I really love art and creating, it brings joy and satisfaction when you create something from a few bits a pieces that are just there. I took several art classes in college. I took a still life class where the professor would each week have random objects placed in the middle of the table. The point was to look at the object compilation and record what you saw, then translating it onto paper. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried in the beginning something would be lopsided and askew. As I continued I learned to break down the shapes of the highlights and shadows. To understand them, and see them clearly I would then be able to translated the three-dimensional object into a two-dimensional plan. It was easier to see the shapes of highlights and shadows in a simple object like a bucket, or vase. Complexity came when you added elements from nature. Then when I took figure drawing, no mater how hard I tried to transpose what I saw onto paper it was never even close to the reality. It was like a wire was crossed between my brain and hand. I was shown numerous techniques by the professor, but the proportions never fit. I wasn’t the only one who found it challenging to draw figures.
I remember an exercise our professor would do sometimes to give us a break, and to simply free our minds so we could translate what we saw better. She would tell us to close our eyes and pick up a pastel crayon, listen to the music and simply allow our hands to draw what we felt. The thing that always surprised me when we would look at our art in the end was how similar the lines were. The lines would be very fluid and curved during music that was happy and melodic. Then the lines could be sharp and jagged when the music was harsh in tone or tempo. We certainly believed we felt different emotions because if we were asked to describe how we felt with words, each person used different adjectives, but the root and base of the emotion was the same. We did not know the color of the pastel we picked up, and we did not know what we would have in the end. Yet, somehow we were creating similar art, and nothing was misshapen or wrong. It just was. We created perfection without seeing, but rather feeling and knowing.
I tried my hand at pottery once, but it was years after college. I signed up for a community art class. It was just a two-day workshop, and it was free to participate. So, I figured it would be fun. It was supposed to be an introduction to the other pottery classes the center offered, a way to let people try it out without the commitment. We used basic techniques to make a few bowls. The bowls would later be donated to sell at a fundraiser for a local soup kitchen. You had the option of purchasing a bowl which the proceeds would go towards the fundraiser. I remember standing at the table getting instructions, and understanding these were techniques used for thousands of years. To feel the clay in between my fingers, and then molding it into a form was a wonderful reminder of how much I love to create.
I think about God creating the world and all the creatures, plants, and elements in it. It amazes me how perfect everything is. I imagine though God must have a sense of humor. There are creations that can look quite odd, if you study them up close. Yet, even without the seeing of it, you know and feel its perfection. It humbles me when I walk among the wilderness. I once read this beautiful book called Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and the one lesson I learned from it is the amazement of noticing the small wonder in life. I think of the ant, small in size yet mighty in strength. If you were to blow it up it looks as some alien race from another planet, and could seem quite frightening. I imagine because the ant is small we often overlook it. They work so hard and create beautiful cities of tunnels in the earth. Yet, we don’t lose any sleep when we step on one while walking down the sidewalk. What makes our life more valuable than theirs. I think of the seahorse, and the male giving birth. I think of the odd shape and face it too has. When God was creating such things I wonder if he closed his eyes and just molded and shaped what he felt instead of worry about the symmetry and getting things right. He must have known to create a thing with purpose was all the perfection it needed. He needed worry about its look. Then I think about how much I love to create and the joy art brings me and so many others. Maybe because we were made in God’s image he gave us the gift of knowing what it’s like to create something from nothing. All I know for certain is it is always humbling to think about creating. To imagine and explore the world around me.