A number of years ago, I researched my first name's origin. Jonathan derives from the Hebrew "Yehonatan" (yay-ho-nah-tohn) which translates as "Yahweh has given." Since learning this rich meaning, I have begun signing each piece of artwork with my Hebrew name; reminding me that each artwork is a gift from God. It is He who enables me to dream and express these artistic visions with paint strokes and pencil sketches for His glory and for my joy. 



Renewing the Mind(SM)_edited.jpg
Renewing the Mind (Romans 12:2)
(acrylic paint on stretched canvas, 30" x 40", 2022)

Symbolism & Imagery


Waterfall - composed of juxtaposed “panels” or “pages” signifying the multifaceted and layered truth of God’s Written Word - beautifully orchestrated by the Holy Spirit through many generations - each book and author expressing different attributes of God and His plan of Redemption.


Mist - the waterfall descends from the rock cliff and creates a great cloud-like form at the base relating to the glory of God and His Kingdom as well as the Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” ~ Matthew 6:10


River - brings to mind Psalm 1:3, Psalm 23:2 and Jeremiah 17:7-8 as well as the river that runs from God's very throne and presence (Revelation 22:1-2; also Ezekiel 47:1-12)


Wilderness - the scene is set in a secluded area much like how Jesus intentionally retreated the wilderness to focus on prayer and fellowship with His Father 


Figure - the posture of the man is one of humility and submission; seeking wisdom and communion with God. One hand is over his heart and the other extends into the water symbolizing devotion and confession/cleansing. The halo represents a renewed mind; one that is being nourished and cultivated by the Holy Spirit.


Plant Life - the variety of vegetation refers to the flourishing that comes from being connected with our source of life. Jesus invites us to abide in Him that we may bear fruit and to live generously - life abundant. The diversity of the patterns speaks of the diversity of God’s people gathered from every tribe, tongue and nation.


Color Scheme - the overall color scheme is calm with shades and tints of blue and violet signifying water and sky. The warm tones of the gold and copper contrast well with the cool colors - their iridescent quality reflects light = “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed” (Psalm 34:4-5). The copper tone also signifies the zealous and refining fire of the Lord (John 2:17, Isaiah 6:6-7, fiery living creatures “the burning ones” from Ezekiel 1 & Revelation 4).


Jonathan Edward Shaw
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA