Was blind, but now I see....

Well, after weeks of delays, I have FINALLY completed the latest in my hymn-inspired series of collages.
This piece is based on the hymn, "Amazing Grace," by John Newton.

Here it is:

Now, to explain a little of what's going on here....

First of all, you might recognize the above imagery as a scene from the classic book, Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, an allegory describing the Christian life as a journey from "the City of Destruction" to the "Celestial City." Here's the passage that describes the scene above:

Now I saw in my Dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was
fenced on either side with a Wall, and that Wall is called Salvation. Up this
way therefore did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty,
because of the load on his back.

     He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that
place stood a Cross, and a little below in the bottom, a Sepulchre. So I saw
in my Dream, that just as Christian came up with the Cross, his Burden loosed
from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and
so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the Sepulchre, where it fell
in, and I saw it no more.

     Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said with a merry heart, He
hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death. Then he stood still
awhile to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him, that the sight
of the Cross should thus ease him of his Burden. He looked therefore, and
looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the waters down
his cheeks. Now as he stood looking and weeping, behold three Shining Ones
came to him and saluted him with Peace be to thee; so the first said to him,
Thy sins be forgiven: the second stript him of his Rags, and clothed him with
Change of Raiment; the third also set a mark in his forehead, and gave him a
Roll with a Seal upon it, which he bid him look on as he ran, and that he
should give it in at the Coelestial Gate. So they went their way.
Below are the lyrics to "Amazing Grace."

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

The thorns on the bottom left represent the "many dangers, toils, and snares" through which Christian has already come... And if you look closely at the tomb, I've included a nod to the history of John Newton, who had been the captain of a slave ship prior to his conversion to Christianity:

The tomb is made up of ephemera that shows illustrations and diagrams of slave shackles, ships, and plans for arranging the "human cargo." Horrible stuff... I wanted to use these images for the tomb to show that Christ took ALL of our sins (and Newton's) to the grave, and that we don't have to bear them any longer when we repent and put our faith in Him...

Grace is indeed amazing.

I'll be back tomorrow with some photos showing the whole process of making this collage....

If you are interested in a print, greeting card, or piece of jewelry featuring this piece, I will be have them available at the fine art show next weekend (e-mail me for details), and after that, they will be available in my Etsy shop... So stay tuned....

Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. Oh Beth, this collage is beautiful!! I love both the story and the hymn!

  2. it's very moving, my heart was touched, we so easily forget, where we all have to start...and where we constantly have to remind ourselves of...it's by Grace...and not ourselves that we are saved..love the colors and composition..and hope many peoples lives will be touched by your work..

  3. Beautiful, Beth - you really outdid yourself on this one!

  4. AMAZING, Beth! (No pun intended... Should have come up with a better adjective.) You are so creative and talented. I could never come up with something like this!!


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