Some years ago, I pushed for and then succeeding, moderated a forum on a virtual artist’s community called, “Inspirational Art”. I moderated quite a few forums as is, but it was coming to a point that if an artist in any forum pointed to the importance of their faith connecting to their art…albeit lending purpose and meaning, or directing subject of interest, just simply crediting or praising God for a time painting…it led to controversy and debate. Suffice it to so some literally looked for artists making references to God to start debate knowing they would in turn take the thread over, and eventually cause the necessity of its being closed by that forum’s moderator. So a separate forum was hard won where artists could simply share, think out loud…without fear of reprisal.
It had been suggested often, and often enough to me, that one’s faith or religion has absolutely nothing to do with making art. A ludicrous suggestion as far as I am concerned where art at its core involves the passion of the individual’s heart and soul, and where one’s soul longs for that relationship with God above, recognizing the ability to even make art, the desire alone to make art…comes from God.
Folks also do not seem to acknowledge that their thinking is related to their own particular upbringing, their enculturation, molding…shaping and leading ultimately their held worldview. Influences from home, church, schools, universities and professors, the media, on and on.
A worldview can be thought to be like a pair of colored glasses for which you look thru and see your world. Coloring your understanding, how you interpret, extrapolate, and thereby come to express. There are some wonderful resources for studying worldview thinking, one is “Understanding the Times” by Dr. David A. Noebel http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Times-David-Noebel/dp/1565072685
…and in his treatment…he breaks it down to four main worldview thinking types…Secular Humanism, Cosmic Humanism, Lenin/Marxist, and the Biblical Worldview. What is eye opening is that the ‘isms and sciences do not belong to any one domain. They are simply the stuff for which truth is drawn…assumptions and presumptions made. Secular Humanists have their view on politics, biology, sociology, history, psychology, religion, science on and on…and because our society is by and large secular, we’ve fallen to believe they as a worldview hold copyright to such views, but this simply is not the case. In the arena and marketplace of ideas such dogmatic ownership has to be seriously questioned and resisted.
The reason I have started this blog is that I might have one place I can express my ideas apart from what feels like constant efforts to toe tap around folks without offending. This simply, is who I am as a painter.
A believer/painter simply cannot and must refuse to compartmentalize for the sake of appeasing others, at least in one’s own understanding and self-acknowledgment. I’m not saying one is obligated to argue, debate…though should be prepared to. Civility, picking your moment, being cautious to win the right to be heard, and representing the gentlemanliness of Christ is tantamount.
I grew up with religion…but it wasn’t until I experienced entering into a relationship with the living God at 21 years of age, that I understood my previous religious experience or “education” had been a preparation at best. I recognize that while I am growing as a painter, I am also growing as a spiritual person. The two often intertwined. What I put into painting, what I get out of it. What comes of my work when completed. How I will conduct my business practices.
So, this blog recognizes one place I may think aloud without apology. I am, who I am…and those that follow along in agreement or no, understand I credit what I do as an artist, credit my work ethic, my drive for excellence to my relationship with God…His intervening into my life.