Saturday, July 11, 2015

Some comments about art

By Rev. Jim Purcell

When each of us reads a book or looks at a painting, what is it we really look for at the bottom of it all. I think I search for some truth, some shining piece of knowledge underneath all of the words or all of the paint or ink. I want to know something I didn't know before, and maybe it is that one thing that will lead me to some even greater truth.

Artists of any kind, regardless of their medium, want to share something with the larger world. If they didn't then they would not create. The creation of art is based in the lives of the artists. So, as the artist interprets the world, so too does their personal understandings of the world shape the landscape of their art.

It has been said before that art is mankind's glimpse into heaven, and it is worth restating. I don't mean to interject religion into this monologue too deeply. However, how much has art impacted religion or faith or spirituality, whatever one feels comfortable with saying? Indeed, art has had enormous contributions to people through the ages understanding their faiths. In my case, I am a Christian and there is no shortage of Christian art through the long walk of time. For me, there is an essential quality to it. Likewise, the language of the Gospel of Mark, for another example, allows me to access my faith in a way I could not of if it were not for those words (widely believed to have been penned by author John Mark).

I say that art can teach people compassion, empathy, bravery...and a host of things needed in the lives of men and women. Like so many other people, I came from a terrible beginning in my life. There was not much to look forward to for me as a child, but then there was art. I did not care if it was comic books or great works by the Masters, I absorbed art like a sponge. Art shaped who I am, who I want to be and how I saw the world, my God...even humanity.

Some of the greatest wonders of the world were create through the simple work of human hands in making a dream more real through some medium.

In my middle age, I am starting to live more through art then ever. I begin to see genius in artists I simply passed by before, unimpressed about their talents. Now, maybe it was time that was my teacher, but I begin to see things anew, which illuminate the works I made short work of before.

People are explorers at heart. Not all people want to find a new continent, conquer space or the great expanse of the oceans, but there are so many discoveries waiting within art and our own imaginations, sparked by art that speaks to us, respectively. I encourage this journey for anyone. God bless to all, thanks for coming to my site.

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