Wednesday, March 9

Why Do I Even Pick Up That Paintbrush?

Photo by Geoffrey Sokol
Many of you might remember from my post All Things New that 2011 is the year that I become more serious about my art.  Currently, I am in the second week of the She Art Workshop by Christie Tomlinson (which is awesome btw). For this workshop, I spend a lot of time creating mixed media backgrounds. Doing this basically involves a blank canvas, assorted papers and paints, various "texture makers" and lots and lots of Mod Podge. All of these things get layered upon each other in different ways until the background is satisfactory. The challenge for me has been to let go of my perfectionism and just "go with it." One thing I am especially learning is that if I’ve done to the canvas that I don't like, I can do other things to lessen the negative effect or to cover it up altogether so that no one knows it's there but me.

Last night I got a little too rambunctious with some wide swipes of dark purple paint on one of my canvases. I freaked. I wrinkled my nose and shook my head, feeling certain that it was ruined, and considered putting that canvas in the trash and starting over with a fresh one. But, fighting that urge with everything in me, I began covering up some of the purple with lilac, pink, and aqua. And I must say that the effect was amazing. The purple is still there - I can see it - but now it is a much more pleasing part of the background. And the aesthetic of the background overall is quite attractive (at least to me, it is). I was still marveling over the transformation this morning as I checked on the canvas once more before heading to work.

And today I've been thinking about how I am like that canvas. I’ve gotten a little too rambunctious with the dark purple paint (and the red and the blue and the orange), and it’s time to just throw me in the trash and start over with a fresh canvas. But thankfully, man’s ways are not God’s ways. He sees me with all my mistakes and ugliness and unworthiness. Maybe sometimes He wrinkles His holy nose and shakes His holy head when he looks at me. But instead of giving up and tossing me aside, He picks up the brush and goes to work yet again. He dabs on some mercy. He dribbles on some forgiveness. He doodles on some grace. And He seals it for eternity with His love.

And the effect is amazing.

All of my screw ups are still there, layer upon layer, part of me. But the overall aesthetic – my humanity covered by His holiness – is absolutely beautiful. And in spite of where I began, or where I screwed up, He marvels over me again and again and again.

Ephesians 2:4-5
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


Jocelyn said...

Amazing analogy!!! You my friend are awesome...thanks for such a great post!

Kristin said...

i loved this becky! so very true! thank you!