The Fear of White Space
Dad-burn it! I know better than this, but here I am wanting to get on with the transformation of my blog toward an emphasis in Faith & Art. I visit the front page time and time again. I think now’s the time to confess to a fear of the white space, the blank page, or the blank canvas – whatever works for you. I’m just sitting, staring, and getting nowhere. It’s ridiculous.
This evening I hear my spirit say to me, “Just get started and stop planning it out.” Heavens, I know this… I know that’s what we artists are supposed to do; just dip the brush into whatever color’s at hand and touch it to the panel. It’s all good, it’s just a warm-up. Brother…
It just goes to show you – and me – that I’m simply human. I may know something’s the way it is, but I still get myself all wrapped up in a tail chase. Ever see a puppy chase its tail? Ever see the puppy actually catch its tail? Sometimes it hurts. So, here I am just making a non-sensical mess all over this digital canvas in an act of beginning – no formal plan, just an emphasis.
I think I’ve already shared my theory about the three great human domains; art, science, and faith (religion). I think I’ve already – and if I haven’t I will do so in an essay I’m preparing to make available here – explained how absurd it seems to me that each of the practitioners of those domains believe themselves to be in pursuit of truth. Further, it seems to my mind, that each of those domains claims to be the sole interpreter of that truth. Here’s what I really believe; I think that people working in any one or more of these great domains are all looking at the same truth, each from a different point of view.
This situation reminds me of the story from India – at least that’s the version I was taught in school – where three blind Brahman (wise-men) were walking along and encounter an elephant for the first time in their lives. Feeling the trunk, one said the elephant is like the great snakes of the world. Feeling the leg, another claimed that the elephant was as a great forest of trees. The last feeling the great belly and rough hide laid claim to the notion that the elephant was as a great mountain of rough stone.
Who’s “right”? Well, they all are, of course. If they’d simply sit down together and discuss what each of them encountered instead of arguing over who’s right, they’d all see a far larger picture. The three great domains; faith, science, and art, are gifts from God, just as the elephant is. Our mind, being able to encounter what we do not know, to explore what we do not know, to think about and discuss what we do not know, and to comprehend beyond our own personal experience is also a great gift from God.
My personal calling in life is to faith and art. I wouldn’t for a minute diminish or eliminate science. I love science, it’s just that I’m called to an emphasis of life in faith & art. In that vein, this blog will turn toward those two of the three great human domains. It’s to be an asset to me and my fellow artists of faith who struggle with the challenges of a life lived in real faith, and purposeful artmaking.
There was a time in my life, and in the lives of a number of my greatest friends, when we were each confused as to how our lives could become complete and useful in the unity of our faith in God through Jesus Christ, and the pursuit of excellence in our art. I was lost and frustrated. My friends have told me their stories; they too were lost and frustrated. At some point someone, or something, got the message across to each of us that making art is an act of worship; that making art of the highest qualities of our abilities glorifies God. And in that milieu we can indeed live within the reality of our own creative harmonies. We can find, nurture, and express our faith in God through our artful lives.