Friday, October 28, 2016

Art: Retelling and Recreating (Part 2)

If art is retelling or recreating an experience for others to see which in turn results in our own sense of joy, then living is art in itself.

We live the way we do because we had experienced something.  We eat because we know it makes us feel satisfied.  So we feed our children or our pets.  When we give food to the poor because we know how it feels to be hungry and would not desire hunger on anyone else.

Art is sharing an experience.
One of the things that inspired me to draw was seeing an illustration of a plant in one of my gardening magazines.  I tried to copy it with my own hand and pencil; with careful observation and a a lot of erasing and redoing I was able to replicate the picture to some extent.  And after comparing my work with the original picture I felt a sense accomplishment.  Everyone lives the way we live because of our experience.  We experience something and because we think it is beautiful we recreate it.  Of course we all have our own criteria of beauty.

A long time ago, the bible tells us, God sent his son Jesus Christ to the world in the form of flesh and blood so that the world can experience Him.  Jesus Christ, in spite of his deity, came as a regular man to show mankind what a beautiful life looked like. God wants man to experience that life that delights Him so that we might be able to copy it.  It was not easy but He did it because he loved of the world.  The life he lived was so radical that some didn't see the beauty in it.  However, some saw it very clearly.  So starting with his disciples, people begun to mimic and retell the truth that they experienced. The apostle Paul, for example, was so  convinced that he had a sharp grasp of that life - he writes in a letter to the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 4:16), "Therefore imitate me."  He had a first hand encounter with Jesus Christ which changed the way he understood God and the way he lived because he believed.  In turn he urges the church to recreate what they experienced and he helps them by modeling Jesus.  Like a model on the runway sporting a piece of clothing based on the way the designer intended it be worn, Paul was living his life according to God's design copied straight from Jesus' life.   Through his writings the story is retold to us even now.  Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can experience Christ the way the early believers experienced Him.  As Christians it is our purpose to recreate our experience of Christ through the story that we live.

Art requires practice.
Some of the artists I admire, I found out, have been drawing for a long long time.  Some of them have been drawing for 20 years before they became known!  Basquiat for example started doing art when he was four!  And here I am in the second half of my life learning to draw an apple - with much difficulty.  But that's alright.  Art can be learned at anytime.  The only thing required is to start doing it - and practice.  Will my drawing of an apple ever look like that of Basquiat?  No, because I'm trying to copy a real apple fruit and I practice at it.  As a Christian will I ever love the way Jesus Christ lived?  No. Because God is still working on me.  But God in heaven can see whether I desire to retell His love and practice bit by bit everyday.

Paint God's love for the world to see.

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