The Latest

Random, but in hoping to make magnets out of these…
Nov 27, 2013 / 2 notes

Random, but in hoping to make magnets out of these…

Day 12 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart How much of the story/subject/interest can you leave out and still convey the essence? One day I’ll know when enough is just right.
Nov 27, 2013 / 2 notes

Day 12 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart How much of the story/subject/interest can you leave out and still convey the essence? One day I’ll know when enough is just right.

Nov 26, 2013 / 1 note

Beauty and Goodness

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ~ Eph. 2:10

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. ~ Gen. 1:31

Goodness is stunningly beautiful. It uplifts the soul, not for it’s sensory pleasure, but for its thorough purity and absolute virtue. It overcomes, like a floodlight in a dark white room. It echoes outward from the core, overtaking the outer layers.  Real goodness is no longer defined with respect in our culture, but must be clearly separated from the okay, the mediocre and the least superlatives. Before the fall, “very good” was so much more than “best.” There was no comparison, only pure, whole, goodness. A reflection of His own image, the echo of His perfection and the momentary joy of an unblemished and beautiful creation speak volumes to the connection between beauty and goodness.

In our fallen state, evil takes on the appearance of good through the guise of beauty. It’s no wonder that we have lost direction in the arts when so much evil is propagated through visual imagery.  Many a modern form of “marketing” come to mind, but one thing they all have in common is the loud force with which each visual we are presented with demands our attention. Yet why do we give over one of the greatest gifts God has given us – the gift of intelligent, emotional, and creative expression as beings created in His image – when we have the distinct advantage of direction? Could we even be shirking part of the command to have dominion over all creation? We don’t have to be without direction in the arts any less than when we read, engineer, or communicate.

In an effort not to be overtaken by our emotions, we deny our desire for beauty (really, goodness) that God has placed in our hearts. By denying our desire for beauty, we deceive ourselves, temporarily satisfying our longing with a jet-puffed marshmallow when God offers us the sweetest fruit we could imagine. Our works and appearance of “goodness” to others now reap nothing but the sickness we deny. We work anxiously preening our appearance, mimicking beauty like a photoshopped model that looks healthy, happy and perfectly symmetrical whilst insecurity abounds.

The absence of God’s goodness would look and feel horrific. I’ve heard it said that Hell would be the absence of God’s goodness – an absolute, dark, loneliness. But what if it isn’t the absence of all imagery, but only the absence of any goodness we associate with that beauty? Burgers would be tasteless, colorless, texture-less, and juiciless while everything it was going to do to your body would be disclosed in large print. Hell might be more like a perpetual longing for any breath of goodness, only to be met with your own hideous hostility towards the Maker of all things beautiful and good.

We forget that goodness is God’s pleasure to bestow on us – it’s His work. Falling prey to the idea that we have to work for God’s pleasure, we forget He has already prepared these things for us.  God desires the beauty that comes from His very good workmanship and He has created us to desire the same.

Day 11 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart as a kid, mom provided ample time in our schedule for creating. Binding several highlighters and a sharpie together to draw repeated lines is always a reminiscent project.
Nov 26, 2013 / 2 notes

Day 11 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart as a kid, mom provided ample time in our schedule for creating. Binding several highlighters and a sharpie together to draw repeated lines is always a reminiscent project.

Nov 25, 2013 / 2 notes

Abstracting Reality

image

“Abstract is anything you want it to be!” a first-grader proclaimed. I’m struck by how poignant that answer is. It speaks volumes to how we view the abstracted work of art as believers and an audience in general. Many shy away from abstract as “too random”. I agree with them when we talk about intentionality.  It’s actually quite ironic because Pollock, Richter and the like are interested in the properties of paint being subject to the “chaos of nature.” So sorry to burst your bubble, but by suspending the paint can over a canvas, you actually produce two things: natural laws of thermodynamics which order the can into smaller and smaller concentric swirls on the canvas, and, a very obvious logical conclusion that you are still in control of too many elements to remove yourself from the paint taking action.

A great abstract artwork first observes and embraces the natural world as beautiful, and then brings you to the recognition that there is a curiosity that surrounds exactly how beautiful the created world is. Alexander Calder, as a young man, was working on a naval ship off the coast of Guatemala when he was struck by the beauty of a suspended full moon on one clear, still horizon and the rising sun on the opposite horizon. He often referred to this point in his life as the point he decided to become an artist, professionally. His stabiles, mobiles and monuments conjure up a curiosity around the balance of a flamingo standing on one foot, the delicate strength of a tree trunk as the base for its nutrition-gathering leaves, or the delicate balance of the heavens. His shapes defy categorization – round triangles, square circles and pointed ovals behoove us to take a second look at oversimplifying creation. The complexity of shape, balance of elements and simplicity of expression, while seemingly disparate in statement, are beautiful to behold.

“Anything you want it to be,” is semi-accurate. But the abstract work is no less work or thought than a realistic depiction of the landscape or sunset. The abstract work gives way to opportunity for the imagination, but must be balanced with beauty in form and truth of expression.

Nov 25, 2013 / 1 note

Intentionality, Reality and Creativity

Modern, pop and contemporary art are on a high speed chase towards intentional destruction. To “disturb,” “destroy,” and even “displease” the audience is the design of art today. Hopelessness abounds as the market saturates in the mire of visually indulgent, grotesque and brazenly evil art. Where is goodness, beauty, reality, creativity, celebration, joy, and hope? In casting aside the pursuit of goodness, artists in music, painting, advertising, design, etc. have fully embraced ugly as “art”. In an effort to “stand out,” they have become indistinguishable. The redeemed artist even produces artwork that is lukewarm, poorly executed, or timid. The artist and audience together are responsible for creating this miry bog of hopeless and timid creations. Instead of giving into the entitlement of “each his own taste,” it behooves the audience and artist alike to discern like the Bereans and strive without ceasing towards a higher standard for the arts.

Intentionality in depicting the truth beautifully for the enjoyment of the soul and the glory of God.

Intentionality is the main focus of art schools today. Dramatic destruction or biting criticism often accompany any whiff of “directionless” work. But intentionality in art must be more than just being able to articulate on the spot why you placed that blob of paint where you did. Merely focusing on the consciousness of each stroke, the intertwining of your personal drama and the response from the audience you receive, yields a self-conscious and narcissistic creation.  The redeemed artist knows the great truth that we are created in God’s image – a distinction from the animals as intelligent, sensible creatures with a responsibility to steward our earth and pursue the great opportunity to communicate with each other and to honor the God who created us for a relationship with Him. The redeemed artist knows more completely the goodness that God craves and ordains for His own glory and the high calling we have to daily worship through the work of our hands.

The reality of creating art is that there are insurmountable limitations to our ability to depict our intentions. Every artist would have to admit that the 2-dimensional surface or maquette they’ve created fall short of the real thing. Abstract or realistic, both are equally “false” in comparison to the reality. In the tricks of how to make something look real or in breaking down the reality into a simplified abstraction, truth is enabled to speak in volumes, simultaneously calling on intellect and emotion to a place of worship. In many ways, art is instructional, and as such, the artist is held accountable for what is depicted. Rather than see art as deceit, as it often has been cast in centuries gone by, if intentional truth-telling is held in high esteem, art reaches a new potentiality.

Art is a lie that tells the truth. ~ Pablo Picasso

There is a depression overwhelming today’s art – a hopeless, thankless and hideous style that celebrates nothing, but indulges in self-pity and destruction. Thankfulness increases curiosity and creativity ten-fold. In a country of too much, we’ve forgotten how beautiful even our cast off paper bags can become at the hands of a curious individual (particularly in the hands of an uninhibited child!). God has made this world immensely beautiful, and yet preoccupied and selfish we ignore the simple beauties He has freely bestowed on us.

Just as the ridges, spots and cracking on weak fingernails are symptomatic of nutritional deficiencies and stressors on the individual, art is symptomatic of the culture’s lack of intellectual, moral, emotional and spiritual health. Many see the arts as something they are barred from participating in because they “can’t sing” or can “only draw stick figures.” And yet, don’t you have a soul? You are given the free gifts of beauty all around you – to enjoy and discern goodness in this world, celebrate our God, and know your place before the Almighty and Merciful Creator. 

Day 10 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart gesture drawings in charcoal
Nov 25, 2013 / 1 note

Day 10 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart gesture drawings in charcoal

Day 9 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart continuous line drawing of elephant skin texture and wrinkles. Wrinkles are an absolutely beautiful expression of perseverance!
Nov 25, 2013 / 1 note

Day 9 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart continuous line drawing of elephant skin texture and wrinkles. Wrinkles are an absolutely beautiful expression of perseverance!

@galendetrik & @genickrenedy I love you both! Congratulations!! 🎉🎉🔔🔔
Nov 24, 2013

@galendetrik & @genickrenedy I love you both! Congratulations!! 🎉🎉🔔🔔

Nov 23, 2013 / 1 note
Day 7 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart
Nov 23, 2013 / 1 note

Day 7 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart

Day 5 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart
Nov 20, 2013

Day 5 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart

Day 3, drawing 2 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart
Nov 17, 2013 / 4 notes

Day 3, drawing 2 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart

Day 3 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart after Gustav Klimt.
Nov 17, 2013 / 2 notes

Day 3 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart after Gustav Klimt.

Day 2 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart
Nov 17, 2013 / 2 notes

Day 2 #100daysofdrawing #johannarachelfineart