Amish Star Original 10"x 10" Acrylic on Wood Panel
Amish Star Original 10"x 10" Acrylic on Wood Panel
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Amish Star Original 10"x 10" Acrylic on Wood Panel

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Amish Star is a nod to a very popular quilting style. The red/violet color palette is stunning against the black background.

The meaning behind this design is as follows:

Amish Star was an interesting piece to create. The name didn’t come until much later after its creation when a quilting friend of mine instantly recognized the Amish Star pattern.

Say what? I did a little research around the Amish Star. It’s unclear where the pattern originated from, but it is found throughout Amish-made quilts. The colors of red and violet together can come to mean sacred emotions, which seem apt in this piece.

I was trying to work through some uncomfortable emotions with this piece and it ended up being cathartic for me. I have a very difficult time with emotions in general. I never really know what I’m feeling and have to think my way through the feelings (Enneagram 5 if you were wondering).

Discovering this art of painting dot mandalas has been the only way I’ve been able to successfully manage my emotions in a constructive way. When I started this piece, I was trying to express a very uncomfortable emotion. Anger. The sharp edges combined with the low frequency colors made the vibration of the piece hard to move through.

However, something unexpected occurred as I was working out the edges. The flow of emotion and feeling started to move and I no longer had the stagnant feelings wrapped around my core. What came out when completed was a deep sadness and empathy.

The Amish community has always been fascinating to me. I often romanticized their lifestyle living off the land, the hard work, sense of community… The way they are called to forgive and love, even when the world sanctions retaliation of the unforgivable. One of the things the Amish have to offer the world is how to demonstrate love to the unlovable.

There is no greater act of love than to forgive. And the bigger the offense, the greater the forgiveness and greater love.

I remember over a decade ago when a school shooter near Nickel Mines, PA shot and killed 5 young girls and injuring another 5 before killing himself. Instead of outrage, the Amish community gathered resources and donated money to the killers wife and three young children in an act of forgiveness. Exactly the kind of forgiveness Jesus taught in Matthew 5:39.

I’ve been able to forgive recently (not forget), and it’s been life changing. Having compassion, understanding and empathy for someone who commits a crime (of the heart or otherwise), brings peace which allows you to move on. Forgiveness is such a loaded topic and there is so much more I could talk about with this piece.

But I will leave it to speak for itself. Sharing my private thoughts and feelings is scary to me and sometimes words become impossible. Instead I will leave you to consider who in your life you need to forgive. Not for their sake, but for yours.