Project 2, Post 1: A Haunting Dream

 

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About Project 2:

Ever since I was a small child I have experienced a reoccurring dream. Sometimes, the dream even frightens me. I haven’t ever shared my dream until now.

It’s black and white sands:

Like two colors of sand between two panes of glass being shifted back and forth in a person’s hands, the black sand and the white sand move forward and backward, up and down, and always against one another, perpetually fighting.

It’s evil and good sands:

While dreaming, I’ve always known that the white sand was good, while the black sand was evil. This is why my dream sometimes frightens me. Depending on when I awake, the forces of evil may have been overtaking the forces of good. Other times, the forces of good are threatening to demolish the evil. Regardless, this perpetual fight between good and evil has always left me a bit shaken.

My goal:

I do not yet know how, but I am going to attempt to materialize my reoccurring dream on canvas.

We seem to be confronted with a lot of good verses evil these days. Perhaps this is why I keep feeling compelled to share my dream through words and through art. Regardless, this is certain to be an untried and challenging endeavor for me. We shall the where the road leads…

God will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go. He will guide me with His eye. (Psalm 32:8)

Project 1, Post 8: A Little Pizzazz! And a Prayer

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Reflection:

The background of my painting definitely possesses a “coolness factor.” As I described in Post 1 of this project, I reused my canvas and created this painting over the top of one that I had already made, but wasn’t fond of. In addition, I glued squares of aluminum foil to my canvas and then painted over them. Thus, the background of my painting is lumpy and bumpy, full of texture! I love it! Looking at my flowers, however, I decided my work needed one last touch…

I set out to add texture to my flowers. What did I have to lose? After all, from its inception, this project was all about experimentation. The key, though, would be adding pizzazz without taking away from the integrity of the flowers; to enhance, not detract.

The nature of my challenge defined: to help, not harm

How could I act in the best interest of my blue flowers (helping, not harming) and also act in the best interest of my entire painting? What would be the best way to enhance the flowers while also benefiting my painting as a  whole  (again – help, not harm)?

In philosophy, it is called “Consequentialism,” a viewpoint that is focused on producing the best overall results (consequences).  Love is a key element of consequentialism. Loving all people is central: We try to create the best outcomes and benefits for others impartially, as long as helping one person does not harm others.

“Everything you do should be done in love.”

1 Corinthians 16:14

As I rummaged through my art supplies in search of that perfect “ingredient” to enhance my blue flowers, I began to philosophically ponder the state of our country through the lens of consequentialism. This contemplation then led me to realize I have not been doing my part, I had not been regularly praying for our country’s leaders.  Perhaps you too have forgotten this duty lately.

Leaders have pretty tough jobs and often need our prayers.If America’s leadership is to help its citizens without adversely harming them as well – consequentialism – then we must support them through the power of prayer.

When Harry S. Truman took up the office of the Presidency after Franklin Roosevelt’s death, he wrote down a prayer for himself. His prayer was…

“…At this moment, I have in my heart a prayer. As I have assumed my heavy duties, I humbly pray Almighty God, in the words of King Solomon: ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad; for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?’ I ask only to be a good and faithful servant of my Lord and my people.”

God has instructed us on the power of prayer and he has instructed us to pray for our lands and our leaders, assuring us that he has the power to direct the hearts of our kings (Proverbs 21:1). And so, that we must do…

We must pray for the city in which we live and the country in which we live, for “…if it prospers, so too will you prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7).

We must ask that those who lead be given the gift of wisdom and that they “serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling” (Psalm 2:10-11).

These things we must do; through humbleness, benevolent prayer, and giving thanks we shall be able to live out a “quiet and peaceful” life (Timothy 2:1-2).

And so  my  work begins, so too  your  work begins… I will keep reminding myself of my duty to pray for my country, my duty to pray for those who serve and for those who lead my country. And, I will also pray that you will take up this cross with me as we continue ahead, day by day.

Amen.

Artistic Process:

I came across two bottles of fabric paint (that’s right, fabric paint); one yellow, one gold. This medium provided an excellent 3-D quality without overpowering the piece itself. First I used the yellow to loosely outline each flower petal, choosing squiggly lines to avoid unwanted rigidity of appearance. Next I used the gold paint to follow the petals again, this time placing the gold paint just to the inside of the yellow paint.

Next, I dripped a couple of tiny droplets of water on a couple of petals on each flower. I used my finger to smear the water into the fabric paint to blur the yellow and gold paints together in just a few select places. This was done simply to give another element of light and depth to the flowers.

Finally, I added dots of gold to accent the center of my flowers.

Viola!

*This was the final step of my painting. Next, I will create a post to display the final product.