Since I have begun oil painting classes, I am obsessed. I constantly study art works to discover how Manet made such beautiful hair, how Monet blended hundreds of colors , and how Klimt created such beautiful women. I found my dusty magnifying glass and have studied "close up" every chin, eye, nose, and mouth on familiar photos. I used to look at images as a whole. Suddenly, my world is finite. I need to see how the neck is connected to the head. I have just assumed it was attached. Now, I need to know how it is aligned. A smile is not a smile, it is a rhythm of color. It is a curve with a highlight. A mouth is an expansion of darkened flesh that is shadowed and highlighted in a unique pattern. I just didn't realize that taking up oil painting could give me such "detail" orientation.
Now, please don't misunderstand, I have a passion for painting. I can't wait to drink my coffee each morning and dive into those wonderful colors on my palette. I mix the paint with excitement. I am inspired by the smell of oil paints. The aroma is a new perfume to my senses. Each stroke must be precise and have a purpose. It reminds me of writing. Both are exhausting ,yet so enjoyable. I can see how God has painted me with His colors. He stroked and formed me in the womb of my mother. She birthed two girls. Each were creative and painted. She and my father were creative and painted. Both of our sons are creative and can draw, design, and appreciate the arts. In my mind, God has created a series of paintings of our family. We each have things in common such as art and creative energy. Yet, we have some different interest and priorities. Yet, we are still family when we differ or agree.
As I paint, each portrait is different , yet connected. They are connected by structure, similar poses, and an impressionistic style. The paintings differ in color, in highlights, and in shadows. I painted them all ; yet, they are different. For some reason, painting helps me understand how big God is. He created each one of us. I think it took time and work. I think he labored as I do creating just the right nose or eyes. I realize a key limitation in my creations and His. I cannot breathe life into my portraits. The people remain still .
Each time I see a new baby born, I marvel at that first breath. Suddenly,a babe is a small person that feels love, warmth, acceptance or rejection. As I sit with a dying friend or relative, I am amazed at how his last breath leaves ,and there is just a lifeless shell that remains. It is that breath that makes us in God's image and living ,caring human beings. Tonight I am stating the obvious, but it is still miraculous in my eyes. My paintings merely suggest life. God gives life today and offers us an everlasting existence with Him. I wonder if painting will be easier in the heavenly realm.