Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Three is better than one.

 These are 3 very small paintings. Last year, I really got into sketching and painting very small landscapes. In spite of their size, they are among my favorite finished paintings. And something about them being together makes them seem like more than they are individually. When I look at them in isolation, they are less than impressive. Pretty blah, as a matter of fact. But I think that they are so much more dynamic, and play off of each other, together. These little paintings like being in community.
I didn't know that until they were completed. Each one, when it was finished was "ok". But when I saw them together, I was amazed, and encouraged to see that something had happened that I didn't plan. The sum was greater than it's parts.
Honestly, left to my own devices, I don't prefer community. I would rather live in my own peculiar brand of "ok-ness" than have to stretch myself, and communicate, and be social. I love solitude. No...I relish it.

But I know that's not ok(well, maybe sometimes). I know I need to be with others in order to be who I really am. I know that the best of me is drawn out when I am not isolated. And I know that it's my God given responsibility to draw the best out in my family and my friends. This blogging adventure has me questioning so much- do I have the time for this? Isn't this selfish? But now I have 2 bloggy "friends", and we need each other's encouragement to press on with the creative call that God has given us. 3 of us figuring this out together. And that is a good thing.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lessons from a Fungus

Why on earth did God make fungus? You know, I never asked that question when I took this picture a few years ago. I was completely enamored by it, and spent an inordinate amount of time photographing it. I was a little nervous when a police officer pulled up next to me, thinking "here we go again"...I thought maybe someone called thinking I might need some intervention! He just wanted to know what kind of camera I had. He thought the fungus was riveting too.
My haunting question has returned. Now that I am facing some potential time to make art again, it has barreled down on me with renewed vigor. What is the purpose? Why is it so important to put marks on a canvas? What is the eternal value? How can you justify the time spent doing that instead of something more altruistic and worthwhile? And on and on. Relentless. This time, I have my ammo ready.
I look at this fungus photo...unlikely when I took it that it would be of any use or value to me. But do you know what? There are answers that God gave me in this experience that I did not know I would need today. He knew. And it is just this simple...
When I look at these mushroomy things, or any other odd thing that God created, sometimes I ask "what was He thinking when he made this?? Why did He make this?" The only answer that satisfies me is "just because He wanted to". And when I look at this wierd invention of His, I see Him behind it...thinking it up, maybe laughing as He anticipated our reaction...God of the universe making stuff with relish, and joy, and love. He can't not create. That is who He is.
Made in His image, I create. Just because. And it's gotta be ok to not understand the ultimate purpose, maybe ever. It's just gotta be ok to want to put marks on canvas, and trust that my spirit that is joined with His Spirit is just a responder to the joy that is reflected in all of His creation.