Hope is difficult for me to draw or paint. It is even more difficult to write about.

Hope is always in me. I take it for granted, usually, unless things get bad. But things have to get really bad before all I have left is hope.

I think this is due to hope being an emotional state rather than an optimistic point of view reached by conscious logical thought. Hope happens when reason is gone. When life feels so overwhelmingly bad, all I have left is hope… for something better.

Although, I can’t deny when life feels positively good, I feel an undercurrent of hope for stability. “I hope that nothing bad happens!” Hope can work against change when things are good and comfortable. Maybe that reflects the arbitrary nature of emotion.

Each of the drawings and paintings below are reflections of hope. The artworks are approximately 9″x12″ on card stock paper, created with markers, pens, watercolors, paint pens, and acrylic paint. The first piece of art is a Face of Hope at its time of overwhelming need. The second artwork is a Ray of Hope, shining through the darkest hour; a time it’s most clearly visible. And the third drawing is a nod to the American Democratic political party which connected popular culture’s idea of hope to a campaign, in the Smiling Eyes of Hope.

Special Thanks to Martha Marshall for contributing the idea for this 4th Art Challenge! And check out Vikki North’s blog (the originator of these art challenges!) to see her interpretation of HOPE!


Abstract Drawing and Painting of the Face of Hope

Abstract Drawing and Painting of a Ray of Hope

Abstract Drawing and Painting of the Smiling Eyes of Hope

HOPE | Reflections of Hope in Art

19 thoughts on “HOPE | Reflections of Hope in Art

  • November 18, 2008 at 10:58 am

    OMG! Michael, you defined HOPE so beautifully. I loved the steps in personal equation, which we can ALL identify with: The vibrant colors at the birth of hope- to the streaking exclamation and search for hope in the darkness. And I agree. I’ve never seen our country filled with as much ‘hope’ as it is today so clearly depicted with Obama’s new administration. Great job.

    And by the way, I appreciate you giving me credit for our Art Challenges but that’s not true! I merely tried to stump you at our introduction. You, Michael Edens, are the one that initiated the process by reciprocating with an Art Challenge to me.

    It’s been great fun.

  • November 18, 2008 at 11:18 am

    I like your personalization of hope. Or personification. or both. But the middle piece speaks most clearly to me, of hope. I much like that piece. I like them ALL. But the middle piece speaks most clearly, to me, of its intended purpose. But then, that’s just me and the way my mind works.

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  • November 18, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Michael! You did three images!! Wow. I’m impressed and slightly in awe of how you warmed to the subject of hope. You are so right about hope as a driving force through good times and bad. I’m a stubborn optimist and so very glad to see hope and optimism coming back into vogue.

    I also like your black and white image in the center the best because of its stark simplicity. It says it all. The other two images are great as well. I think maybe the top one is my second choice, because of the way those eyes are penetrating everything that’s trying to intrude into their vision.

    Great job! I had fun doing this challenge with you and Vikki.

  • November 18, 2008 at 6:39 pm


    I think that you indeed captured it! Both in the protraits and in the light on the horizon.


  • November 18, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Thanks Vikki!
    That’s so cool that you saw the progression! I appreciate your insightful feedback a lot.

    It does take 2 to tango. 😉 I’ve enjoyed the challenges too, the anticipation is great!


  • November 18, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Thanks Lou!
    I like hearing your thoughts on the art. Especially that the middle one spoke clearly to you. That image was the loudest in my mind… created before I drew it… the others were more organic.

    Your feedback is valuable to me. Thank you! 🙂


  • November 18, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Martha,
    Thanks for commenting on the process, there truly was a warming period! I didn’t anticipate the difficulty of the topic, but I’m in a much more hopeful and optimistic place having given attention to the concept.

    Your thoughts and artwork resonate again on so many levels and layers, it speaks to the endless possibilities in each moment. Thanks for the inspiration. It was fun! 😉


  • November 18, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    I really like how you broke it down, the birth of hope (Face of Hope), searching for hope when times are tough (Ray of Hope), and the realization of hope (smiling eyes of hope). Excellent job, I don’t think a person could have capture all three in one piece, for each is very different in basis.

    Personally I like Face of Hope best. To me represents a fresh start.

  • November 18, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Hi Dina,
    Thanks for seeing the hope in different forms. I appreciate your feedback! 😉


  • November 18, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Thanks Eric!
    I like your assessment! This was a challenge that could have gone many ways. There are a lot of possibilities with hope, and I appreciate that you see the nuances in each artwork!


  • November 19, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Hello Michael,
    I believe you captured and illustrated the three different meaning of hope through your artwork perfectly as you have described them in your blog. I would not been able to come up with one, much less three! Wow!

    Oh, I must tell you that the face in your third drawing, almost looks like my husband’s. He,he.

    I’ll be checking out your other stuff, too, before I mosey on, since I haven’t been this way in a while.


  • November 19, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Thanks Tasha!
    It’s funny that the eyes are so relatable. Your husband must have a great smile! 😉


  • December 12, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    I think I like the ray of hope best because it splits the canvas right in half. We have good and bad but you have not shown for us which one came out on top. It is hope which shines in my heart that lets my eyes of art see hope on top. It is never ending, like space and time hope is never ending.
    I really like your writings and your work.
    Smiles to you and yours,

  • December 13, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    i love these pictures! your colors and designs are flat-out fantastic!

  • December 15, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Thank you Austin! Beautifully stated! 🙂

  • December 15, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Thanks mickey! 😉

  • December 26, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    The bottom one is terrific! I love the the almost infinite expression it gives. Thanks for posting it.


  • December 27, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you Howard! 🙂
    You have interesting work on your site as well!

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