Tag Archives: teaching art

photo of pottery in Crazy Horse Museum

Spiritual Painting

Today, I thought I’d share some thoughts about my personal painting philosophy and how I arrived at it.  As I grew as a student artist I often wondered what kind of artist I should be. I truly felt and still do that to be an artist is to partake in the creative nature of God. Definitely not on His scale, but as He is creative how can we not be creative also, since we are created in His image.

When I paint I feel this strong connection with God but I wanted it to be more. How could I express my faith in my art without being didactic? I asked my artist communities and was given the same examples of painting Biblical scenes, like Noah’s Ark. No, that isn’t what I wanted to do.

While still chewing on this bone, my husband Al and I took a walkabout to see the country. It’s amazing how beautiful North America is. We took in all 48 lower states and 6 Canadian provinces and the whole trip that little voice inside me kept saying, “Even the rocks cry out God’s glory.” And I’m thinking, I could paint rocks; I could paint nature in a way that shows God’s glory.

Then we ran across a group of Native American artisans in the Columbia River Valley. They believe that a piece of their spirit goes into whatever they create. So if they have hatred or anger in their heart when they are beading or weaving, that hatred or anger will also be in the art. Their spirit must be pure while they work.  This really resonated with me. I started praying, “Create in me a clean spirit, Oh Lord,” every time I painted.

Then one day a scripture came to mind and it has been my mantra ever since: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise worthy–meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

So these are the subjects I paint. Nature, of course, is on top of the list but not totally exclusive.

Does that mean I would never take on a painting of a darker nature. Not necessarily, but I would concentrate on the compassion or hope that lies within the darkness.

So there you have my philosophy. It’s doubtful you will ever see a painting of a Biblical scene from me, but  I hope you feel the presence of God in all of my work.

 

 

Advertisements
Daffodils by Lynnette Horn

Art is in the Editing

I was out in the front yard this morning trimming rose bushes. I know I should have done that in the fall, but winter came on us very quickly this year. We didn’t have much of a fall and before I knew it we were buried in snow and the deadwood would have to stay until I could get to it this spring.  Anyway, there I was pruning away and an amazing thing happened. Without the massive rose bush ruling over the garden, the spring daffodils suddenly took center stage.

I don’t think I had ever given them a second thought before. But there they were in all their glory. Of course, I had to get my camera. And of course, I had to draw a correlation in art. And that is artistic editing. Some call it their artistic license to change things for the sake of the composition.  When I first started painting my own pieces (not patterns), I would take reference photos and try to paint everything that was in the photo.  This made it realistic, right? No, it made a cluttered mess.

By cutting out unnecessary elements, you will draw more attention to the stars of the show. As a new artist, you might ask, “What do I cut out?” Well, that really depends on what you are trying to say with in your painting. What do you want your viewers to see the most? That will be your area of interest or focus. The secondary elements should help lead the viewer through the painting to the focus area and back out again–around and around.

Using the photo above, I might choose to have the rose bush as the main focal point, with the recycle bag in the background and add my loppers to the foreground, totally eliminating the daffodils if I wanted to tell a story about garden pruning. If I wanted to tell a story about spring I may or may not leave the pruned rosebush in the background, keep the clump of grass in the front right and eliminate the rest. Or I might choose just a few daffodils instead of the whole clump. (It’s always good to paint in odd numbers–1, 3 or 5. It adds more interest.)  Or, I might go all dramatic and concentrate on just one bloom. As an artist the decision is all mine. Nothing is written in stone that says I have to stay true to what’s in a photo, or in what I see.

How  would you edit this photo? Is there a story there you’d like to see?