As with almost every part of my art work; it always leads back to my faith and what my gracious God is sharing with me. I'm so excited for what I hope to be an inspiring new look at creation and the Creator. Looking is the most important part here, really looking. I seem to have been convicted that my love of art and nature has had a purpose all these years. Every direction I turn I seem to be drawn to a very strong suggestion of using what God has managed to created and make it a passion in my life. This love of curiosity combined with nature and my love of creating seems to not run in my family; I'm just seen as the strange duck of the family . As I retired last year to enjoy more time in my art room I decided to redirect work that comes from this workshop. I have alway used Creation by Kat as a name for my business but want a more exclusive title for all work that comes out of here. "All Creation Lives to Testify to its Creator" is my goal. But my quiet time study with the Lord last night seem to put a new urgency to these goals. I woke in the morning with this visual picture of Eph 1:4&5 and knew that I needed to get this picture down on paper before I began and the image faded from my mind. I saw it as the Lord was going to direct me for a new project that was chosen just for me. Buy the way he has a special project for each of those who have faith in Him.
So this new series of painting and hopefully writing will answer the deep calling of my conscience. The idea came a few months ago and started in a rather strange way. I had upon my retirement decided I would start at the beginning , the very beginning of God's word and study all the way to the end on a five year schedule in a very inductive type of study (I am more productive with tentative scheduled). Beginning with the first verse is a place I have been many times but this time I urgently ask God to share new nuggets, hug nuggets of new truth of understanding of who he is and what he wants to share. What does this have to do with my art, I will share that a bit latter.
WOW did He. By using the inductive study method which urges us to let God's word lead me and interpret itself and by asking myself question and observing the text in context I am able to digest what I'm reading in a much deeper way. To add to that as a very visual person I have for a long time been able to almost see a moving picture as I inductively read the scripture. At times I stop and ask the question of Who, What, Where, When, and How to be able to visually complete the picture. When finished with this kind of study I have two final questions I ask of as myself. This may sound silly but as I sit before the Creator of the universe whom I have ask to sit and help me see His truth, these question can be powerful and life changing if you dig deeply into yourself. They are "Do I really believe what I'm reading and if so why do I not act like it. I try and feel the Lord's presence as I answer these question truthfully.
Now to bring us as to how all this bring me to a new painting series. I will try my best to explain. As I show you how this inductive study method works in my mind be aware that places where the scripture does not fill in info or I have not found info to answer some of my question as they come to mind and as a artists, I then also attempt to visualize what most humans would or would not do in these situations. How might they feel, how would most humans react. Or from a human perspective what would be a natural conclusion or response. With this I try and fill in my own blanks. So now to see just how this would work and where the art comes in.
I began by sitting quietly looking longingly at the very first words God wanted humans to know. Know about who he is, what he wants from the humans, what he was about to create and what happens when we, his grand creation does not comply with his plan for us. I gently rub these first words and hopefully, I began to read. Even as I write this you will not be surprised at how well I can write them from memory, they are just that familiar. They are words know buy most in America and around the word. But a new inspiration or insight was what I had ask for.
So Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, here it was the very first three words brings people to questioning God at his word. I also find it necessary to ask my own question, do I really believe this amazing declaration as to the beginning. The beginning of every thing I have come to love of nature and life all around me, did it really began as was stated in this first chapter. I almost looked up as if the Lord was sitting across from me and waiting to hear my soul's answer (of course he already new my answer). This was for me easy. Yes, Yes, and Yes, after years of study looking at biblical science, it began to not only seems logical but the only explanation to much of what we see and observe. Now to me at the time the harder of my two question was, why don't I act like I believe this. This is his world, his creation. I am his creation and nothing is for me alone. At times I walk and act as if all were created for my pleasure alone.
Now in just the first three words of Gods I needed to stop and ask forgiveness for not seeing and acting as though all around me was about Him, for Him and none of it is about me. AS I said "WOW" I felt the Lord was about to answer my prayer of seeing a new precept or wisdom from these words that were so familiar to me, I new he was about to do this in a huge way and just as a child sat on their father's knee waiting for him to read to me a wonderful, exciting story that would lead my mind on a amazing adventure, listen attentively for his wisdom.
Lets move on, In the beginning God created. So here is where my curious visual mind exploded. Speaking as a person who loves creating, creating art, crafts and interesting yard art I saw something and realized something I had never considered before. Maybe you haven't either.
Just how much would God need to create to sustain the purpose for his grand creation, which is humans, so they could survive and complete His purpose for them. Join me and just stop and think about just a few of the life sustaining necessities we need. First shall we consider animals, It seems there would need to be several, even a whole lot of species but 7.77 million species. There is also 298, 000 different plant species and still counting. I realize some of these plants are needed to sustain animals that would also support and nourish mankind. But just how many animals are need to balance out the need of humans. Sure some of these are to help animals survive which in turn supply our need. Yes you would need a lot but again Heck I have survived well and I can only guess I have never been in need of small fraction of them (that's just a guess), Just think if survival of the human specie was Gods goal. The next item is listed just for us to see the very depth of detail down to the smallest Fungi, protozoa and chromista (I'm no scientist just a lowly artist but I don't even know what a chromista is). So just for you who play trivial pursuit there are 611,00 species of Fungi, 36,400 species of Protozoa and yes those Chromista have 27,500 species.
Do you now see just how this curious mind began to get off track as I study. But for me it is this kind of overwhelming info that gives me a bigger picture of this loving but powerful God. Back to my original question as I interrogated the scripture. How much is necessary to sustain man. In an effort to reign my mind back in I concluded, NO THAT MUCH. What seem natural to me was the next logical question which was why than. Why so many beautiful flower and birds, awe inspiring trees in abundance of colors and shapes, and animal, lots of animals that creep on the ground, tower over trees and swim in the water. Why so many. Some would say whats the point of this train of thought. The point I would suggest is that nothing created by the creator is lacking a point. But so many, the question just keep looming over me. Then one suggestion came to mind and I want to warn you it is my suggestion not some theological answer, just something that accrued to me but only after I read down to the third day of creation. It was a suggestion that seem to consume my mind day and night for several days. Here is the verse.
The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and "God saw and it was good". There was evening and there was morning, a third day.
There it is, these were the words that caused my visual and curious mind into overdrive. Why, consider this, other places in the scripture it is stated God spoke the world into existence, so, so, so if he spoke and the daily creation came in to existence what did he do the rest of the day till evening came where he SAW AND IT WAS GOOD and the third day ended. I didn't at this time want to get lost in all the pros and cons of creation versus evolution, it just keep ruining into this little artists mind using her visual mindset who was watching the greatest of all creators and weighing the possibility that all 7.7 million species of plant life was possibly not all as necessary but consider the thought it may exist because it was just down right fun to create it. Big flowers, small flowers, pink, blue and purple flowers, flowers that feed hummingbirds, plants with all kinds of hidden nutritional uses, and making different species of hummingbirds to feed on fun newly created flowers and on and on it could go. So, at the end of the day as Gods two day old lighting system made its third setting over fields of beautiful flowers newly designed and created and trees just waiting for God's grandest creation of all, man, knowing they were created whether visual or food, for man's enjoyment. I could almost see Jesus skipping through fields of beautiful flowers as they waited for the third setting of the new lighting to retire for the day. Maybe He found a nice overlook and sitting down and giving a long sigh of contentment as the last rays of the sun fell below the horizon and just then voicing the words that were saved for us to reflect on "IT WAS GOOD.
Did any of this really happen, I have know idea but I do know that every species of every bird, plant and all those other things we see were spoken into existence on day three to show God's wonder, power and glory. I believe in the beginning God, the TRUE GOD, the one and only God created all we see. I also am convinced that being created in God's image that our awe and wonder are an emotion that God himself also experience. I want others to see his creation and stop an pause just a bit to drink in the wonders of his creation that tells of their creator.
Now finally to my upcoming painting series. I want to do what I call my "First first day" and first second day, and first third day and so on. We modern day humans have spent so much time discussing and arguing about the truthfulness of Creation versus evolution and as believer of this truth stated in Genesis and defending it we have forgotten to just sit at the end of the day and visualize the wonder of the first third day sunset as nodding flowers turned their heads to watch the setting of this absolutely unbelievable light source as their creator looked on.