|Headboard design. The project that started it all.|
We have been created in God's image. And in His image, we have been created create-rs. You don't have to be a fantastic artist to dive into the arts; whatever you create tells a story. It is your story and God's story and its own story all at once.
I would not have considered myself an artist if I had never been a woodworker. Art was one of my passions, but something in me hesitated to put it out there. Until in 2009, I built a new headboard for my bed. A few pictures on Facebook, and everyone wanted to see my art. To that moment, I had never thought of such a thing as art; it was simply a part of what I did, a piece of what I built. Now, art is a dominant voice in the stories I'm telling.
|The simple sketches of a heart discovering God's tender mercy on the other side of darkness.
Because as you know, and as you'll see, art takes many forms. But at its base, it is the narrative. It speaks beyond what we could say in words. And as a communicator, I know that there are some who will never read or hear a word I have to say, but there is something visual that will speak to them. That is why it is critical to involve the visual in everything I do.
|Art tells our story.|
Art is more than what pencil (ink, charcoal, crayon, paint) does to paper. It is also a creation, something that stands on its own. This is the art that I perhaps enjoy the most - the chance to put my hands on something, in something, around something and bring it to life. It's easy to believe that art is inadequate. When you see a beautiful sunrise that your brushstrokes can't do justice to. When there's an interplay of motion that can't be captured with only two dimensions. That's why it's important to me that I open myself up this dimension of depth and embrace art as the tangible, as well, and weave into it the intangible so that it is this mysterious mix of something that both excites and puzzles people. (Ok, me.)
|Art is an invitation to create.|
Maybe that's one reason I like origami (paper folding) in particular. It is this idea of a bunch of little pieces with a million tiny folds that turns the two-dimensional into the three-dimensional and invites a new order of space and void, gravity and balance, strength and delicacy.
Art is meant to be a visceral experience - something you experience with more than your eyes. It is both the creation and the void, the tangible structure within your reach and the space left for you to fill with whatever it is that brings you to the art. It is in that space that life flows and art is truly created. Our interaction with Creation creates...art. Indeed, some of my greatest joy comes from working with what we might call Creation Itself. That is, nature. I'm always looking to scrap and repurpose little pieces of wood, rock, concrete, foliage, flowers, whatever I can find lying on the ground or growing in the park. This is maybe one of the greatest examples of God as Man (Jesus), showing us how to use the tools and the resources at our disposal and refine them for our purposes through craftsmanship. Remember, God the Man was a carpenter. And it's really cool to see some of the things you can get drawing on the inspiration all around you that isn't man-made but is God-given. His abundance of raw materials. When I'm creating this way, I'm tapping into both God the Father and God the Son - the Master Creator Himself and the Man in the woodshop trying to master the hammer and chisel and these fumbly fleshly hands.
I think sometimes, we get it in our heads that "art" by its very definition is high-brow. That it's just out of reach for most of us. That it's stuffed-shirt, chilly-museum fodder and something for those with time to seek out such things. Art is for the masters, we say. But I tell you it's just not true. Art...as it is in Creation...is low-brow. It is common. It is for all of us. It is still extravagant, yes, but it is free. You don't have to pay anything to see it, and you don't have to go anywhere but where you are.
|Art connect us to Creation.|
You think the flowers are not His artwork? Look at the way the stems wind up from the root. You think the bugs are not an intricate masterpiece? Look at the wings of the butterfly. This is Creation! This is His studio! This is art. As simple and as pure as it gets. Not for status or for symbol. Not for hoity-toity and high-brow. For every day. For every place. For every time. For every one. He has created this world for us to enjoy while inviting us to imitate His art through ours.
|For the sake of fun.|
So we have to remember to play with art a little. We have to remember what it is to engage with creation - His and ours. Take for example this tripod and blaster pipe from Vacation Bible School. It is solid in structure but after it was formed and steady, it became art. It became this contraption, this work-in-progress that I danced around in my workshop for two days with the delicate tip of a Dremel tool making sure every little connections was carved out to fit, that all the pieces didn't just go together or work together; they fit together. That the directionality (left and right, up and down) had just enough but not too much give in it. That the colors were more than assembly instructions (which they are, by color) but that they had a greater message, too - Father, Son, Spirit legs and Scripture in the support posts to match. The structure makes it function; the extravagance, the little detail, makes it art. And the stuffed animals and confetti shooting out of it makes it fun.
|Art is function.|
|Art is delicious. (Orange creamsicle cake)|
There's not really a medium that as an artist, I won't work with. I'm always up for trying something new, figuring something out, working with whatever feeds me. Art feeds me. And I'm always hoping that whatever I create is a community meal, too. (Speaking of which, did you know food is also art? It is around here, anyway.) But I just let myself go with it. I let it work itself through me as I try to work through it. It's cool to be a writer, but words can't do everything. It's great to be an artist, too.
I'll try to keep this page current with new projects or whatever I'm working on, but may start adding things as sort of a gallery here below. I wanted to introduce you to art, particularly my art, and just kind of put out there that there is this other thing I do, this other thing created in me that I am so thankful for. This gift of art and the ability to work with my hands in order to create.
His art in this artist that is a piece of His art to begin with. His created creative.
|Inspirations for my wall. Live a life worthy of the calling of God. Be fully that which He has created in you to be (and nothing more. and nothing less). And let your life speak.|
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