when words fail, art speaks volumes

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Sharing The Gift

What age were you when you discovered your spiritual gift?  That moment when someone turned the lights on, so to speak, and you saw the very thing you were meant to do with your life.  That one gift with which you identify so closely that you know you believe you could never survive without doing.

For me, that was years and years ago (more than I care to admit) around the time I began high school.  At first, like with any teenager, mom dragged me to do something she was much more interested in than I thought I would be.  Hours of crumpling butcher paper, modifying items bought at Home Depot, emptying countless cans of spray paint, to complete the parts needed to create this giant 30-foot behemoth of a cross.  How exactly was all of this “trash” supposed to make something worthy of that giant stage?

As the project began to come together, it suddenly made sense.  The textures, earthy and metallic tones, the exaggerated shadows, the perfect imperfection of it was simply amazing.  It wasn’t until I walked in the doors and the lighting technicians had worked their magic did I really see what we had done.  Tears of both joy and awe streamed down my face.  I helped make that?  Looking around, I noticed other people were moved to tears as well.  I helped do that?  I realized that God had used me to reach other people.  The entire journey had manifested in inspiring other people to worship.

After that, I was hooked.  I couldn’t wait until the next planning meeting to help discuss the upcoming visual.  What was the topic? How did it speak to us?  Allow the music to inspire a vision in my mind’s eye and vigorously record it in my sketchbook.  Every step of the process from the inspiration, to the hard labor, to the final artwork hung for all to see, I found it all electrifying.  And what’s more, it was a joy to make art for God Himself.  What a better way to show God you love him than to use your gifts to glorify Him?

While I haven’t had the opportunity lately to create art on such a grandiose scale, I have been painting quietly in my makeshift studio. Still as an act of worship for God, but smaller and in the language I communicate best.  Although I love my intimate paint sessions with Him, I find myself longing to find a church where I can use this gift to not only glorify Him, but also to speak Christ’s love to those who are moved by something He gave me to share.  Someday it will happen again, and I will remain ever ready for when it does.

The Smell of New Canvas

Let’s say someone gave you a check for $10,000. You know that feeling of excitement that rises within you when you think about all of the things you could do with that money? The slight adrenaline rush seems almost euphoric. This is the feeling that floods my heart when I get new canvases. Newly gesso’d, stark white and waiting for a visual novel to be painted on them.

What happens next is always a strange phenomenon. I get so overwhelmed with the possibility of what could be that I get stuck. I wait for inspiration to strike me like a lightning bolt. Until then, the canvases go untouched, gathering dust in the garage. And when that doesn’t work, I move them to various spots in the house to see if their location increases my chances of getting zapped. Currently, I have three canvases in the hallway ready and waiting for me to give them a voice. The vision of one is becoming increasingly clear while the other two remain a mystery in my mind’s eye.

I’m hoping today’s rain brings lightning!

Quote of the Day

“There’s no retirement for an artist, it’s your way of living so there’s no end to it.” Henry Moore

Trying Something New

As much as I adore spending time in front of a canvas, I’ve found that I’m starting to branch out into other mediums. It’s invigorating to broaden my scope and look beyond the normal art supplies, find the beauty in other objects, and transform them into sculptures.

Recently, my attention has been fully on creating art to glorify the Almighty with what He has created in its raw form. Branches and twigs have been manipulated into crosses with the help of heavy gauge wire. Some are amplified with the help of a little metallic paint, while others focus solely on the beauty of the wood itself. I find myself searching for more objects with which to create: barbed wire, bits of metal, old CDs that can no longer serve their original purpose, broken glass, ancient keys, picture frames, and all sorts of other things. The newspaper cross has inspired me to experiment with the unconventional, and the sense of accomplishment is electrifying.

I am excited to see where God leads me next…

In anticipation of a new project

Sometimes God puts opportunities in front of you for His divine purpose, and it’s your job to grasp it with both hands and allow him to lead you through it. Creating art for churches is by far, the most fulfilling artwork I could ever create. Allowing my hands, and sometimes, feet, to be used to paint something for His Glory is an awesome experience. I can feel it when I’m completely flooded by the Holy Spirit, and my vision for what is to be painted is blurred, and His vision arrives in its place.

Next month, I will be painting during a fundraising event, held by a local church. The donations received will benefit a local homeless shelter. The idea was posed that my artwork could be auctioned, and the proceeds would go directly to the shelter. This is my favorite way to serve. To glorify God using my gift, and then watching my art benefit others in an amazing way.

It’s a blessing, and I can’t wait for this to unfold.

quote of the day

It doesn’t make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said. Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement.
Jackson Pollock

Quote of the Day

It has been a long and sometimes difficult process yet one with many rewards and surprises. Two key ingredients for the artist are persistence and humility. I embrace rejection as God’s way of saying “start again from a new perspective.”

Wayne Forte

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