Thursday, December 27, 2018

Wonder of Light

Wonder of Light
12"x12" Oil on Deep Edge Canvas

As the year comes to an end, it is a great time to pause and reflect on we've been and where we want to go. Here is a recent landscape abstract which contains art lessons that can apply to our lives as we contemplate the new year.

1. Gray is a beautiful color.
So many look at gray as depressing and drab. There is so much delicate beauty in all of the many kinds of gray. There are warm grays, cool grays, brown grays, blue grays, green grays and so much more.

Our society polarizes more and more into camps of defined color. (Black & White, Red and Blue, etc.) We need to learn to recognize the mixing and bleeding of gray mid-tones in life and culture. If we can do that, we can better live together as children of God.

2. Look for the light.
As a painter, I spend a lot of time observing light and trying to mimic the effects of light on canvas. Compositionally, light directs the eye around the painting. Light changes as the day progresses. As a plain-air painter, I have to bee quick to capture the light of a certain moment before it changes or goes away altogether. Light guides us. Light reveals. Light brings color.

There is plenty of darkness in our lives. If we think about light as Jesus taught, we remember that God is light and we are light as well. We need to be lovers of the light. We need to be looking for it always—and following it. We should be seekers of the subtle affects and colors that light brings and helping others to recognize just how much we are surrounded with light. We need to bear our own light to the world. St. Francis of Assisi once said, "For all of us would be blind if not for the Light of the World."

3. Find your source.
For me, nature and water are sources of renewal. I love to stand near a running rocky river, observing it's motions and listening to its sounds. Nature brings me closer to the hear of my creator. In nature there are no straight lines or right angles. In nature, everything is fractal and curvy. Painting nature is so much more forgiving than painting man-made things and structures. For me, there is no greater art teacher than nature.

It's very important to find something, someone or some place that inspires you and renews you. We all need to find our own sanctuary from the world's distractions and draw near to God.

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