back

I've been thinking

I've been thinking about what turns me on when I write, or speak, or paint. Some of you will expect me to say, Jesus! Well, yes, in a way, because he does press the right buttons, but I've been musing on what comes out from myself and reveals itself in my creative urges. So far, four things.

I am a passionate person and I want my art to be passionate. If art isn't passionate, if there is no fire, no emotion that grips me, then for me it is craftsmanship at best. I may admire it but that's all, like a well-crafted talk, a beautifully written essay, or a piece of photorealistic painting.

 I love colour, bright colour, strong colour. Vibrant colour has its own emotional intensity, so my best writing is colourful, as is my best painting. Subtle I probably am not! Never have been. Old photos often have me in bright coloured shirts when all around are sober clad.

Even my non-fiction should tell a story. When I wrote my study on the book of Romans I realised that the Apostle Paul was writing a drama, so I treated it as an opera. Makes much more sense than an academic theological treatise! My fiction is full of visual imagery and drama (make great films if anyone's interested!), and my paintings carry dramatic tensions that come best when I attack he canvas

I also like multi-textured and multilayered meanings, or depth to art. My children's books have at least five levels of meaning, as does much else that I do. This is not subterfuge or propaganda, it's simply the way life works for me. I love to go round the back and look up the skirts of things (so to speak!) to see what's really going on.

 To illustrate this, and because of the time of year, I've just added a new picture to my Gallery under Biblically Themed. It's called Mary Magnificat, based on Luke 1:46-49. Here's the blurb: 

Mary bursts into this exultant poem on meeting her elderly cousin, Elizabeth, who was also expecting a miracle baby. Mary is a strong young woman of passionate spirit as well as profound humility and grace. Her naked, innocent and unashamed soul leaps for joy in the light of God's glory that has come upon her. Her Son similarly leaps for joy (Luke 10:21). 

Verbal note: Agalliao (rejoice) carries the sense of leaping for joy, likely connecting from Greek through Celtic to Old French to the medieval galliard, meaning a high leaping dance. Behind this lies the Hebrew word Hallelujah, meaning exuberant, leaping praise to the Lord.

Passion, colour, drama, depth – art must have soul! And for my spiritual friends, I guess I like that about Jesus, too!

 

This message was added on Friday 30th October 2015