Throughout my art is an overarching theme of peace and
tranquility. It is a blessing such a focus comes through despite challenges in my life. Much of my artistic ability was honed in isolation, in deep struggles with anxiety. I was terrified of people and social situations. I also had struggles in depression, self-hatred, and developed severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Not the funny, quirky kind you see on TV, but a debilitating form that controlled my entire life. I spiraled ever downward, reduced to one room, with no friends or social contacts (other than the doctors trying to help me). I was full of darkness hard to describe in a summarization.
This is a humbling and grim picture. Most of my life has been a struggle. It still is. Both then and now art has been how I occupy my time. Today it has become a means to reach out to the community. I can now look back from a place where I have a measure of wholeness. This did not happen overnight; God had a lot of deeply buried lies and brokenness to heal in me. In my past, any idea of being different or getting better was incomprehensible, as foreign as a fish attempting to walk on land. Yet God has transformed the darkness into walking in His light. It is a testimony that no matter how deep and lengthy the valley–even measured in the majority of a lifetime–nothing is beyond God's restorative grace.
You don’t see any of the darkness in my art. There is peace and an emphasis on beauty. This is a kind of visual symbol of how God works in our lives. God uses our trials and struggles to draw us to Him. In Christ, He transforms the ashes of defeat into beauty. This is not an abstract idea or wish. The living reality of Jesus enters into our real life pain. It is by design we are needy. God created us to need Him.
Skeptics ridicule faith by saying it is a crutch. I don’t agree with this, in the opposite way you may think. I do not need a crutch to help myself along. For Jesus Christ to carry me entirely is essential. God does nothing halfway, nor do we need Him halfway.
What is it about art that so fascinates people? When people meet me they react to my art. My name is associated with the art. But, what is this whole thing really all about? It is God’s gift of creativity to us and what it says about Him. Creativity points to the invisible attributes of God and to His preeminence in power and holiness. Artists study and highlight Creation, but it is merely a finger that points to its Creator.
In our day of science and knowledge, we are so used to life, so used to the earth; so to speak, we have lost our awe and wonder. This is where art can come into play. In Scripture we read: For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made. I call this the “wow factor”. That pang in the heart when we see a marvelous piece of art, a sunset, the Grand Canyon, a wonderful waterfall, or take in the sights and sounds of a beautiful forest. This uplifting appreciation was put in us by God. The beauty around us points to the awesomeness of the Almighty. I regard this focus as my calling as an artist.
Though a measure of the beauty of creativity shines in art, it is not the art itself, or the world we glorify. These point to God’s preeminence. The greatest wonder of all is such an awesome God loves us. Nothing compares to the light and glory of God’s purest expression of Himself to us. This is the wonderful person of Jesus Christ. He is the very image and expression of God. Jesus is God with us.
It is in God's unmerited grace I have been saved, in which I live in the freedom of the joy of Christ's mercy. I may be an artist, or an unknown guy hidden away from the world, either way I have all I will ever need in Him.