Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Linen Canvas

This painting was done for my husband. It was our 12th anniversary yesterday. For the life of me, the only thing that I could think of to give him that was truly meaningful, (and using the 12th anniversary gift guide of linen) was a painting, painted on linen canvas. I suffered for 2 days after buying the canvas...will he like it, will it be one of those reject paintings, will it be lame. I started painting yesterday morning. I said a prayer that it would not be awful, and that God's Spirit would fill me with love, inspiration, skill, etc. This painting was done in 45 minutes. A record. Not a masterpiece, but I like it, and most of all, he loved it and felt my love for him. This painting was from a photo that I had taken last summer when we visited Portland, Maine. It was a wonderful time for us, and he remembered exactly where this was taken.

I am reading a book by Karla Kincannon called Creativity and Divine Surprise: Finding the Place of Your Resurrection. I find it mostly etheareal and not down to earth. I find it a little new-agey, although she does speak so much about Christ and His sacrificial love. There have been passages in the book that have spoken to me, even though I don't fully understand. I read this passage this morning- "...the Creator's love had to be embodied in creation and in the person of Jesus before the world could know the extent of divine love. Creative energy- the gift of God's loving self, the gift of God's Word- must take on form to be realized. In this respect creativity is incarnational.  Love always extends itself on behalf of others, or it is not love but sentimentality.  Creativity as an expression of love must be used in service of others.  Like love, creativity nees to extend itself beyond the one in whom it is embodied.  Without the drive to express, creativity remains incomplete and impotent. Creativity, like love, must offer itself as a gift for others to be authentic."

I believe this. I have believed it for a long time. That is one of the reasons that it sometimes is so difficult for me to understand the "big" purpose behind making art. If I can't see who this days' "expression" will benefit, or bless, then I have difficulty seeing it through. I need to change my understanding. Sometimes, the one Whom I bless is God Himself (I hope!). When I respond to His surges of inspiration, appreciation, awe etc...when I obey the urge to make marks that express the reverence I have for Him and the wonders that He has made...when I push through the discomfort and frustration of the process to see it through to it's completion...THEN I have participated in something incarnational, and authentic. Sometimes, the recipient is obvious, like my husband receiving this painting. Sometimes, finished paintings sit around in my basement for a while until they find their permanent home. Sometimes...sometimes it's not about the finished product at all, but it is about the obedience of listening and responding, the exercise of discipline and effort, and the joy of hope realized. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

An Itch I Can't Seem to Scratch

Just for the record, this is not how it appeared. But I like it. It's weird.

I went for a ride this morning while I was (am still) waiting for my son to be finished with yet another college prep test. It was raining and not so pleasant outside, but sometimes these drizzly days make really good photo ops. I wandered around Pawling, and wasnt finding much. I was ready to throw in the towel and go get a cup of coffee. There was no where to turn the car around, so I kept driving. I know by now, after many, many rides like this that sometimes the best opportunities come after you have decided to give up. (Why is that?)
I came upon fields of young plants of something or other, and as always, I am drawn in by the rhythms of the crop rows, juxtapositioned against the natural landscape. I drove past because there was not space to turn the car around. When I cam back the other way, I shot a few pictures, thinking that I'd have some really nice photos. And...again as always, I was disappointed with the results. It wasnt't that they were bad photos, really. They just weren't what my eyes saw. As I stood there before the expanse of dark, wet earth interrupted by the bright spring green of the crops, I was moved by it in a way that I am not by looking at it in 2D, in little sections. That is always my frustration. How on earth do I represent/reflect not just the image, but the feeling? How do I transmit to the viewer the sense of awe and reverence that I feel when I look at the real thing? This is an itch that I am stll trying to scratch. I am thinking it will always be just out of reach, but that doesn't mean I should stop trying.