You have no items in your cart.
Early in the morning I had an image of a plain gold bell. Nothing particularly prophetic came to mind during a prayer time for Harbour Church, although I was sure the bell image was for painting in worship for them, so on the way to church I started thinking of bell idioms: ringing the bell as the ‘all clear’, six bells all’s well, ‘ring a bell’ meaning something is familiar… but it wasn’t until I arrived at Harbour that I thought of church bells ringing signalling the arrival of the bride.
As I painted I definitely felt the joyful celebration of preparing for the wedding feast. Ring the bells, the “bride is ready”, the bride is coming! It’s time! It’s time!
Towards the end of worship I began to skip the brush around the bells with a vine, and added the detail of the bells entwined with the vine. The symbol of the bride grafted into the vine.
I believe the increase of “bridal gifts” in our worship services – gold, gemstones – are signs and wonders signifying it’s time for the wedding.
Christ brings hope.
“the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes”
(Psalm 19:8 ESV)
Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.
The sandy bay represents Coffs Harbour and cocoon formed by the bay and the arch of the trees represents “Safe Harbour”. The word over the church is that as we look to the tree of life for all our provision, the glory will fall over the city. People, families, cities and ultimately nations are healed.
Commissioning Day, Harbour Church – January 2016
In this fine art TV show episode Wendy Manzo is interviewed with Colour In Your Life about painting, drawing, art workshops, art tips and art techniques.
The Colour In Your Life TV series is an art show that takes you into the everyday studios of artists from around the world. While in the studio they share their individual techniques with the viewer in a relaxed atmosphere with a delightfully Australian host and fellow artist Graeme Stevenson. The series is currently filmed in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Colour In Your Life is an Australian produced TV art show and website http://www.colourinyourlife.com.au
Matt 17:10 … you will say to this mountain “move from here to there” and it will move…
Mountains represent authority. When I recognise who my authority is, then nothing will be impossible. So often I hang onto to the “fridge door” verse that nothing is impossible and totally forget the context of the verse. Firstly, do I have the faith of a mustard seed? Faith with the ability to grow? And have I said to the mountain (authority) MOVE!
These were the thoughts I had for painting for Connections. I had been searching my mind and spirit for symbols of authority. On the early morning drive to Cairns, the misty mountains were shrouded in very low cloud. Ahhhh there was my symbol – the mountain – and my subject to paint.
As I painted and the mountain and sea formed on the canvas, I was aware of “something” coming through the water – out of chaos and toward the stillness in the distance. I admit I was a bit lost in the moment and His presence, but I suddenly thought “oh it’s a boat” and I added it to the painting.
After worship, I was given the chance to speak to the congregation. This doesn’t normally happen and it was such a valuable moment, as together we discussed what the Lord had been speaking to us all during the painting. We talked through the meaning of aligning ourselves with God’s authority and of “getting in Jesus’ boat”. And! We talked about the shark – yes someone saw it as a shark … and also about the seed pod – yes someone saw it as a mangrove seed pod about to burst open. We shared so much revelation from a simple, almost abstract, shape.
I rarely get the chance to tweak a painting with the benefit of input so I reflected on its prophetic meaning … and decided it was indeed a boat. Boats also represent authority.
I’d not painted a boat before so I was kind to myself and Googled boat images, in particular, fishing boats on Galilee. These photos show you the process of tweaking – I hope that helps you in many ways. Firstly, for you to know that YOU CAN PAINT OVER! As prophetic artists, we do not need to bow to the pressure of finishing a completed piece in one worship time. And also to encourage you that it’s okay to experiment as you go, try new things, stretch your abilities, make boats that look like sharks and still The Lord uses it all.
06/03/16 at Connections
The making of the Crown of Thorns, you can view the painting here.
I’ve never understood why ‘about page bios’ must be expressed in a distant voice of authority, like writing a report card; so here is just me, meeting you, over a cup of good coffee.
In addition to painting and blogging, I am producing two books, running workshops in churches all across Australia, teaching an online class, and releasing my own product line. If the words ‘serial entrepreneur’ come to mind, you nailed it.
If you haven’t already guessed, I should tell you that I love way too many things.
In no particular order, here’s my top ten:
I love colour. I’m captivated by the colours that emerge as I schmoosh my hands through paint on the canvas. I rarely mix a colour before I start, and paint directly from the tube with my fingers to keep the purest form of the colour I’ve chosen, whether it is an intense vibrant or a subdued hue. I let the colours play together, and love the mystery as shapes and images begin appearing out of the light and depth of mingled colours. To say I love painting is a superfluous understatement. Creativity has been the one consistent strand through all of my life.
I love photography. I have been taking pictures for 20+ years just for fun, way before smart phone cameras existed. I am obsessed with documenting every magic moment, although I’ve still not taken the time to learn the skills to capture that first morning light. I love that our world has become a visual banquet. Years ago when I began to write, blogging was a literary storytelling platform to share our journeys, now the picture tells the story. The image is King.
I love small business. It’s humbling to see people giving birth to their imagination. I love innovation, especially when young people express original ideas in their own business. I love ambition, I’m completely addicted to visionary young people. Creativity begets creativity.
I love food. Actually, I should say I love sharing a meal around a table, the ritual of breaking bread together. I love good food, good coffee, good wine, but oftentimes it is all about the conversation venue. The atmosphere is paramount. Opening the Brooklyn Tea Garden at the gallery in 2014 was a venture that probably started because I am infatuated with places where you ‘can feel the love tonight’. Oh, and that rare commodity: real tea from real tea leaves. Eating, drinking, and talking. Cooking, baking, and photographing food. It’s all good to me. I am about to commence work on a cookbook, due out late 2017; another obsession coming true.
I love traveling. It’s hard to beat being immersed in another culture, experiencing diversity firsthand, meeting people and hearing their stories. I’ve seen over 93 cities in 27 countries, although unsure exactly how many as I stopped counting way back. It’s such a big ‘small’ world, and I’ll not get to see it all, but I can try! I’m sure I have gypsy blood.
I love the ocean. I love the sand under bare feet and the whitecaps breaking at my ankles. I love the sound of waves swishing on the shore. Back and forth, swish swish, I love the rhythm. It is the music I want to hear late at night and in the early hours. I love the indescribable bluegreen ever-changing colours. We know the science of sunlight’s red, yellow, and green wavelengths being absorbed by water molecules leaves us only with every hue of blue, but we cannot name them. I paint with turquoise, ultramarine, cobalt and teal pigments, but capturing the colour of the ocean remains elusive. The ocean is our world’s greatest mystery.
I love people who ask questions. I love learning new things but can never think of questions to ask. Maybe it’s a childhood imprint from a ‘seen and not heard’ upbringing, but I’m intrigued by a person’s quest for deeper knowledge. I’ve been a meanderer with regards to my studies. I’ve studied design, journalism, children’s literature, biology, gemmology, theology, social media, art therapy (and still I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up) but I’m thankful for today’s multifarious learning platforms; Blinkist, TED talks, Medium, CuriosityStream, Lynda. I love that we have become a society with fact-checking at our fingertips. Curiosity is undervalued.
I love being barefoot. I go a little stir-crazy when I can’t get grounded with my feet on soft grass or in the sand. Shoes are my enemy. Oh, I just heard the clatter of fainting females everywhere, sorry about that. I guess you wont be calling me as a guest writer on your fashion blog now. I may be perceived as a city chick, but I’m really a beach-shack- no-make-up- just-a-sarong kinda girl. Give me sunshine through the treetops over plate glass windows any day.
I love God. He is my source. He is my comfort and my strength. The trinity are my best friends; my inspiration and my motivation; my alpha and omega. My happiness is home made and I have made Christianity my home. My prayer for you is that you find your spiritual home too.
I love gemstones. And fine diamonds and coloured diamonds. I grew up enveloped by beautiful jewellery. It’s hard to be definitive when I say I love beautiful things. We all see beauty differently. I love the clear, clean, simple aesthetics of well-cut gemstones and master-crafted pieces of jewellery. I have favourites, but they do change. Today I love peridot, aquamarine, rose tourmaline and tanzanite, but I love canary yellow diamonds best. What a privilege that I began my working career amongst the finest of such beautiful things.
Want to know more?
I spent my early years on the north shore of Sydney in a typically dysfunctional middle-class family, doing fairly typical middle-class things, apart from playing with diamonds on the kitchen table (an often-repeated story of me as a 6-yr- old mixing gems in the sugar bowl).
I worked in publishing for John Fairfax magazine group for 10 years while moonlighting in the family jewellery business, until branching out with my own fine diamond jewellery designs at Wendy Manzo Diamonds in Pitt Street, Sydney, first at the Hilton and then at the Piccadilly. I embodied Wendy Manzo Diamonds for 26 years (1985-2011). I continue to design for selected clients.
In 2003 I began painting, loved it, and soon found a gift for live speed painting in church worship services. For almost 10 years I led a team of worship artists at DaySpring Church, encouraging them to jump into their creative vision and explore the prophetic potential of their work. I learnt the utmost respect for volunteers.
My home and career were put on hold when my life turned upside-down-inside-out in 2010. Losing everything except what truly matters, it was my darkest hour. My art kept me focused on what is good, reminding me that there is always hope, and life is magnificent despite its rollercoaster nature. We all need hope, don’t we! I’m currently working on an inspirational book, due early 2017, that I hope will help others navigate their darkest hour.
My art career has taken me to paint and exhibit across Australia and around the world, including New York, San Francisco, Florence, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Parliament House Canberra. In 2013 I was featured on the Australian television program ‘Colour In Your Life’.
What else? My paradox is that I present to the world as an extrovert, and it may surprise you to learn that I identify as an introvert. It’s a little like the swan swimming gracefully but paddling like crazy under the water. I process stimuli and internalise information before I can speak, I don’t like surprises, my mind is like a computer with three dozen tabs open at once, and every little detail is important in my environment. I like social media because I can connect with you without going into large crowds of noisy people. (Ahem, did I just say that out loud?)
The man that holds my hand every day, my life accomplice and kindred spirit, has two big hearts, one for his family and one for the world. He is a counselor, educator, and a musician. I feel thankful to be with him every single day. We have three adult children, all independent brilliant young men, of whom I am ridiculously proud.
My man and I are old souls. We like weathered wooden boats, walks on the beach, and are forever embarking upon the next adventure. He is absurdly brilliant at more or less everything he turns his hand to, is a legendary drummer, and brews the cup of tea that fixes everything. I have absolutely zilch sense of direction, make great steaks, and have annoyingly strong opinions on all sorts of things that you may or may not find on this blog. We love rock’n’roll. We love helping creative people fulfil their potential and live life successfully. And we’re both fond of searching for the meaning of life. Often.
Here’s cheers to imperfect people, always learning, giving it a go, failing, dreaming bigger, enjoying the small stuff, getting messy, and above all else – embracing the diamonds on the water. Everything is symbolic, keep interpreting. Life is better with a little brilliance.
If you’d like to contact me with any questions, commissions, bookings or opportunities to work together, feel free to post a comment or drop me a line at [email protected]
You can also find me
I cannot thank you enough for taking time to read my blog. I hope you enjoy it. I wish we could have coffee in person, maybe someday. If you ever see me out and about, do come and say hello.
This piece is a privately commissioned work by a client who asked me to paint “Shalom” peace for his home. He also asked if he could pray for me before I painted, so on Easter Sunday I phoned him from the front verandah of the studio, and as he prayed a small white feather fluttered before me and landed at my feet. Yes we do have chooks around Brooklyn, however the air was as still as still could be with clear blue skies, the chickens do not go anywhere near the verandah and there was not another feather in sight. Whatever your theology is on feathers from heaven, I was encouraged!
As I painted I sensed a breaking out, busting through, but gently – if there’s a word for that? – as if the spirit realm was manifesting into the natural. Almost like the Star Trek “beam me up” except it was beaming through. Of course I had to paint the feather in the painting, especially as to me feathers represent the prayers of the saints. The orbs in this painting represent the ministering angels that come to fulfil God’s words as we speak them. The rich turmoil of the blue underpainting represents humanity and our need for Shalom. And Shalom of course is the complete fullness of peace, everything aligned as it should be according to the word of God and as it is in Heaven, peace, health, prosperity, goodness, favor, friendship, perfect, safe, happy, rest, wholly complete.
The suggestion of the wings in the painting are from my favourite verse Malachi 4:2,
But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;
And you shall go out
And grow fat like stall-fed calves.
The poppies, representing remembrance, were my finishing touches to the painting. The next day as I prepared the canvas for the final varnish I counted the poppies. I had painted 49, ie 7×7, ie the number for resurrection, spiritual completeness, the Father’s perfection, deliverance and salvation. There are 7 orbs. Seven is the number of Seals, Churches in Revelations, kingdoms of influence (or ‘mountains’ of influence). There are 7 wheat sheaths, representing harvest, and the gold represents the descending glory of God’s presence.
AND – apart from all the mysteries and symbolism contained within the artwork – the colours are perfectly aligned with the client’s home and other pieces of artwork. Ha, God you are good!