showing us how it's done.
Hebrews 6:10 says, "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them."


  1. Dawn,
    Beautifully drawn, painted and stated! You have such a big heart!


  2. Lovely analogies...trees possess so much symbolism and you paint them so beautifully. It's breaking my heart to be losing so many in this drought.

  3. Thank you Debbie. It's breaking mine too.