a new beginning

Jan 2, 2012

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.
                                                                                                 - Isaiah 40:6-8

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,



Linda K. said...

Lovely, thoughtful post and lovely painting. Thanks for your transparency! Your blog and work continues to inspire me.

only daydreaming said...

Cathy, I appreciate your transparency and I applaud you for it. It's part of the reason I keep coming back to this blog.

happy new year!

Erin said...

Thank you for sharing your deep thoughts here Cathy. Your paintings do reflect what you say. They always seem much much bigger than actual size. I do not have a TV at home last 3years for similar reasons (not that I don't care what going around the world, I do)
I look forward to see more of your beautiful paintings this year!

Carolyn A Pappas said...

Excellent description of your philosphy on life.

ThisTinder said...

Hi Cathy, I think I've posted here before but not for awhile. I can relate to this post a lot. I stopped reading the newspaper a couple of months ago and have since noticed a big decrease in my depressing thoughts about the world. I don't think the ultimate answer is to live in ignorance but it sure is helping in the meantime! Looking forward to reading your blog in 2012! ~Kerry

Toni said...

I too find that when I do artwork I get into a space of...spiritual communion? It is hard to find a way to put it. I know that being in that space, with my spirit wide open and some sort of expressive medium in my hand, renews my patience with the world and opens my eyes to its beauty. Thank you for being open about this experience.

Anonymous said...

amen and amen...
i couldn't even tell you how i found your blog, but i subscribed and am so glad. yes, yes, YES! to all you said about art and creating. i wholeheartedly agree.
i am a floral artist and today i am designing for a friend's father-in-law's funeral. her year is beginning with an ending...mine, too, in a sense. I applaud your boldness...and am emboldened by it!
blessings to you!

Garner said...

i'm encouraged by your painting and your words of truth! i hope to one day have one of your paitings in our home as a reminder of the character of our God

UmberDove said...

oh AMEN!

Kim H. said...

Thanks for sharing and being you !!

Cathy said...

I am deeply touched by all of your comments and emails. Thank you!

Charissa said...

Do it!! I loved reading about your revelation about your work - that it is a portrait of God's character. Would love to hear more of these thoughts as they come (or are given by God).

katie d. said...

Beautiful post. I'm so glad your becoming more transparent on your blog. That way people will see even more how wonderful you are. I really loved this post. xo

eileen said...

Lovely post - I enjoyed reading it

j said...

a new subscriber to your blog, and i just wanted to say that i really appreciate this post! it's encouraging to find other christian artists exploring their creative callings and wrestling with important issues.

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