By: Jacob Moseley
The crossing of the Red Sea is an impressively theatrical and historical event between the Israelites and Egyptians drawn from Exodus 14, “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.”
This is the image that Ellie Leonard, a senior fine arts major, was commissioned to depict in a painting for Freed-Hardeman University’s 83rd Annual Bible Lectureship. The 5 feet by 4 feet oil on canvas painting titled, “Marvel,” that brings the Exodus to life in a dramatic form. Moses can be seen in the bottom left corner parting the Red Sea as it rages and roars, becoming a wall on the right and left.
“To bring this image to life, I spent a lot of time doing research and creating preliminary sketches,” Leonard said. “I wanted to create an atmosphere that sparked emotion just imagining what it might have been like to be an Israelite watching Moses part the Red Sea.”
Leonard used deconstructive methods to give the painting an organic, textured feel. These elements of creation helped bring this story of the Exodus to life. Leonard is from Valdosta, Georgia, and has recently discovered her talent for painting. Since arriving at FHU, she has been on the road to discovering her passion, changing her major four times during the process. She has dabbled with courses in marketing, interactive digital design and graphic design.
While studying graphic design, she was required to take a course in painting. It was through this class that Leonard discovered her love for painting and is now passionately pursuing a degree in fine arts.