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Fully Alive Series


The glory of God gives life; those who see God receive life...

It is impossible to live without life, and the actualization of life comes from participation in God...

participation in God is to see God and enjoy his goodness.  -St. Irenaeus of Lyons*


While we are all alive in the basic sense, not all are alive in the heart of hearts.  Fully Alive explores the idea of abundant living which is the longing of countless human hearts.  Imagery from nature and ancient symbols converge on the page to communicate ideas of vitality marked by fruitfulness, radiance, and freedom founded in God.  Small objects such as eggs, seeds and acorns are chosen for the grand and latent potential for life that they hold within them.  Birds represent freedom as they simply fly in accordance with what they are born to do.  The cardiograph is a modern take on the ancient symbol of the heart as the seat of life.  The pulses of the graph document points of life in time as the metallic surfaces reflect light, another symbol of life itself.  The scarlet thread is particularly chosen because it is an ancient emblem suggesting Divine life, favor and purpose stretched over all of human history. This symbol carries special relevance in relation to those whose hearts have been wounded by evil and stifled by injustice.  These types seek to engage the viewer by way of combining select and simple imagery pointing beyond themselves to realities present yet unseen. "Man Fully Alive is the Glory of God," or more literally translated, "The Glory of God is a living man."  Life comes to all through the author and source of life, God manifested in Jesus who death could not destroy.

* Irenaeus was bishop of Lyons (now France) in the last quarter of the 2nd century.  The above quote was from his work, Against Heresies,  written about 185 A.D.

The Following Collection was first displayed at Piccolo-Spoleto, Charleston, SC in 2011, as a part of group show with Artist on Fire.  Since that time, pieces from the collection have been loaned for display to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Kairos Gallery of St. Andrews Anglican Church, and Catalyst 61.




The Body

The tree symbolizes God’s people.  It all began with the Jewish root with outsiders being grafted in as they turn to God.  The ribbon serves as the scarlet thread, the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice that knits us all to one another in love. 

Melanie Spinks, 84" x 36", Mixed Media, 2012


Human History (for Those Who Live in Time)

Melanie Spinks, 96" X 44", Graphite and paint on 90-lb paper, 2012


The red represents redemptive human history explained over the whole of Bible itself.  The beginning starts on the up, in the tranquil hope of Eden.  The fall of mankind is the twist in the cloth, mankind separating himself from God.  But the upward rise to unfurling is God’s pursuit of us, entering our story as Jesus of Nazareth.  The death on Calvary’s tree and subsequent resurrection ushers in the certain though already but not yet consummation and renewal of the heavens and the earth.  The entirety of the drama takes place within God the Father’s sovereign hands.

Shipping is free in the Continental USA.  It will arrive unframed in a roll.  Signature is required upon delivery.  Write me about international shipping and we will work out a plan.  Free pick up or hand delivery in the Charlotte, NC and Charleston, SC areas. 

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Life Begets Life

The nest is a symbol of a home where new life is born.  Eggs containing all of the latent potential of new and growing life rest in the nest.  They are gold, the metal of divinity in the Scriptures symbolizing God’s work in bringing them into being.  Furthe more, the tree is a symbol of life, and the leaves of this tree are silver, the metal of redemption.  Pomegranates have their place in Jewish symbology signifying righteousness. All of the parts work together to speak of a fruitful and creative heart.


40" x 42", Mixed Media, 2012

by Melanie Spinks



Silver is the metal of redemption in the Hebrew Scripture whereby life is ransomed. Here a silver heart beat pulses over the course of the page, symbolizing life.   The scarlet thread continues to signify redemptive history with the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice applied over those who will ask Him for it.  This work of redemption is sealed on the human heart by the God, the Holy Spirit who in church history has been symbolized as the dove.  Therefore, this work depicts a redeemed life fully alive by the work of God in and through it.

62" x 40", Mixed Media, 2012

by Melanie Spinks


All Things New (He Erases My Shame)

We hear a lot about how Jesus’ work on the cross accomplished freedom from sin.  But it also accomplished freedom from shame.  Here, the word SHAME is spelled out in capital letters.  Yet its mark is fading being erased.  The eraser dust falls beneath it, and over its dust and imprint are the words, “All Things New”.  Silver is the metal of redemption, the price Christ paid for your ransom.  The red symbolizes the sacrifice of Jesus who accomplished this, taking your sin and your shame upon Him on the cross in your behalf.  He took it to the grave and left it there.  Because He was sinless, the penalty of sin (death) could not hold him.  The Giver of life rose to life, and in a beautiful exchange will give you blessing for all of your shame.  But you have to give it to Him.

60" x 48", Mixed Media, 2012

by Melanie Spinks



40" x 42", Mixed Media, 2012

by Melanie Spinks


The beauty of the hand, a heart beat of silver, the metal of redemption in the Hebrew Scriptures. A meditation on a Psalm.


For the choir director, for Jeduthun.

A Psalm of David.


I said, "I will guard my ways

That I may not sin with my tongue;

I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle

While the wicked are in my presence." 

I was mute and silent, I refrained even from good,

And my sorrow grew worse. 

My heart was hot within me,

While I was musing the fire burned;

Then I spoke with my tongue: 

"LORD, make me to know my end

And what is the extent of my days;

Let me know how transient I am. 

"Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths,

And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight;

Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah. 

"Surely every man walks about as a phantom;

Surely they make an uproar for nothing;

He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.  

"And now, Lord, for what do I wait?

My hope is in You..."

from Psalm 39


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