Friday, January 31, 2014

Art Interpretation: A Walk in the Park

On December 13, 2013 I participated in my first official art show.  It was a lot of fun and a great experience.  So many "God winks" throughout the entire thing.
  • God wink #1:  The art show occurred on one of my favorite days of the year: Friday the 13th.
  • God wink #2:  It gave me a deadline to get prints made of some of my paintings which I had been thinking about doing for quite a while but kept putting off.
  • God wink #3:  It was wonderful to talk with other artists and receive so much positive feedback about my artwork.
  • God wink #4:  I only took a few hours off from work so I was only able to be there during the early afternoon.  It ended up being the perfect amount of time.
  • God wink #5:  I painted while I was there.  I started out by coating my canvas with water.  I was painting on a fairly inexpensive canvas and it was reacting as if it was waterproof so that actually was making it difficult to paint on.  I started with bright colors that I used like watercolors, then I started another layer with the same colors but a lot more grey.  It started to look too dark and somewhat somber so I quit with the grey.  I decided to start over because I didn't care for what I had painted so far.  At this point I was getting frustrated so as I painted white over the whole canvas I purged my frustration and negative emotions.  After all of that I decided to switch to the palette knife.  And I love the finished product!  
  • God wink #6:  As I was getting ready to leave because I needed to grab lunch quickly and head back to work, an artist came in with his family.  He had a lot of questions about the Salon (the space we were in) and the event.  I answered what I could and was relieved when I was able to introduce him to my sister who had organized the event because she knew more about the venue than I did.  He asked me why I paint and what inspires me.  And right before I left he gave me a very encouraging word about my art.  He said he could tell that something was changing in me and that I was on the verge of a whole new level.  (This was so cool because I have received many similar prophetic words at church from many different people in recent months).
  • God wink #7:  I didn't sell anything.  But I have since.  I've sold a few prints (which I wouldn't have if I hadn't had the deadline) and an original painting.  The experience was about so many other things and the sales were not what mattered.  I am so very glad that I participated.
So the painting that I did at the event is titled, "A Walk in the Park".  It makes me think of Central Park in the autumn.  The blues and greens representing water and grass.  The oranges and reds the trees lit on fire with their autumn foliage.  And the black and white being the buildings and skyscrapers surrounding the park. Every time I study it I see new things and I'm sure I'll have two or three interpretations over time but this is the first word that I wrote about it:

I admire the people who can relax through the events of each and every day.  Those who remain calm when everyone else around them is losing their heads.  Those who can look at a problem from an objective perspective and bring about a solution, long before the fire.  They prevent problems from occurring instead of running around putting out fires.  Some are even energized by the challenges that stress the rest of us out.
But isn't that how life should be?  Especially our life in Christ.  Instead of praying our problems from a position of defeat, we should prophesy solutions from our redeemed position.  We have the victory even if it doesn't look like it yet.  We have the Mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).  We have peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7).  We have the joy of the Lord as our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that life will always be peachy and perfect.  Even Jesus said we would have troubles in this world.  But He didn't stop there.  He said, "Take heart!  I have overcome the world."  (John 16:33)
With God as our focus we can accomplish anything.  Because when our eyes are set on Him, the mountains we are facing shrink in comparison.  Problems go from a grueling trek up Everest to a walk in the park.  Life may not always be rosy, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Art Interpretation: Break Through

This is a painting I started about a year ago but let sit unfinished for most of the year.  It was similar in concept before but didn't fit my original vision and so I left it untouched until I was inspired to try again.

On my birthday (November 30), I went to see the Disney movie "Frozen".  It was amazing!  God spoke so much to my heart through that movie.  It was a breakthrough moment for me.  It was the next day that I painted this picture (somewhat inspired by the movie's wintry theme but very close to my original vision from the year before).

So the message God spoke to my heart during the movie was something like the following:

Our gifts and talents can become dangerous when we operate out of fear.  We cannot allow fear to control us: fear of what other people may think, fear of rejection, fear of lack or poverty, and so on.  Fear can cause us to shut up the very gifts we were created with.  Fear can keep us from truly living life and enjoying the relationships and experiences that God has for us.
However, when we operate out of love we are set free.  Free to be who God created us to be.  And it is in that place of freedom that we can shine.  It is here that others will benefit the most from our gifts.  It is here that our gifts and talents become life-giving ministry.  Instead of using people for our gain, we use our gifts to bless others.  That doesn't mean we give it all away for free and end up in poverty ourselves.  It means we live generously.  Generously sharing who we are with the world.

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."  Ephesians 2:10 NLT