Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Art: My connection with God

          This past week has included a lot of thinking and sleeping on my part. My emotions have been up and down and thus two things have happened: I have been sleeping more than usual and painting. Although I feel I have always been artistic, I never was involved in art in high school with the exception of 2-D art freshman year. My family never went to art museums and I worked more on crafts than I did art. However, this has changed a lot since coming to college. For some reason I started collaging. I love to cut up magazines and create posters to hang up. I have actually made quite a few and given them to close friends. I found that cutting magazines was relaxing for me and then finding the perfect way to put images together was like a puzzle. At first my dad thought I was crazy for spending my Christmas vacations cutting magazines, but when the collages come together even he could see the uniqueness in the art. I even made him his own special collage this summer, which he hung in his office.
          I also have begun to visit art museums. I discovered on a field trip my first year of college that I really like looking at paintings, especially more modern art. Somehow the art seemed to speak to me in a way that I did not understand, but was eager for more. My summer in San Antonio was significant in my life and can be characterized by my first visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art. The trip was in the middle of my time there and I had been struggling with my faith and who God is. And somehow in that museum, in the midst of the art and especially the paintings I had somewhat of a revelation. I wrote in my journal that day the following;
         "I fell in love today... at the San Antonio Museum of Art. The art struck a cord in me and I felt like I was seeing everything. The history, the beauty, all the people of the world. I found God. Because God is different than the God I was first introduced to. This God is bigger, more magnificent, and more personal than the God I once knew. This God is everywhere, in everything. This God is one of beauty, history, and all the people of the world. No one can claim this God. But am I a Christian? Yes, because Christian theology points to this God. The church is God's chosen people to show the beuaty to the world. Is Jesus the only way? I don't know... probably not, but Jesus is a human example of how to live one's life in a truly meaningful life. But above all, God is love- life truly lived is an outpouring of love. Love does not mean life will be easy or happy and often there is still tragedy. But this love consumes you and frees you all at once."
          That day I spent hours just sitting on the floor of the museum being filled with art and God. I went back there at least once more that summer to just sit and pray. And so art became intimately connected with God. During my time in Europe I got to visit a LOT of art museums. Being with a group and having to pay attention to specifics in the art work did not bring about the same feelings. However, during each visit, I tried to find a moment alone in the museums to seek out a piece I liked and say a prayer and just sit a moment to take it in.
          I was inspired to start painting myself last spring. I have never learned how to paint and never owned a canvas, but wanted to do something special for my restorative justice project. And somehow holding a paintbrush in my hand just felt right. This summer I bought more canvas and craft paint and copied some paintings that really inspired me. The more I painted, the more I fell in love with it. Especially after a hard spring semester, painting seemed to be a way for me to just relax, be myself, and connect with God without saying any words. I brought my painting supplies to school this semester and during the times when I find myself sinking into depression, I bring them out and start working. I mostly just copy paintings I find inspiring. I still don't know anything about painting, but it feels so natural and I find my stress melting away with every stroke.
          I did not plan to write about art today, but this blog post just kind of came out. I do not know how or if art will play a part in my future, but right now art is my way of talking with God. Art is my way of dealing with life when I feel myself at the edge of a cliff. In art I find joy. In art I find beauty. And somehow the world begins to make sense again.

1 comment:

  1. your art is amazing. i am blessed by your story of the art as well. thank you.