The musings of a landscape painter, art teacher, and art history lover
Knowing God Through Art
There is something mystical about art that draws us to it as both artists and patrons. Find out how art plucks the strings of our souls and connects us with all of the universe. Get inspired to be your most creative self today!
Art is a passageway to knowing God. There are others of course, but art is definitely one. That is a bold statement, "Art is a passageway to knowing God," but I know it to be true. I have felt it myself. When you open yourself to the creative impulse, you touch something ancient, you make a connection with a universal force that is tied to all of creation. There is a feeling of electricity and adventure combined with meditation and serenity, all happening simultaneously.
A big part of that creative force, is destruction. Yes, destruction. When you are being creative, you must also allow for destruction. For it is within destruction that the unpredictable and beautiful are able to erupt. The artist begins a painting with the germ of an idea, but then waits for the painting to guide him. If you hold too tightly to your original idea, the painting dies. It just sits flat. So you begin and see what will happen. Then, when things become too predictable, you move to destruction. I don't mean you destroy the whole thing, but you must attack your work, and that is when you open that passageway.
Think of the earth being created and destroyed. It is constantly in a state of flux and some of the most beautiful things happen during those great moments of destruction. Mountains are pushed up from the earth, rivers of lava crystalize into beautiful rocks, lakes are formed, etc. This is the nature of the universe, it is the amazing creative energy of the cosmos and it is truly awesome.
Artists can connect and feel that energy when they allow for destruction in their artwork. When you attack your painting, you also are looking. You are trying to catch those moments when something beautiful and unpredictable happens. You are looking for those moments when the creative energy acts of its own accord and does what it does naturally, it creates something beautiful and unpredictable. The artist's job is to recognize that beauty and preserve it.
Of course, I am not saying that art is simply a series of happy accidents. If you are just sloshing paint around, you get a mess, just chaos. The artist must find those spontaneous moments of beauty, but must also inflict his will upon the painting. Through this process of destruction and preservation, the artist seeks to find a balance in his work, a harmony. Just as in nature there is a harmony, so to, the artist finds the balance. If it is too stiff and predictable it does not work, but if it is totally out of control, that does not work either. You find the balance. What remains, in the end, is art.
The work of art, then is the physical embodiment of the creative energy of the universe. It is the remainder of a spiritual connection made by the artist. That is why we seek art, why it continues to be an important and necessary component of being human. We are not just things, but beings connected with the divine and art reminds us of that connection.
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Author: Bruce Black
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