I painted this Fall morning in Acrylic based on a photo sent to Marj via her smartphone. I was drawn to the combination of color, time of day and season of the year—our favorite. I’m sorry that the glossy varnish finish I applied, created light flecks at the bottom in this photo. Nevertheless, I thought it a good choice for today’s ‘Thought’—Art.
Typically, when we use the word Art, we have in mind what is actually ‘fine art’ or ‘graphic art’. Nothing is wrong with that perspective. But technically, ‘Art’ is really talking about creation of beautiful things observable through our senses—auditory, visual, tactile etc.. Limiting to just visual may cause too many to feel they simply are not artists. I think everyone is an artist—the ability, as a human being, to create. It may be creating a cake, a schedule, a mowed lawn, a lesson plan, a building design or snow removed. We used material things to create a condition that had not yet existed—we created! We were all created that way.
I sometimes (and I don’t mind) am accused of starting with Genesis—the beginning—when attempting to explain things. Well, that’s exactly the case with Art. Just listen to this: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… (the order of creation God used is then delineated by six days)…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:1 – 27
So far, in these words, we learn two things about God.
First: he has the power to create and he created. He created male and female in that same image of God—with the ability to create.
Second: the next two verses give specific instructions. “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
The greatest creative task God gave the minds of the first male and female was to create babies who would continue in that image—creation via procreation. And God also gave them a mind attuned to the will of the creator to learn how and to creatively care for the rest of all God’s creation—fish, birds and every living creature.
God himself is the first Artist. He passed that characteristic on to all mankind in an ever-expanding way.
In response to God’s instructions to Moses, to build the tabernacle, according to God’s instruction, this creativity was called into play in carrying out God’s will.
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel sons of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you:”
Art, in almost any medium, has been used widely to communicate the love and power of God for, and through, his creation from the beginning. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made [created art], so that men are without excuse.”–Romans 1:20.
God allowed his own power and love to be seen in art—creation—observable by mankind. Tragically, Romans chapter one continues: “Although they [mankind] claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. God’s plan was that his artful creation would be a way to see beyond the art to the Creator himself!
Historically, throughout Western civilization, pictorial, musical and thespian Art was the predominant way to communicate God’s message of love to a primarily illiterate creation. Unfortunately, the temptation to worship the artistic representation continues.
I believe God’s intention is that we continue to create in whatever good way we are able for his glory and our pleasure.
“For we are God’s workmanship [poem or art work], created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
You are an Artist!