Statement of Work
Just a few personal thoughts about drawing, painting and creativity in general....
I have found that personal creative expression can often be a bewildering endeavor. It can be exhilarating and exciting and satisfying. It can be mysteriously revealing at many different levels. But it can also be profoundly frustrating...often tortuously so. I imagine that if painting and drawing were only about technical virtuosity and/or skill, this would not be the case, but there is a spiritual aspect to the process that goes into the mix as well. And it is that aspect that can animate the page (or canvas) and can prompt the soul to wonder, to question and finally to actively seek.
Ingmar Bergman once observed that “....art lost it's basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord.”
Often, ...too often today...the “umbilical cord” to which Bergman referred, if not completely severed, is at least blocked.... twisted and knotted by the persistently pressing and competing idolatries of our modern lives, idolatries often foolishly self-imposed by our own “busy-ness” and self-indulgent tendencies. Consequently, the “art” of individual expression gets starved out, and the potential for meaningful creative fruitfulness begins to wither. On the other hand, there are times when true spiritual nutrients are allowed to flow more freely. It is during these times that one's work may become positively animated and meaningful. It is during these times that the elemental ingredient of worship is somehow introduced...or, perhaps, re-introduced.
We all experience barren and fruitless times in the “wilderness”. No matter who we are or what our vocation may be, we all experience those “dry times”. And sometimes those arid, wilderness valleys seem to stretch on and on before us.
In the past, painting and drawing for me has been characterized by a process of trial and error and fitfully “groping” forward. There have been many unproductive periods and far too many valleys of setback, fog and failure. There have been far too many “stumbling times” and times of doubt.... even times of outright fear. The whole process has often been extraordinarily frustrating.
It has always been humbling.
But thankfully there have also been some more fruitful and rewarding periods of light and clarity.
And to that, all I can say is: “Thank God!”