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.