Pablo Picasso once said, “when a bird sings do you try to understand it? NO, you just listen. So sometimes when you see a painting, rather then trying to understand it, just look at it.”
One of the questions an artist is constantly asking himself is, “Is it finished? It’s the same question we ask about Life. Just about the time I get the right job with the right house and car and everything seems to fall into place, I turn around and my Heavenly Father is making changes. Here is a painting I’ve been working on. You’ll notice one looks incomplete and the other….well I’m not sure if it’s finished or not.
As I sat looking out The Studio window in late afternoon watching the sun go down, I discovered something. I discovered those small things that make artists set up and take notice. In my small backyard were thousands upon thousands of small minute pictures just waiting to be drawn or painted. I saw the buds of the chestnut tree and the red birds chasing the squirrels away from the bird feeder. I saw the chipmunk run under the privacy fence and dog stick her nose under that same fence following it’s smell. I noticed the half full bird feeder and new patch of grass bursting through the soil in search of sunlight. Shadows everywhere, more then I could possibly count.
The thought came to me that if it were not for the shadows, shapes, sizes and sounds of nature, artist would have no idea what paint. All of God’s creation shouts motivation, beauty and love to an otherwise dull lifeless world.
Makes no difference if you are an painter, singer, poet or just another human being who enjoys life, you still live under the influence of the creator of the universe, Almighty God. With out Him we would do and are nothing.
The biggest concern of an artist is “how do I get people to see my art?” The answer is pretty simple, “show it”. Which brings the next question, “where?”. Well I am excited to announce that New Creation Arts gallery located in Roswell Ga. has invited me to be a member of their Artist family. The space is limited so I am humbled to be a part. This is just another step in being able to share with people who love and appreciate the many talents God has given us.
Pretty simple, pretty easy to paint you might say. I totally agree. But think about the meaning behind the painting. It conjures up the thought of love. Love isn’t simple or easy but it’s worth all the effort we put into it. Let Valentine’s Day and it’s fond memories motivate us to work hard at keeping the love fire burning. Ellen Martin I sure do love you.
So the other day I met with God and began our conversation by saying, “Lord I have so much to say to you, but I don’t know where to start.
He answered by declaring softly, “Lee there is so much I want hear from you, just say what’s on your heart.”
We had our talk, I confessed, and I asked Him to forgive. It was a pretty difficult chore.
Then He looked at me with tears in His eyes and said, “I love you, you are forgiven, now go and sin no more.”
My very first painting was a cross. It was easy to do, I just stuck a two inch brush in a bucket of brown house paint I had in the garage and slapped it on a cheap canvas panel I had purchased from Hobby Lobby. It was rough and rugged looking but something was missing. I dug around in the garage until I found some red paint (I have no idea why I had red paint in my garage) but with a couple of flings on that rugged cross I had a finished product.
I displayed it on the wall at the storefront church Ellen and I planted in Topeka KS. Then one day my young grandson Michael commented, “granddaddy that cross looks like it’s got blood all over it.” This revelation gave me the perfect opportunity to tell him about how Jesus Christ had shed his blood on a cross so that he could have everlasting life.
Every work of art has a story worth telling, something that causes the viewer to stop and think. So the next time you see a painting, a photograph or a sculpture take a moment to see if you can hear the story being told.. it might just be life changing.
So I paint something special every Christmas for my family and friends. I usually try to think of something about their lives that I can paint about. However my painting style of choice is Abstract and I have been rather reluctant to share abstract paintings because so many people struggle to understand that the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. People always ask “what is it”. This year I took the plunge and painted original abstract paintings and to my surprise everyone seemed to really like them. It was exciting to listen to them describe what they saw. It seemed that my fears were unwarranted.
I have noticed that some believers fail to share their faith with others because they are afraid there will be a negative response. The truth is, most people are like my family and friends, they appreciate the effort of giving them something special. What can be more special than sharing potential life changing information with family and friends? They might just respond in a positive way. You never know.
Many years ago I started painting, but had no idea what I wanted to paint, nor did I have any understanding of different painting styles. I just thought painting was painting. So I bought some paints at the art store and found some old shelving in the garage. I wanted to paint something that meant a lot to me and would send a message to others. Since I at that time had spent multiple years in a Church related vocation I thought what better subject to paint than a church.
The church has always been in the center of what I do. Well actually Jesus Christ has been the center and His church has been the platform that has allowed me to follow what I believed what His will for my life.
Now that I’m “retired”… kinda, I am painting a lot more and have found a particular style that I prefer to paint. But I still see Jesus as being the center of what I do. The church or “His House” is still that platform that allows me to follow what I believe Jesus would have me do.
What about you? What inspires you to do what you do?