Samuel Gray Art
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Behind the scenes process of my work, recaps of my live painting shows, and stories that I find valuable

Muddy Eyes

I want to share a new charcoal drawing I just finished and the story behind it. I don't know if you have been able to keep up with the process on my instagram or twitter, but I wanted to share the entire process of this piece from the story that inspired it and the different stages of the piece.

First, I want to ask you to participate by placing yourself as the character in this piece and read the descriptions of each image below.

You have been blind your whole life and you don’t think you will ever be healed. Society has cast you out of their circle and you are seen as cursed.

People pass by you and mutter out who to blame for your disability. Years go by and you have come to grips with the reality of your identity, "the cursed one".

A man walks by and notices that you have been blind since birth. However he does not blame your blindness on you or your family.

Unaware of what is happening to you the man spits on the ground and puts the mud over your eyes. You are not sure what he is doing but he sends you to go wash in a pool. 

Not knowing what is going to happen you obey the man and do as he says. As you dip yourself in the water the mud washes away and a new light appears in front of you.

We are called to believe even when we don't see there is hope.

The one applying the mud heals - not the mud itself. 


This is my friend Jeff. He used to live with me a few years ago and we were struck by John 9 one day. I was reading the story of this blind man that was healed by Jesus. I was inspired to recreate this story through a portrait of my friend. I brought him out to a lake where we live and I smeared some mud on his eyes. Whenever I create a portrait piece I hope to find myself in the face looking back at me.

I pictured a man who doesn't know what is going to happen to him. His eyebrows are flared and wasn't sure to believe that this mud was going to heal him. It's this state that I find myself in sometimes where I feel like I am in a dark place and can't see. I feel like I have gone astray and wonder how I am going to see the light again. But we are called to believe even when we don't see there is hope.


The way we show our faith is by being obedient like the blind man.


This story shows the great need for humility, openness and recognition of need. So again, where do you see yourself in the story? Do you see yourself as the one cursing the blind man or do you see yourself as the blind man?

Samuel GrayComment