The Conversation of Art
There’s an old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. I don’t know who said it or when, but it has always been true for me. Art is a conversation with many participants. Art has power, a message that is beyond words. Art bypasses our walls of defense in a split second and penetrates the human heart.
What is the art that sparks your heart? Maybe for you, it’s a masterpiece by Monet.
Or maybe it’s a crayon drawing by your 5-year-old grandchild. The power of art speaks across the earth. Art speaks to people of every age, every culture, and every race. Art communicates and it unifies. Creativity has existed since the beginning of time, and it will continue until the end.
Art is a conversation, because if we let it, art can tell us about ourselves. The art that touches your heart can show you a little bit about yourself. It could be a portrait, a landscape, or an abstract sculpture. What is it about that painting or that sculpture that attracts you? Why do you like it? Maybe we don’t know why we like it; we just like it.
I am an artist, so of course I love to talk art. And I love to make art. When I paint, it is a conversation with no words. Throughout my process, from setting up my palette, to painting the first layers onto the canvas, to working out the details of a portrait, I am communicating with my Creator as I create. This creative conversation is my prayer. Sure, I pray in other ways too. (I especially love the Lord's Prayer... I might write about that sometime.)
Something beautiful happens when we enter into that creative space, whether it's painting, or building something, or creating a new culinary masterpiece. Or writing a song. The list is endless. What is your creative spark? Where do you enter into creative flow, where you lose all track of time or appetite?
I invite you into a journey, a conversation, a prayer. Use your creativity to talk to God. And in this process, listen to God. He has some pretty awesome things to say about you. Like what, you ask? Well here's just a few:
His love for you is astonishing in all dimensions. It's deeply intimate, far-reaching, enduring and inclusive (Ephesians 3:18-19 TPT).
Jesus loves you so much that He completely absorbed the curse on your life by becoming the curse in your place (Galatians 3:13-14 TPT).
When we delight in Him, he prospers us in every way (Psalm 1:1-3 TPT).
When we give ourselves permission to be creative and inspired, it's easy to delight in our Creator. Spend a little time with God this week. Allow yourself to think outside the box about creativity and prayer. He delights in you because He created you!
As you learn more about God, you will discover more about yourself. It will be a conversation. It will be a journey: sometimes artistic, sometimes wonderful, sometimes painful, and hopefully healing.
I love the conversation of art. It is much like prayer. Prayer is not simply us talking and God listening. Prayer is intimacy with God. Prayer is listening to what he is saying. Prayer is like the conversation of art. It is an exchange of ideas and inspiration. Prayer, like art, thrives in vulnerability, authenticity, and trust. When Jesus’ followers asked him how to pray, he said, “Our Beloved Father, dwelling in the heavenly realms, may the glory of your name be the center on which our lives turn” (Matthew 6:9 TPT).
Take your time this week to have a conversation with God. Create space in your life to study God, talk to God, listen to God, and love God. Inspire yourself through art. If you're the creative type, make something. If you live in Northern Colorado, visit the Loveland Museum (the Governor's Art Show is happening this month, which is one of the best shows in the state, featuring Colorado artists) or Benson Sculpture Garden. Or go view God's art in nature: walk on the beach, hike up a mountain, or dig in your own garden.
How do we listen to God? Does He speak to us? Yes, but not always in the way we think. Maybe He speaks to you in words. He speaks through His word, which is scripture (the Bible). He also speaks to me with a "knowing" in my spirit. Or an "aha!" When He speaks this way, it always lines up with Truth. If it is an idea in my artwork, it is inspired, which comes from "in" "Spirit", which literally means "to inhale the Spirit" of God (Merriam-Webster).
You can hear Him too. He is continuously speaking in various ways. Listen for Him when you are in that inspirational place, whether you are creating something or you are enjoying nature. Give yourself permission to be vulnerable and authentic in your conversation with him. Embrace the process. I hope your relationship grows deeper with him day by day. I hope you have wonderful discoveries about God and about yourself this week.