Can I be a bit eclectic today? There are a few tidbits on my mind…
First, I want to answer a question I am often asked. It usually goes something like this: “When you paint in a service, do you know what you will do ahead of time? Or do you wait to be inspired on the spot?” If you are familiar with more “charismatic” styles of services, this question will make sense to you, especially. It’s not uncommon for some pastors or worship leaders to be somewhat spontaneous in the context of a regular service. A song, a prayer, or even a whole sermon may be said to be “Spirit led,” and the implication is often that it was unplanned.
I want you to know that many of us Jesus followers believe that we are being led by the Spirit of God, even when we plan far ahead what we will sing, say, or create. However, what I paint in any given service may be more or less planned, or thought out, or not at all. Other artists will have slightly different answers to this query.
I think I can say that I always pray about the service, if given any notice that I will be painting. Sometimes, I have in mind a verse of scripture or a specific image. Sometimes, I have in mind more of a mood, color scheme, or general attitude. There are times when I am not at all thrilled with the outcome of my painting; sometimes these are the very paintings that seem to reach someone in a really deep way. I do not despair over the paintings, even when I am not so happy with what I have put down.
Also, the leadership (of the churches in which I have worked) seems to have an understanding that “worship painting” is an uncertain art, uncharted territory, if you will. The pastors and musicians on the various teams are extremely supportive of the artists, which I appreciate.
Now, I’ll show you a couple of new pieces. The first one, I have called,
“Jeshua, My Salvation.” I was thinking a lot about the names “Joshua” and “Jeshua,” and how (I’m told) they mean the same thing, “the Lord is my salvation.” I love that Jesus’s name says that He is my salvation. I have a strong awareness of my necessity for a savior, feeling keenly that I am unable to save myself. His very name is a reminder that He’s got it covered. The lamb in the painting was a reflection on the sacrifice that He made in order to become my salvation. The Hebrew word you see is my attempt to copy the word “Jeshua.”
The second painting here was painted this past weekend (September 7, 2013). The thought behind this one is a little more vague; I was drawn to the image, which I saw in a copyright-free reference book of old artwork.