Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Noticing brings light
Noticing brings light
As you know, I am trying to learn to oil paint. I have been working all month on a canvas illustrating aspens in autumn. I enjoy mixing the oranges and yellows and splashing them on the canvas. However, the greens must be handled so carefully. I must focus and decide which green is needed. Do I need an olive green to tone it down or a lime green to highlight the forest?
My teacher, Bill Inman, repeats over and over, “Evaluate what you see in nature. Don’t just go with what you think you know.” I try to control my mind that pops into my mind's eye elementary images of what a tree should look like. I dismiss familiar images and search to create new, fresh scenes. Some readers may think, a tree is a tree, is a tree. I used to think that before I learned to put in shadows, highlights, medium hues, and believable shaped tree limbs. I had a predisposed idea of what a tree limb should look like. I would paint it on the canvas, and Bill would encourage me to rethink how a limb is crooked, incomplete, broken, or very small or large. He is teaching me to alter my preconceived ideas and paint forms from light and dark brush strokes. He is asking me to alter my thinking to create a believable yet interesting painting.
As I drove home from my art class, I thought about how I desire to see more of Jesus. I hunger for a closer walk. I yearn to know his character and his Spirit. How do I do this? I think it is much like learning to paint. I must dismiss my preconceived ideas on how Jesus looks. Instead,, I need to study scripture and discover how the disciples described him, how John described him in Revelations or how Nebuchanezzar described him walking in the fire with his Meshack, Abendigo, and Shadrack. How did Jesus react to others? To authority? To his Father? From these meditations I can discern who Jesus is. I must not lean on childhood Bible books that depicted him as a fragile man in a white gown. I , instead, must find my own definition of who Jesus is and what he looks like. It is a bit like painting. I must focus, evaluate, and then discover my own style and interpretation. God calls me to see Him more clearly each day. I am altering how I see Jesus.
I like the painting at the top of my blog. The artist rendition of the face of Jesus shows so much compassion. I believe this artist discovered his Jesus by studying and learning about him. I share this painting and my experience to encourage you to look at Jesus in the light He reveals to you today. Alter your preconceived ideas by finding new understanding daily.