Creating artwork to explore and express spiritual understandings
Finding strength in embracing the unpredictable. Celebrating colors from my favorite rock formations. Patterns in stones remind me that there are vast layers in each of our lives. And sometimes we have to step back and look at what has happened over time to understand that progress is taking place in the present.
Working through grief sometimes feels like a constant storm. The storm blows in, passes and returns. There are moments when color shows itself to give our heart a break from loss. Days come when the sky clears and the clouds lift. We may still feel a wash of gray settle around us but slowly become aware that space is being made for the suns return.
While painting this I thought about how God's strength holds us together when we face tragedy and sorrow. Similarly, a rock, when exposed to extreme weather is held together by the strength of the surrounding rock. The cracks become a part of our story. The cracks are bookmarks of God's sustaining and comforting presence. "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
As we seek God, He breaks through in our lives with love and revelation when we're experiencing doubt and discouragement (gray area) due to unexplainable life losses. The lower white area is the past, full of clarity but now clouded with current hurt. The area of text and bright color represents the moment God breaks through this place of tension with his words. His perspective becomes our focal point in the midst of difficulty. Threads of light can be our source of strength.
Sitting at night along mountains and lakes might be a time where clarity and wisdom are nearby. The colors black, grey and blue are intended to illustrated peace-filled strength, wisdom and calm wisdom. The words are held in by paths of black ink which symbolize roads taken in life. These roads run parallel to the mountains. As the mountains represent the majesty of God, it is my hope that our paths will run parallel to His glory.
A new dawn is around the corner. Light comes over the hills into a new year with a hint of vibrancy at its edges and a touch of shadow carrying over from this past year. We can accept what was and move toward what will be with hope. Let the balance of bright and dark live together harmoniously as a new chapter begins.
This painting represents a peaceful stillness that comes from knowing God's majesty. I chose blue, black, gray and white to resemble how mountains and water might look in the moonlight. The stillness of that landscape and time of day help me remember the truths found in Psalm 46.
God used this painting to help me understand that we may see dead grasses, bare trees, an overcast sky, and and icy ground but He sees what is to come. The sun will come and melt the ice. Life will flow in the water, the trees will bear fruit and the grass will flourish. This is how he sees me. Alive. New. With great potential. He sees what I will become.
When looked at in retrospect, the obstacles in our paths can take on new meaning. Stepping back and taking in an overall picture reveals clearer perspectives. What seemed like obstacles become stepping stones along our journeys. And near to each stone or obstacle exists flourishing movement.
One color moving into another reminds us of the fluidity of transitions. During the demands of change, each day can seem separate; disconnected and insurmountable. As time moves forward, we can find that change may be progress. God is constantly moving around us to blend our experiences with his beauty and purposes.
At times we find ourselves in a long period of layered growth. In retrospect we realize all those layers were moving in a distinct direction. The intensity or color and the upward movement of this painting are reminders that we are free to flourish and can expand toward the next steps in our journey with trust in God’s purposes.
Layers. Storms, calm and times of vibrance create the layers which build our individual stories. Each part, although separate by color and line, is part of the overall piece. This analogy to our own lives touches on the idea that looking back over time gives us clarity about our journey and its various seasons. Each season interacts with and builds upon the next.