The value of art.
In the beginning it was talent, recognition and the ability to do something others couldn’t easily do. It was about making what I saw and putting it to paper. A realist to the max. I started still life drawings at age 10, flowers in vases, barbie horses or perfectly colored pages. Every year I was developing my talent more and more. Always copying what I saw, or copying someone’s idea. I was always striving to be better at it than another, and I missed the boat. Art was never about being good at what I drew, it was about expression. All I was expressing was others ideas or documenting something I saw to the letter. I remember my college professors pushing technique and details. I remember them dawdling over other kids talents, so I tried to be like them, I tried to draw, paint, design and create like them. But I never found my own ‘style’. My senior year at college I remember a professor telling me, “You are a much better illustrator than graphic designer.” My degree was mainly in Graphic Design, which by the way I hated, but my brain told me it would make me more money.
My art was never about heart expression, although glimpses would creep in, a flowing line in a still life that didn’t belong… I’d erase it, or a splash of color that didn’t belong… I’d cover it up, or a bold black showing emotion of the day, and I’d lighten it making all things uniform and perfect for the normal eye.
I just wasn’t ready to be vulnerable with my art, I didn’t know how, I didn’t want to deal with my emotions, for goodness sake I was a single mom, going to school full time and working night shift. I was surviving. Who has time for self improvement or reflection when you are just trying to survive?
20 years later, art has finally came full circle for me and what it is truly about. 3 years ago, after a hard situation at home, I had the desire to paint with nothing to look at, no details just expressing emotion, because frankly, I was pissed. I needed an outlet and color was screaming at me in my head. My dark reds and blacks filled the canvas with a hint of yellow. And I felt so much better after I did it. It was the first time I had cried through painting my feelings out. Expression painting, it’s funny, I was always drawn to Expressionists, I just didn’t see myself as one.
Over the past 3 years I have painted from the heart, not details and realism, still life’s or technique. I’ve painted to heal some broken parts in my life, to help me on my journey. It wasn’t for money, it was for healing and it feels really good to finally get here. It isn’t about approval or accolades, it’a about expressing my heart and it’s part of healing.
And then God threw me a curve ball. It’s my “sweet spot”, as my sister said. It’s the thing I don’t want to put a price on or do for praise, it’s what my talent was all about from the beginning. A journey of expression and healing. A way to get emotions out, a way to release my hurt or my joy. It is art therapy, I just didn’t know it.
So now I’m on a new journey and wondering what God will do with this desire He has planted in me. Not keeping it to myself, but to teach others, guide others on their emotional healing and help them do what I have done, heal with art.
God has a funny way of patiently waiting for us to see the talent He has given us and how it is meant for His glory, for good for others. I never saw art as something to use for healing, I only saw it as a raw talent that somehow was only selfishly for me. It’s not, it’s really not.
So my question to you is this: What’s your talent? What are you willing to surrender so God might breathe a new perspective into it, and what might He have in store for your talent?
I’ve been on quite a journey in self discovery. As my children grow and I search to find my identity separate from them. Seeing and expressing my value in this world apart from title: mom, wife, daughter, friend… And then I see artist. Not artist in self, artist in helping others heal. Healing arts for healing hearts. Only God can do that. May I be a vessel worthy of such a call. Yet the only title that carries any true weight is child of God, Princess of the King of Kings. So I wait for the next step from the King of Kings.
I’m excited about this next chapter in my story. How about you?