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Visual artist Ingrid Sletten was naturally drawn to Psalm 51:11 as the longing expressed by the psalmist mirrors the themes of her works that seek to depict the divine residing in the physical body.

Psalms 51:11

A Clean Heart, O God!


Ingrid Sletten


Curated by: 

Laurel Justice


8 x 11 1/4 inches

Gouache on heavy paper

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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About the This Work

Life is difficult! It has ups and downs. My faith sustains me in the journey. I have a daily prayer ritual that includes Psalm 51, of which this verse is a verse that I recite daily. In that reciting I am fervently asking God to direct me to the light, to the positive side of the soul.

So, when Spark and Echo asked for a verse I had an easy choice! I selected what I pray every day from the heart. I am showing my experience of God’s answer to my prayer in me and around me.

In the image I am gazing out at you and you can see intimately the spirit at work in response to my prayer.

The Spirit is in the abstract forms around me – circles of various sizes and colors. The colors suggest the bright light – and also the essential minerality -- of the Spirit. The varying thickness of the paint shows the palpable, tactile sense I have of the energy of the Spirit.

My face shines with the infusion of the Spirit! It is, I am, experienced as having been cleansed.

I hold this moment, this image, as another and eternal prayer for continued cleansing of the heart.

About My Body of Work

I have painted human figures and abstract shapes for the last seventeen years. In some images, the figure is alone in the work. In others the abstract forms occur alone. The human and the abstract forms also appear together. Most of my work is on paper using tempera, water color and charcoal. For the human figure I draw from life using a model. My figures are often drawn larger than life. The abstractions are linear or circular shapes. Both language systems are necessary for what I wish to communicate.

Through the figurative language I intend to depict the divine that resides in the physical body. These depictions communicate the presence of the divine spirit, or a divine spiritual state such as joy, peace, tranquility; truth. The abstractions depict the energy of the divine presence that may be within and around the body.

My work is connected to meditation and reflection practices combined with the experience of life drawing. Abstract images of shapes and colors may come to my imagination during or after meditation. As I draw from life or reflect on existing drawings of the figure, I imagine the energy in or around the figure in a particular form or color.

“My images are intended to represent the divine within the human person, through natural depictions of the physical body as well as through abstract forms.”

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Descended from Norwegian immigrants who settled in Wisconsin in the early 20th century, Ingrid Sletten moved to New York twenty years ago and considers herself a New Yorker. She is proud of her hometown as a collective of diverse, courageous and persistent people.

Fifteen years ago, Ingrid began a journey as an artist and a spiritual director. She is now an active visual artist producing exhibit work that depicts human figures and abstract shapes with a focus on the presence of the divine in the images. Ingrid has a Master’s Degree in Christian Spirituality from Fordham University, Bronx, New York.

Privileged to serve in the media industry in New York, Ingrid worked in the field for twenty years -- serving Fortune 500 Companies through the boom and beyond. Six years ago she began a career in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction field where she found joy combining her expertise in business and media with her first love: spirituality and the visual arts.

Ingrid's family property, The River Cabin, is located in Chetek, Wisconsin. Her family is beyond dear to her. They help her focus on God’s presence and social justice; areas in which she hopes to champion as long as she is graced to be on this earth.

Ingrid Sletten

About the Artist

Ingrid Sletten

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