Saturday, March 17, 2012

Understanding the Creative Process

           I am convinced that my aesthetic must be a melding of design concepts and worldview; image and spirit; the natural and supernatural. If the poles in any of these couplets develop at a different rate or in a different direction, there will be no success. To this point in my life, my worldview has been constructed in bits and pieces, my spirit has been sporadically united with my art, and my technical endeavors have operated independently from any other influence. What I’m looking for is an understanding of the whole person creative process. Don’t worry, I am not supporting the idea of “automatic writing” or some sort of spiritism, but I am looking for a Biblically valid cooperation between the two poles within me.
The triad of my art philosophy remains the same: design (interaction of composition and design elements), expression (emotional message), and technique (skillful use of tools). It’s just that now I’m beginning to see a parallel triangle at an upper level: spiritual energy (vibration of color and form), revelation (divine message), and the supernatural (wise use of gifts). The diagram extends below to represents the human trichotomy of spirit, soul, and body. The upper level is connected to Divine influence, the middle triangle is associated with academia, and the lower level is ontological. Without divine connection, the triangle collapses; design is confused with expression (ie, composition is the message) and soul is mistaken for spirit. The entire unit is becoming a more clearly defined part of my Biblical worldview, encompassed by the truth.
In this personal study and development, Kandinsky’s book Concerning the Spiritual in Art, has been very helpful. I disagree with his near Gnostic view of reaching that “upper level”, but his insight into the spiritual aspect of color and form has been influential. I’ll review that book at a later date, but for now I just want to make an additional point of distinction. That spiritual aspect of design is not merely symbolism (the layman’s simple interpretation) but has to do with how the physiological affect of color and form (from the actual photons and molecules) become a window into the spiritual realm. ( be continued)

 This icon image, "Madonna and Child in the Desert", has nothing to do with the above discussion (at least I wasn't thinking about those new philosophical ideas of mine while making the icon). I just wanted to show the finished product which I had started on the road during the Winter. With one more piece, I'll have enough to make a presentation on my Etsy storefront site.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Favorite Quotes from St. John Vianney, the Cure` D’ars

During my recent journey through the South West, I was able to read a few books (Nancy Pearcey's "Saving Leonardo" was the most inspiring). But I wanted to share with you several quotes from the beautiful little devotional, "Meditations of the Cure` d'Ars". I hope that you are as touched by the simple wisdom of these words as I have been.

“A Christian either rules his inclinations, or his inclinations rule him…”

“I have had crosses in plenty – more than I could carry almost! I set myself to ask for the love of crosses – then I was happy.”

“We must have a great confidence in God in times of illness or grief, because it is precisely then that God waits to see whether or no we shall put our trust in Him.”

“Where are the Christians today who would be ready, I do not say to give their lives for God, but even to put up with the least unpleasantness or inconvenience rather than disobey Him?”

“You wonder why God, who is goodness Itself, allows us to suffer…But, what would you think of a doctor who lost his patient because he was afraid to give him the necessary but unpleasant treatment?”

“An undertaking to be pleasing to God must have three conditions: It must be sincere, selfless and persevering.”

“If I may make use of such an expression, I compare those who serve sometimes God, sometimes the world, as the case may be, with dogs who answer to every whistle.”

“It is good to abandon oneself unreservedly to the guidance of Divine Providence. Our reserves dry up the current of His mercies, and our distrust stops the course of God’s blessings.”

“You do not know the resources of God’s providence for those who put their trust in Him.”

“God does not require of us the martyrdom of the body; He requires only the martyrdom of the heart, and the will.”

“Those who run after the vanities of the world which pass away like the wind give a great deal for very little profit; they give their eternity for the miserable smoke of the world.”

“The heart is drawn towards what it loves the most. The heart of a good Christian turns towards heaven, where God is, who is his treasure.”

“If you are afraid of other people’s opinion, you should not have become a Christian.”