Art. Motivation. Inspiration. Those silly elusive things that seriously seem flighty to me. Although art is hard and inspiration is sometimes hard to come by, it doesn’t mean that our Creator is unaware and that He doesn’t care. He cares so very much about our art. He cares because He is the most amazing artist; He’s an artist who makes artists. Now that’s incredible. It would be such a delight to watch your creation create, and I know that’s how God feels about us when we make art. Wouldn’t it be interesting to paint a painting and then watch that painting create another painting? What would the new painting be and what would it think to paint?
Our art doesn’t have to be overtly about Him or the gospel. In the same way that a mother loves to watch her little 2-year-old squish playdough through his fingers, God loves to watch us explore the world He has made. You want to build all your legos into the tallest tower ever and then knock it down? Okay, go for it! You want to buy the biggest canvas ever and smear it with colors and shapes just for fun? Heck yeah! Knock your socks off! The joy that we experience in making art delights the Father’s heart. I have no doubt.
Let me tell you a tiny story. Back in 2011, I was featured in an art show. Now, it wasn’t some elaborate amazing thing like you may be thinking. I wish it was. It actually came about through some strange connection my dad had to a business event. The venue for this meeting had a large upstairs room that wasn’t being used. Well, my dad had the bright idea of me doing an art show. In true dad-like fashion, he gave me about two weeks to get the job done.
I was excited about the opportunity, and I really wanted to show a “collection.” Ya know, when all the art connects in some way through a message or medium? Well, I was fresh out of college and seriously did not have a collection of any kind. Sure, I had a vast array of paintings, but they were all art projects from classes at college. To simply use the art from college seemed like such an easy way out, and I didn’t like that at all. It would have been disjointed, and I really wanted to challenge myself to create a show. So I set to imagining.
I had had a wild idea in my mind since sophomore year of college, but I hadn’t had the time or guts to try it out. The problem was, even though I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like, I knew that the normal acrylic paint wouldn’t do the trick. Instead, I tried watering it down. I added flour to it just to see what it would do. I put it in spray bottles and tilted canvases at precarious angles. I was bent on trying to get the paint to do what I wanted it to do.
But it wouldn’t work.
I wound up showing that collection anyway, even though I knew it wasn’t a good representation of what was in my mind. I awkwardly walked around as people looked at them for a max of like 5 seconds each. It didn’t bother me—I didn’t like them either. And in two weeks’ time, I was actually proud of the number of canvases I had to hang!
It’s such a funny thing that the gallery space is now the upstairs part of a local restaurant. We eat in there, and I chuckle to myself, remembering my horrific art show while I wolf down chicken and rice.
You may be wondering why I shared a story with you about such defeat when I’m talking about God taking delight in our art. Well, although we may forget and move on, God never does. God has watched me for the past eight years continue to try and make paint do what I wanted it to do. I have been irritated and have struggled, but I just keep pressing in to try and figure it out.
The other night, I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, you know, the way we all do at times. And my eyes nearly popped out of my face as I watched an artist begin painting. I started absolutely freaking out. She was doing exactly what I’ve wanted to do! I showed my husband the video as I jumped up and headed to the computer to start Google searching. Golden paint. High flow acrylics.
The paint is real! It’s not a result of my crazy science experiment with flour and water and spray bottles! It comes prepackaged and wonderful. The colors are beautiful, and they came into existence back in 2013 as a replacement paint for airbrush acrylics. 2013! They’ve been on the market for six years, and I had just found them. I stalked the artist and watched video after video of her creating works similar to the ones that have been swirling in me since 2005.
I had such a rush of feelings. I started crying. I was mad that I had spent the past six years trying to do what this painter could do so easily by simply having the right medium, and then I became extremely thankful. I was thankful that that little video would come through my newsfeed. Thankful to Golden for creating such a product but mostly thankful to the Father for bringing it to me. Out of thin air, He dropped such a precious gift in my lap.
He loves to see our little ideas flourish and bloom. He loves to give us gifts when we need them or least expect them. I sat flabbergasted for the next hour as I poured through the artist’s Instagram absolutely enraptured in her art. I felt as though a portal had been opened into heaven and God was giggling down at me. I went online and found a website that was selling all Golden products for 40% off, and I spent a tiny bit of our savings getting these wondrous paints.
Now, as I wait (and obsessively check my email for a shipping date) I wait with the anticipation of a five-year-old for Christmas morning. I know that I know that I know this gift from the Father is amazing. It’s something I’ve been wanting for a long time and didn’t even know it existed. He has watched me faithfully pursue my art, taking delight in watching me all along the way, and He is probably even more excited than I am to get these paints and start creating. He is so attentive and so kind, and I absolutely cannot wait to paint with Him when my gift comes in the mail.
Featured Image by Shannon S