Art and Faith During Troubled Times

The shortest verse in the Bible, 'Jesus Wept' speaks volumes.
The shortest verse in the Bible, ‘Jesus Wept’ speaks volumes.

In Inspired by Faith, author Robin Landa address the why to creating artworks of faith.  “Artists choose to paint religious and spiritual works in order to reveal their beliefs to themselves, to others, and to God…Painting, one of the most dynamic and complex mediums we have ever invented, allows us to seach out our minds and souls, revealing our inner worlds.  Art makes ideas, feelings, and beliefs visible to ourselves, as we create it, and to others, when they see the finished work.  Art affects its viewers, influencing people, awakening their perceptions, stimulating their senses and enlightening their minds and souls.”

My painting teacher who taught me much about color theory often talked about an artist having “soul” in their work.  Although I was not a color theorist, nor my works impressionistic as his were, I admired much about his work, and sought to emulate his use of color.  I tried to incorporate the color knowledge he taught me within my own style of painting. He told me that my work had a lot of “soul.”  It’s not something I can thoroughly explain but what an artist believes comes out, indescribly, through their work.

We have reasons for creating.  Something moves us.  If we experience much in our hearts as a result of our faith, then we somehow want to express this visually so that others might share our experience.  We want to make our faith come alive for other people.  As I painted Jesus Coming Forth From the Grave during an Easter worship service, someone in the congregation remarked to the person sitting beside them, “I’ve always known about Jesus, but when I saw this painting I realized He is alive!”  This brought tremendous meaning to me and made all the long hours of learning to paint worthwhile.

Especially in times of widespread difficulty it is often artists that capture images that express what many feel.  Such days are with us now.  We search for comfort and meaning in the aftermath of horrible violence.  Artists of faith paint, photographers of faith take pictures, musicians of faith play new music and writers of faith compose sensitive compositions to light the candle of belief and trust in God and give others a way to share their hope.

In these days may you use your God-given talent to encourage someone with faith.

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