|Caldera, mixed media, 18 x 18 inches, 2012|
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
Originally penned to describe pre-French Revolutionary times, Dickens' words are poignant today. Just browse the daily headlines to find stirring stories depicting our precarious times. Thanks to fiber optics, within moments I can go from complete elation to utter disgust and hopelessness.
Sometimes, the insanities of this world are too much for me to handle, and I feel an overwhelming sense of despair and sadness. I don't lament very often for my own hurt, but my heart weeps for the world every day.
I hold my girls tightly and look to my husband for reassurance. But, often times, this isn't enough. So I pray, and I paint in silence.
Painting has become a time for me to connect with God, and I turn to Him for inspiration, peace, and purpose. Like the majestic mountains and vast seas around me, God is my constant. And knowing this is what grounds me.
A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
People have described my art as calm, mysterious, and bold, and these are all qualities I would use to describe God. Recently, I had a revelation about my art. My landscapes are not just pictures of scenic mountains and waters- they are a portrait of God's character.
A new year is beginning, and, frankly, I expect the headlines of 2012 to look no different than the years before. This can be a defeating thought if it weren't for my faith in a Creator. This year, in quiet moments of creating, my hope is that God will continue to transform my heart and use my art to impact those around me.
I'm not one to make new year's resolutions, but if I were to choose one for the blog, it would be for more transparency. It's fun to look at pretty things, but art is definitely more than just aesthetics. Often times the creative process is a time of personal and spiritual reflection. Even as I write this, there is a tinge of discomfort at the thought of being more transparent, but I recognize the value of openness and genuineness in an avatar driven virtual reality that we call the internet.
Thanks to all who have supported my creative journey the past couple of years. Your steady readership and comments have been a huge source of encouragement! I enjoy meeting followers of this blog, so if you have yet to comment, feel free to just say hello from wherever you are : )
Many blessings to you and yours in the upcoming year,