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Starting an Athlete's Football Portrait

I was up early (5:20am thanks Daylight Savings) and started a new painting. I’m veering away from my usual subject of prophetic, faith-based art and doing a traditional portrait. For this portrait I’m working from a photograph so I have a really good reference to use as I begin.  Typically I use a toned canvas of raw umber and odorless mineral spirits which helps establish the extremes of the painting, the darkest darks and the lightest lights. It also makes it much easier to judge tones and is a lot more forgiving than a white canvas. When I use this method of a toned canvas I usually wait for it to dry overnight, however I was in a bit of...

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Creating Art to the Glory of God, Part II

  Yes, of course we need to have guidelines and we should keep #2 on the Thou Shalt Not list in mind. When we make art we need to ask the question, “Who does this glorify?” Me as the artist, our church, or God? How can artists and churches avoid making this mistake of glorifying themselves with art? I think first and foremost artists must acknowledge that their ability is a gift from God.  The composer Igor Stravinsky said, “I take no pride in my artistic talents; they are God-given and I see absolutely no reason to become puffed up over something that one has received.” God really does gift you artists and calls you to use your gifts. In...

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Creating Art to the Glory of God, Part I

  Some churches are experiencing a renaissance of the arts and are beginning to incorporate live painting, sculpture, spoken word, drama, and other forms of art into their worship services. Some even have art galleries in their buildings. It’s exciting because our tribe is waking up to this as well. I use the word renaissance because we must have a rebirth, a returning to the arts in worship. After the Protestant Reformation we threw the baby out with the bath water and there was a great deal of hostility and skepticism towards religious art. This was especially true for paintings and sculptures; even plain crosses were suspicious because they could be seen as idolatrous. When I was a little girl...

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Be Vulnerable, Be Risky, Be Courageous in Your Creativity!

In childhood we all had the instinct to create and we did it without shame or embarrassment or any restrictions placed on ourselves. Children are amazing little artists, they draw, paint, sing, dance, sculpt, act and create using whatever is available to them. They create with pride and bring it to you to stick on the fridge with a magnet. And they do it over and over until those of us who don’t like to throw anything away have shoeboxes and closets full of our children’s art they made for us. If you go into a preschool classroom and say, “Who in here is an artist?” Every one of them will raise their hands. But somewhere along the way, the...

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