A friend e-mails, asking if we want to join in their upcoming craft/rummage sale by bringing in any handmade items? They will advertise on Craig’s List. My daughter and I, we say yes. She begins brainstorming, searching for ideas, and decides on a project.
She sets up the sewing machine to make a little bag… and tells me I should paint.
Paint? I haven’t painted in ~ years. It’s already been that long. Yet my daughter says, “You paint, I’ll sew,” because at some point in time in the past, I told her I was an “artist”, and she saw some of my art at my parent’s house a few weeks ago. Now, my child is summoning me to create a piece of art, and I willingly acquiesce.
I find some old canvas, tubes of acrylic paint, and a stack of brushes, relics of what seem like another life of mine.
Is it merely coincidence that the invitation to create comes at the same time as the book discussion over here at The High Calling, for Breath for the Bones , a book by Luci Shaw– a title I’m intrigued by?
I think not.
I think God knows that these bones in particular needed that breath of beauty. While I wait for the book to arrive, I begin creating. “…we create because He does.” –yes, indeed!
I begin with a few tools: a blank canvas, a few pigments, assorted brushes….
As His child, with a spirit connected to His, a flame kindles, an idea emerges….
More pieces come together, and a story unfolds….
When I finish, I decide to keep this one, I do not wish to sell it, because my inspiration for this piece is a a log cabin scrap quilt made by my mom.
In the pattern of the log cabin quilt, the dark colors are set opposite the lighter colors, with a red square perfectly centered between the two sides of light and dark. The dark colors represent the difficult, dark seasons and times of life, and night-time; while the lighter colors represent the easier, more joyful moments and sunny seasons of life. The red square in the center represents the fire, the home hearth burning… just like it probably was in the days when folks used to live in log cabins. Here is a picture of the actual quilt:
My painting reflects a story similar to the quilt- with the light and dark also representing the hard and easy times of our lives, but the shades are more scattered and not in a definitive pattern as on the quilt. I see the red square as Christ in the middle of our lives, making sense of the various colors and boundaries, and the focal point of each imperfect square. My painting shows different sized squares, and the colors are askew, because life isn’t organized in perfect squares. Yet no matter how difficult life may be, or what kind of mess we are in, in the middle of it all, we are connected to Him, and He is connected to us. And the beauty that He can create out of a mess is…