This weekend my most recent painting will be presented to a much loved woman who has been experiencing loss and separation during this difficult year by her truly caring friends, wanting to show their support through this very unique gift of art. What a privilege it was to paint her precious granddaughter with her gentle dog and to hear the story of these friendships. Most of the time painting is a solitary experience; a perfect match for an introvert like me. I can happily spend many hours experimenting with colors, creating work from photographs, setting up still-lifes...but then I do begin to wonder, what is the meaning of this? Is it a "calling" when someone commits their path to artistic expression? What purpose does Art play in the human experience? How would our world, our communities look without music or murals, without sculptures, gardens, without unique interpretations of beauty?
Remember that Malcom Gladwell quote about 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert? That is a lot of time focusing on a single discipline (I might be halfway there!) The time I've spent has, in a way, been a form of obedience, as well as freedom. When that nudge years ago became an urgent pressure from God to sign up for painting lessons a whole new door opened for me. I'm not saying it wasn't hard work, but it also unlocked and continues to unlock a creative flow within. This sounds self-centered but I don't mean it that way at all...I want whatever I do with my developing skill to go out into the world, to make a statement of beauty, mystery, spiritual truth.
When Kathryn's email came out of the blue to discuss a commissioned painting for her friend, I was humbled and delighted to find out that this obedience and freedom was moving out and into the places in the world where it is designed to go. I love that so much! I don't have to struggle with ambition or fret over measuring success. I can remain free and open and let God use this art in any way He wishes. Teresa of Avila reminds us that all things will come to an end. The pleasures and power and prestige we enjoy will end when we do; but there are better values that will remain: eternal values of love, faith, and friendship with God.
"Be ye also ready. Great and small are here." (on a tombstone at Melrose Abbey, Scotland)
Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...