Lion of Judah Series, "Find Me"
2014 Nicki Black
30" x 40"
Canvas, Unframed

MEDIUM: Acrylics, texture medium, glass ball medium, coarse sand medium, metallics.

LOCATION: This piece is on gallery loan at The Worship Center, in Durham, NC. The original is not currently for sale.

BACKGROUND: See below ordering information.

Original: Prints are available through this website, and in person at The Toolbox bookstore at The Worship Center. Please use the contact link to send your inquiry.

Chromogenic Photographic Prints: Available in various sizes, appropriate to the dimensions of the original artwork. Finishes available include glossy, matte, lustre, and metallic.

Giclee Fine Art Prints: Available on Somerset Velvet paper, or Canvas.

Prices vary on prints, according to size, finish, and paper.

Notecards: Available in white, with a 4"x6" lustre photographic print of this piece inset on the front of the card. The total size of the notecard is 5"x7", suitable for mailing, or framing. All notecards come with a matching white envelope.

Packaging: All prints and notecards are individually bagged in an acid-free clear sleeve, and will be mailed in secure packaging, specific to content.

Ordering: Please send any item inquiries or questions using the contact link.

BACKGROUND: Jesus met me literally breath to breath in an absolutely amazing encounter, after I became stuck in trying to finish Judah's face. I can honestly say I will never be the same, nor paint the same, after this Throne Room experience.

I began painting this over the course of a 2-day conference at The Worship Center (Durham, NC) for Focus International's "The Launch", with Ray Hughes and many other wonderful speakers and worship teams. I didn't know what I was going to paint until just before the event began on that Friday night, for I had been in prayer all week asking the Holy Spirit to prepare my hands and heart.

On the first evening, I worked a lot with my brushes and texture paste, setting a foundation for the background, and Judah's mane. The next day I went back to my brushes for the first worship session, but I felt The Holy Spirit wanted to do something different, something to free me up. I remember Him saying, "That's nice, but are YOU done yet?". HA! At that point I knew I was overthinking what I was doing, trying to get everything just right, so I set my brushes down and tuned my spirit to hear His frequency more deeply. I immediately felt that same pull I felt when I painted "The Intersection of Worship and Intercession" and "Going Through", which was to fully surrender the brushes and tools and let my bare hands put the paint to the canvas. And so this is what I did, as He drew me deeper into His presence. But at the end of the conference I had come to a place where Judah's face wasn't coming through as I had envisoned. Once again I pressed in, and asked what to do with his face, the most important part of the whole painting. He gave me peace to smooth out the texture in the face area, essentially undoing what I had done earlier. I left that evening to let the painting dry, knowing that I'd be back in a couple of days to pick it up and bring it back to my studio, to work on it more later when I had a breakthrough. I was still contently struggling with how to convey Judah's powerful, yet gentle face. Lord, I whispered, I need Your help. Come.

And then the most incredible encounter happened to me the next morning, during the worship at my church. I was standing, hands cupped upward, with my eyes closed. The worship was growing more intense, and my eyelids began to feel heavy and pulsed, which is a quiet manifestation that I experience when His presence is upon me. From a black expanse that seemed to extend eternally without end, I saw a billowing, flowing, undulating array of every color imaginable pouring out from the center, into the greater expanse of the heavenlies. Up and over the center's precipice, the liquidity of the colors poured and danced, as if they carried each an inner unique cadence, but all with the same heartbeat. A mane started to form from the colors, and my husband's face broke through the mane for a brief moment, to be engulfed by the Lion of Judah himself. His eyes met my eyes from the expanse, and in an instant He drew Himself to me, His face touching my face. "LOOK at ME!", Judah spoke into my spirit. "SEE!". He then spoke into my spirit again, this time with a picture of a Mama lion in the wild, identifying her young through their breath. Judah opened His mouth and breathed into my mouth. He said, "Now breathe back into My mouth." And I did. We breathed into each other's mouths several times, and then Judah stepped back far enough for me to see his whole body, but remaining close enough I could still feel the warmth of His breath. He began transforming into different lions, each with a different profile, type, color, and age. "Do you see Me?" He asked. "Look at this!"... "... and now look at THIS!", Judah guided me with both urgency, and great excitement. "Take a look at My eyes! See?! See how to draw My eyes..." And Judah's eyes changed into many different eyes, each a part of His kingdom, each truly unique, and each exponentially of His esssence. He repeated this with His strong yet agile shoulders, and paws, and mouth, and body, speaking to me as he transformed. Colors continued to spin around Him, glowing and then absorbing back into the expanse. And then Judah took me into His mane, and it felt like I suddenly grew as small as a star in the sky. "Look at My hair! See inside!" I saw the innermost workings of His magnificent mane, spun with a flaming radiance of the most beautiful gold and silver I've ever seen. Inside each hair carried the blood of the nations, with each follicle as large and resplendent as mighty, scuplted columns. With one more breath, Judah looked again into my eyes and returned back into the waterfall of worship and color, and I opened my eyes and came back from my incredible encounter.

On Tuesday I went back to The Worship Center to lead soaking, and pick up the painting. When I entered the sanctuary, it was still sitting upon the easel on the stage, but it had a face now - it had Judah's face! I could see it, it was there! What's more, the night before, Psalm 57:7-11 came into my spirit really strongly. The Holy Spirit told me to copy it, and sing it while soaking. I ended up singing only this for the entire 2 hours.

After soaking I brought the painting back home and watched it for a couple of days more, and then suddenly as I was walking past it, I began to feel overcome with joyous laughter. I asked the Holy Spirit if I could add anything to it, and He said I was to only add the metallic highlights in His mane, which I did.

Judah gave me another wonderful surprise after I sprayed a final protective coat on it. As I turned to give it another look before heading in the house, the sun cast its rays through the less-textured rivulets in the mane, and the layers of red and orange in those areas looked as though they were on fire, just as I saw in the Throne Room.

Update, about a week after I posted these details:
The Holy Spirit prompted me to place this painting in my eldest's room, as she slept one evening. I put it across from her bed, so Judah was looking at her throughout the night. When I came to check on her in the morning, she had quite a look on her face. I asked her what happened. She said that all night long, until about 3 AM, she heard clawed footsteps pacing at the foot of her bed, along the side of her bed, and up onto the wall. I really feel in my spirit that Judah was with her, keeping guard. I LOVE this. What a faith-builder!
01 - Lion of Judah Find Me