Imagine by Steve Turner

It took me several months to finish this very short read (basically, because I was interrupting it with my addiction to novels!)  This is a MUST read for any artist who has grown up around church.  Mr. Tuner flies in the face of so much of what I have had issues with inside the church when it comes to artists and their connection to the church.  One of the last sentences in his book states for me the consensus that we as artist must accept...

"If we want to see art that challenges the prevailing secularism we need artists who are not only skillful but also theologically well equipped, grounded in a fellowship and living obedient lives."

Read the book - here's the link


Watercolor Landscape

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I am taking a watercolor class for 4 weeks this summer specifically on landscape.  When the teacher walked by the other night and looked at my first painting, she said,"Maybe you should try my abstract class as well."  I think it was a complement...  Anyway, she is a GREAT teacher and the class is so much fun - I couldn't have asked for a better first experience to the world of painting.  Maybe I will share a creation with you...if I get brave enough.


Andrea Zittel: Critical Space

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This afternoon , I visited the New Museum of Contemporary Art in ChelseaCritical Space is the first comprehensive survey of Andrea Zittel's work to take place in the US. For the past 15 years, she has used her everyday life as the force behind her artwork.  From designing clothes to be worn everyday for 6 months, to creating diets based on dehydrated foods, to making furniture that changes your view of space - she has been willing to explore all of this.  I was amazed at the intellectual depth that was required to create such detail in the furniture and the clothes. She gave such deep thought to how to create spaces.  One of her quotes basically said that creativity is more explored when their are limitations imposed on the creator.  The struggle to fight for creativity helps us to explore spaces that we would have never gone. Total freedom sometimes causes us to not fight for the space.  This resonates with me - I fight for my creative "5 minutes" everyday now  that I am a mother.  If I can write a chorus or re-write a verse of a song that I am working on - I feel very successful.  Andrea's work inspired me today to fight for the space to be creative.


Screwtape on DaVinci Code

Screwtape On The DaVinci Code


My dear Wormwood,

I trust this finds you as miserable and stupid as ever. I am pleased to take a respite from our usual tutorial and venture into something a bit broader, but vastly instructive for our larger purposes. To wit: I shall today croak a paean of praise to a particular work of middlebrow non-fiction. The genre has been particularly good to us, Wormwood! Do you remember The Passover Plot? Or that excellent hoax by Erich von Daniken, In Search of Ancient Astronauts? You may snigger now, but in its day even that harebrained rant proved helpful to our cause. As did most of the books on The Bermuda Triangle and "UFO's". And don't get me started on Shirley MacLaine's Out on a Limb! Oh, but Wormwood! Those books were mere types and shadows of the one that has in these last days transported me to ecstasies of embarrassing intensity. It is a type of "romantic thriller" (penned by someone under the unwitting tutelage of an old crony of mine from the Sixth Circle); it is titled The DaVinci Code...

Emhead

to read the rest of this, go to www.ericmetaxas.com


Kindness

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This morning, we (The Gallery Church) took breakfast to a couple of modeling/casting agencies here in the city.  There is something so fulfilling about just doing something kind for total strangers. But even more fulfilling is to be kind in your heart knowing that you're showing love for mankind the way that God loves each of us so much.  His acts of kindness are everywhere if we are paying attention.  As one of my former pastors used to say, We can be Jesus "with skin on."  We can show God's love by just being kind...go figure!

"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."   - Ettiene De Grellet


Artist, Joyce Lee

Last night, Todd and I attended an art gallery show where my friend, Joyce Lee, had some works on display.   She is a teacher's assistant at The Arts Students League of New York to Hugo Bastidas.  I love Joyce's art - she paints abstracts.  Her ability to capture the beauty of color is my favorite aspect of her art.  She has the ability to create something unique, but yet you feel very at home when you see it.  I think one reason that I am drawn to her art is that I love art that takes me somewhere else.  I enjoy letting my imagination run away as at look at it and wonder what it means, how it connects to my own idea of it, and the emotion it creates in me as I observe it. Joyce's art makes me happy and I like that!


Reconcilers

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Tonight,  we had a member meeting for IAM members here in New York.  In our small group discussion time, the question was asked,"What do you tell people when they ask about 'IAM"?"  Most in the group agreed that you give different answers based upon who is doing the asking, but I couldn't escape the main thing that Mako has stated that IAM is all about - reconciliation.  For so long, artists have only talked to artists and the world has gone on without their dialog.  The church doesn't get them (I know, I am an artist in the church!) and frankly, we are just too quirky and always pushing things to the edge.  It's time for artists who believe in Jesus Christ to start dialog with people who are not like them and may not get them.  It's time to lay down our "weapons" and have some conversation.  There have been hurts on all sides and artists, the church, mainstream culture - everyone is at fault for stopping the conversation.  The important thing is for us to start talking again.  We are entering the creative age and conversations have never been more important than now.  Artists found community in the church for so many years.  The Sistine Chapel would have never been painted without art and artists having a home in the church.  It's time to find our Michelangelo and open our arms to his creativity.  I'm ranting - I know.  My heart resonates with this word - reconcilers.  Let that word resonate with you and your art and the passion that is God-given in your soul.  How can you be a reconciler?  Do you even want to dialogue or are you happy the way it is?  Are you willing to swallow hard and take the first step?


Going to an Art Museum

I am reading this book Art for Dummys and honestly, it has been great...Living in a city like this, I am very intimated by the incredible culture of art that surrounds me all the time.  When I hear some of my artist friends talking about different painters, sculptors, and photographers, I want to at least have something to offer the conversation!  I love art, but have not been exposed to it like I am now and I want to know so much more! Thomas Hoving, the author of Art for Dummys, was a former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York.  In one of the early chapters, he talks about the basics of actually going to a museum.  He says to find the gift shop first and buy postcards. Postcards will have the works of art that you will want to see.  Flash these cards at a guard and ask for directions to them.  He also encourages you to listen to a CD of music that was created during the same period as the art you are viewing.  Those are a couple of tidbits I have picked up and I am looking forward to using them when I visit the MoMA very soon.  Back to my book...


It's National Poetry Month

Since April is National Poetry month, I want to share a poem with you from a poet that I have been recently introduced to in the last few months.  In light of so much controversy about the claims of Jesus lately, I thought this would be fitting...

"If Jesus Was Born Today"

If Jesus was born today
it would be in a downtown motel
marked by a helicopter's flashing bulb.
A traffic warden, working late,
would be the first upon the scene.
Later, at the expense of a TV network,
an eminent sociologist,
the host of a chat show
and a controversial author
would arrive with their good wishes
-the whole occasion to be filmed as part of the
'Is This The Son Of God?' one hour special.
Childhood would be a blur of photographs and speculation
dwindling by his late teens into
'Where Is He Now?' features in Sunday magazines.

If Jesus was thirty today
they wouldn't really care about the public ministry,
they'd be too busy investigating His finances
and trying to prove He had Church or Mafia connections.
The miracles would be explained by
an eminent and controversial magician,
His claims to be God's Son recognised as
excellent examples of Spoken English
and immediately incorporated into
the O-Level syllabus,
His sinless perfection considered by moral philosophers
as, OK, but a bit repressive.

If Jesus was thirty-one today
He'd be the fly in everyone's ointment-
the sort of controversial person who
stands no chance of eminence.
Communists would expel Him, capitalists
would exploit Him or have Him
smeared by people who know a thing or two about God.
Doctors would accuse Him of quackery,
soldiers would accuse Him of cowardice,
theologians would take Him aside and try
to persuade Him of His non-existence.

If Jesus was thirty-two today we'd have to
end it all. Heretic, fundamentalist, literalist,
puritan, pacifist, non-conformist, we'd take Him
away and quietly end the argument.
But the argument would rumble in the ground
at the end of three days and would break out
and walk around as though death was some bug,
saying 'I am the resurrection and the life...
No man cometh to the Father but by me'.
While the magicians researched new explanations
and the semanticists wondered exactly what
He meant by 'I' and 'No man' there would be those
who stand around amused, asking for something called proof.

Steve Turner


CIVA: Celebrating 25 years

I was introudced to this organization a few months ago when I joined IAMChristians in the Visual Arts  first met to disucss the place of Christian artists in the church and the world.  Through their publications, I have been introduced to some great artists and great reading.  Click on this link to see some recommended reading from CIVA.  I highly enjoyed Objects of Grace: Conversations on Creativity and Faith.096587983601