Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Random Acts of Art

There is a movement gaining followers to spread gifts of art, free, to enrich the world.  These are paintings, carvings, crafts creations, and other items. Some even establish art that the passerby's can add to and become part of the creative process.  A note usually is attached stating : This is an Act of Art: Free to Anyone!
They are being left for the homeless populations, in city parks, along hiking trails and just about anyplace anyone can think of...  So far there have been no stories of cities cracking down on these small enriching and beautifying graces.
What is the purpose of art?  Why do people create?  A small group of artisans in these acts rebel against the premise that for art to be art it must be sold, a price tag must be attached, and worth based on how much someone is willing to pay to validate their work.
Isn't lovely how this type of action is also spiritually rich?  Like the hidden moments when we, in the middle of the hurry suddenly come upon a lovely flower or a sunset that takes the breath from the body it is so impressive. Small gifts; the flowers springing up in color and daring from the cracks in a neglected sea of concrete as if to proclaim the things that matter survive and, despite the negative surroundings, they can even thrive!

Isn't that the vision artists want to share? That despite the bad things in life, despite the struggles, the pains, and the hurts of life - there is beauty to be found.  Beauty becomes the fountain of refreshing water in a desert of soul destroying civilization.

It is free as well: a message that shoves back at the shadows with gifts of grace and hope, "An Act of Art; Free to Anyone!"

--M.A. Hudson, 2015

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Congregational Art Piece in Process

 This congregational art piece was used in a sermon on "What Are You Painting?" based on the "come and see" verses of the Gospel of John.

At the conclusion of the sermon, congregants and guests were invited to select and add long strips of paper with a Biblical verse or a timely quote.  These strips (using different fonts and colors of type) would create the "rays" of the sun disc (shown).  Later the painting was sealed and placed on display in the Transept Chapel as a reminder of the "painting" each one us is creating daily, how it is a process, how it is guided by teachers and mentors and how - no matter - what our skill to begin with, God wants to create something beautiful from our life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Dependent Artist

Artistic and creative types often need the energy that is found in having a supportive network. The ability of talking about creativity, thinking out new ideas, and getting supportive or challenging feedback is often crucial to the process of the artist.  There are those who like to get energized and then go off into isolation to actually create; rather like putting gas in a tank and driving off to see the sights alone. Once the "tank" or the creative well is low or empty there is a need to "re-connect". 
Creative types can be a bit of challenge in a work force or in relationships.  They tend to march to a different drummer, they are innovatively messy, and sometimes have problems paying attention to a job or a person.
Understanding who you are as a creative person and then helping others close to you understand can be a hurdle.  Isolation to create may be seen as a non-desire to spend time with a significant other.  There can be feelings of guilt raised as an attempt is made to balance the two activities. 
Some people who are involved in artistic activities are more left brained in their approach. They can schedule time and plan their activities to fit that schedule.   They balance time, jobs, relationships and other occupations with ease.
Finding out who you are as a creative individual means then finding a working plan for your own relationships, demands, and necessary activities.  Invite those close to you to be part of the time but do not be bothered if they decide to do something else. Any good friendships or relationships will always benefit from times together and from times apart. That is the balance and as long as the importance of the relationships are clearly shown, most can come to terms with the odd quirks of living with or knowing a creative individual.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Bottom of the Jar

Jar in Window. M.A.Hudson, 2014
Light is an important element in painting and in photography. Light changes over the course of time allowing very different images to emerge as the tones, hues, and shadows shift as the sun moves over and past an object.
In the quiet of an early November morning, as a sluggish sun was rising over the trees, this bottle caught my eye. Some of the items in it blocked the sun, some allowed a mere promise of light to shine through and others, near the bottom of the jar, glowed warmly like small fires waiting to ignite the entire contents.
Life can be a lot like that jar and we find ourselves surrounded by those events or people who block out all of the light. They keep out the warmth, the positive, and energy needed to sustain life.  Others may allow a small trickle to pass through them and may miserly share that promise of light and warmth. 
A few, sometimes almost too few, glow with a fiery core that says "just wait" is not all cold and empty, it is not all simply negative and positive, it is not simply have and have not, it is more than you can know...  They simmer there, near the bottom of the jar, to be a prize for endurance, patience, and hope. 
In the dark, they cannot be seen, but when the day dawns their inner fire stirs to life.  Just the light....and look for the fire at the bottom of the jar. (M.A.Hudson, 2014)

The Creative Urge: A Renaissance of the Spiritual Artist

In the north central Missouri city of Columbia art is being used as a path to introducing art and the Gospel to people of many backgrounds.
At the 100 year old Wilkes Avenue United Methodist Church, now known as "The Church at Wilkes and Seventh," the artistic is being used as way to help people - homed, homeless, confused, searching, timid, and brave - to respond to the creative urge.  Along the way, they hear the Gospel, they learn and experience the love God through loving and accepting people.
The "Gospel Art" program has a goal of guiding people in creating visual arts to honor God.  Painting, drawing, sewing, crafting, and other mediums are available.  It is a remarkable, inspiring and spiritually exciting ministry that brings healing and wholeness to the walking creations all around them.
Since humans were created in the image of a creative God, what is more natural than to have an urge to create?  The current renaissance of the artistic and the spiritual is a positive and very hopeful development. Michelangelo, the great master artist of the Italian Renaissance, said: "The true work of art is but the shadow of the Divine Perfection."  In another way, one might say that since the God who formed us was  creative when we create ourselves, or enjoy something an artist has created, we are merely seeking to reunite with the Creator God who formed us, blessed us, and still loves us.  
When we hear a lovely melody, when we see the lovely colors of nature, when we read the poems of life's journey on the faces of people and when we strive to bring some small bit of the good, the positive, and love filled into the world we are experiencing that creative urge in our DNA awakening. It is like the child lifting its eager face at the sound of the loving call of a Parent.


Creative and Contemplative

Creative and Contemplative