Art (and art education) is always changing. What is popular at one point in time will become passe. There are always attributes of art, movements, styles, or philosophies of art education that can be appreciated, but as time progresses ...taste, ideologies, techniques, and relevance changes. That is not to say things won't come back around. The pendulum is always swinging. We see things come in & out of vogue. We see new twists being added to old ideas. Artists, art work, and philosophies popularity can be inconsistent over time. There will be ups, downs, and in some cases...they fade into obscurity. What is new, fabulous, and THE WAY to do things today may not be tomorrow. In art, change is the one lasting quality we can count on. No matter... art will remain. Art will persist.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
Change is a part of our faith journey. Where we were, what we thought, how we responded, what we did as new believers is not the same as now. There may be some things we wish we could recapture. There may be some things we wish we could erase. We are inconsistent at best as we go and grow on this journey. Change. We change from one second to the next. Hot/Cold. Grace Filled/ Judgmental. Seeking Truth/Accepting Lies. However, we serve a God who is consistent. We serve a God that does not change. He has loved us from the beginning. He has pursued us from the start. His word stands forever as a testament of this desire to be in a relationship with us. It is lasting...ever lasting.
I struggle with displaying my paintings almost as much as I do creating them. Does it need a frame, what kind of frame, will the wire hold the weight of the art, will the eye hooks pull out of the back, will the nail be strong enough to hold the work on the wall...etc. I will double or triple the wire because I'm so afraid of it not being strong enough. I will hot glue or super glue around the eye hook just to give it a bit of "extra" security. I find it hard to trust that things will go according to the norms of hanging art. I try to control the situation before there is a situation. Have I ever had a work of art come crashing down? No. Then why do I fear that for some reason it is going to happen? There are many things in displaying my work that are out of my control. I struggle with this. My pride does not want to face the possibility of looking like a fool if I were to do something wrong or something goes wrong. Self doubt plays into it as well. I think artists often try to control things because they feel don't want to rely on anyone else & do not want to be made fun of for a botched attempt.
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Jeremiah 17: 7-8
Trust is a struggle for many believers. Trust requires us to let go of control. Trust requires us to let down our guard. Trust asks us to find confidence outside of ourselves. Some may believe pride is in direct opposition to being able to trust. I feel pride and doubt spring forth from the same root. The two choke out our peace that comes when we trust God with our life, family, relationships, finances, money..etc. You may have valid reasons for your struggle to trust. God knows your struggles. God is patient. God is loving. God is consistent. God is waiting for you to trust him with your everything. When you do...Jeremiah has painted a beautiful picture of what that looks like! A tree who's roots run deep toward the water.....that always has green leaves....and even in drought....can produce fruit. Trust does not keep us from the ills of this world, but allows us to be firmly rooted so that no matter what comes our way we can stand firm in the truth of our God & find our confidence & peace in him. .
A group of art teachers were talking about sharing their teacher examples online just for the fun of it! So I thought I would share mine. I usually keep most of mine & then give my student teachers a stack of them as idea starters when they have their own classroom.
I was asked in the winter to lead a professional development on the new state visual art standards for the art teachers in Cumberland County. (I was on the team that wrote our standards) I guess they liked me...because they asked me to come back to lead another professional development for them!!! So yesterday I made the hour and a half trek to Crossville,TN to work with their amazing group of art teachers. It is a small district...with only 10 art teachers (I think?). It is hard for small districts to have PD for their related arts, but I think it is wonderful Cumberland County has made it priority to have content specific PD for their art teachers!! My friend Janet and I have talked at length how we'd love for the state to hire us to go across the state in the summer and provide PD for smaller/rural districts in TN! Tennessee Department of Education ...are you reading this?!?! ha ha
Set up and ready to go!
Silk Screening (using embroidery hoops & nylons)
Incised Plate Printing
Plaster Cast Masks
We also discussed literature/writing tie-ins for all the projects we worked on during the day.
I guess she needed a little pick me up for a summer PD! ha ha
Unfinished art work, empty sketchbooks, galleries and spaces not being called, disconnecting from peers in the art community.....what causes an artist to become seemingly frozen in their creative pursuits? Answers such as time, money, supplies, critics, opportunities may flippantly be given. Some might actually believe what they are saying. However, it is fear that truly causes an artist to become frozen in their artistic journey. Fear that they are not good enough. Fear that they may never be good enough. Fear they will be rejected for their work, their ideas, and at the very core....themselves. Entertaining fear causes one to lose sight of their passion, their heart, and their purpose. They become paralyzed. Progress is hard to be made when you are frozen in fear. If you find yourself in this position, start by acknowledging your voice. You have something to say through your art. Next, realize that everyone is a work in progress, and that we can grow from/through our imperfections. It is not a problem to make a mistake, it is a problem if you allow the mistake to stop you from learning from it. Lastly, you will always have critics. Their responses to your work are not a reflection of your worth or your ability. They are an opinion. Take from it what will benefit you, and leave what will not. Create without fear. Do not allow fear to silence the voice you have been given through your art. Through it...you will not only share your heart, but touch the hearts of others.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15
What stops believers from doing what God has called them to do? Why do we know the truth, but do nothing with it? Do we connect too closely to the term "The Frozen Chosen"? Too often we allow worry & fear to keep us from doing the things we know in our heart God has created us to do. It may have been the harsh words of others, a mistake made in the midst of serving, feeling unworthy, lack of training...or a host of other "reasons". These "reasons" become reality when left unchecked. In Colossians 3:15 it speaks of the peace of Christ that should rule in our hearts. If we have the peace of Christ in our hearts....how can doubt, insecurity, worry, and fear have a place? The verse also goes on to remind us that we are "members of one body". We are not in this alone. It ends by saying..."And be thankful." It is hard to believe the lies of the enemy and be frozen in fear when we are called to LET THE PEACE OF CHRIST RULE IN OUR HEARTS....when we know that we MEMBERS OF ONE BODY.....and that we are told to BE THANKFUL. In our weakness & imperfections we can do amazing things...not because of us...but because of Christ in us!