Well, a lot of you won’t know this. I’m a painter by advocation. If I weren’t doing this ministry that God has called me to, that’s probably what I’d be doing. I don’t even think of it as a hobby. I think it is an expression of the gifts that God has given me that I need to be a good steward of.
I paint large abstract metallic paintings. When I get done with the painting, it looks like a beaten-up weathered metal surface. There are no objects in my paintings. I’m not painting a tree or a horse. Its non-objective painting and there are people who think that the rise of abstract painting is a denial of creation and only is the result of the flossy of secular humanism.
Let me tell you how I think about that. I think the glory of God in creation is so deep that it’s not just a tree is glorious, or a bird is glorious, but the individual elements of creation are glorious. Shape is glorious. Color is glorious. Texture is glorious. Light is glorious. And so, you can work with just the elements, juxtapose those in a way that creates interest and beauty, and honor the glory of God in creation coz those elements are glorious.
There’s a dynamic that artists talk about and it’s the dynamic of visual lethargy. Lethargy, meaning laziness, that if you’re seeing something over and over again, you quit looking, you quit seeing it. You know, you may be driving by a beautiful tree for the first time on your way to work and you’re just blown away by the beauty of that tree. Six weeks later, you don’t even notice that it’s there.
And so, one of the things that abstraction can do is yank you out of your lethargy. Because you’re not seeing familiar things, force you to look at things in a different way, force you to notice just how amazing texture is or how amazing color is by itself, how amazing shape can be interesting, and how you see hose things uniquely when the object is gone and you place those next to one another.
I think when you do abstract painting, your heart gets on the canvass and in that way, my paintings are a celebration of the glory of God in creation. I’m blown away by the chemistry of the interaction of various elements. I’m blown away by gradations of color. You pull off a piece of bark, it’s not brown. It’s 700 shades of brown. It’s amazing. And I find myself, as I’m painting, remembering how that no one could have created these elements but a God of glorious grandeur. And that God is my Father, and that makes painting such a wonderful thing for me.