So, I really struggled with the last couple of art pieces I worked on….the kind of struggle that makes you think you just can’t paint anymore struggle…
I was dreading working on a commission piece I need to complete–because I don’t care for: the subject matter, the 3-D object it is to be painted on, and the benefactor herself (she’s just not pleasant, blessherheart). Once I admitted it to myself, the real reason I was dreading painting was…..wait for it….my last two pieces were near failures.
Tonight, painting has got me thinking about God and God’s will. Sometimes I am in the groove, and the painting feels like it just comes through me: like I had nothing to do with it, like I was God’s channel, God’s medium. Other times, I take the brush from Him and “make it work” or “rush” it. The painting gets tight, as Dear Professor would call it. (“Tight = overworked. Good paintings are loose and effortless.”) The painting gets sophomoric, ugly, muddy, and I get stressed out. That’s when I look back up to God pleadingly and ask him to finish it for me. Once I hand over control, God’s flow returns, and I see a beautiful picture of Redemption.
On nights like tonite, when a much dreaded piece painted itself supernaturally, I remember that this talent is not mine. It was given to me. I need to use it, but I need to surrender to the Force that paints it for me.
I have never had a painting that came out exactly like I planned it. I’ve come to terms with letting the piece “be what it wants to be.” When I embrace the force (God’s will), the result is always better than the plan. (And for the record, I believe there are many outcomes and directions that God and I can take a painting….not just one predetermined fatalistic one…. )
Thank God for happy accidents and for making something remarkable out of my many messes.