Any great ambition I had to sell my paintings, and perhaps earn a living from doing so, got lost along the way somewhere over the years.

The ambition wasn’t big enough in the first place, to drive me to do all that was necessary to achieve such a goal.

Borland’s outbuildings (wax crayon)

The bible talks about seeking first the kingdom of God. And as far as I was concerned there was no other option, than to gladly do so. So spiritual ministry priorities were put first.

Consequently an 8 to 5 job in a newspaper office took the place of these ambitions as the responsibility of raising a family also came first.

So to sell a painting now is the result of some kind of connection with other human beings.

Whereby they see some of my work and would like to have it.

I do not spread the work around as e.g. in galleries etc. like I used to do. So I’m pretty much, an unknown – sliding into ‘oblivion’, in the background somewhere.

If someone through this blog wanted to buy a piece of work, this would entail individual email communications and financial arrangements. And gladly the forming of some kind of relationship.

I have in other words no selling mechanism of pay pal and all the rest of it, necessary, if you are running a business.

Multi-talented (inks)

Sometimes my mind wanders to Van Gogh – a man who was on a spiritual quest and through the rocky road of life with its hurts and rejections – eventually found solace in his art.

As far as I can discern he lost his way spiritually, because in biblical language he sought God by works and not by faith.

It isn’t my intention to elaborate on such a statement in this post. I realise it is more complicated than my thesis might suggest.

But I do see in his life and can understand, why painting became his passion and means of self-absorption, and quest for achievement.

Even in his art he did not find the acceptance and praise he justly deserved.

I see life in that way, and am so thankful that I have found in Christ what I was looking for.

In the old hymn Be Thou My Vision we read these words:

Riches I need not, nor man’s empty praise

Thou mine inheritance through all of my days

Thou and Thou only though first in my heart

High king of heaven my treasure Thou art

That succinctly sums up how the loss of ambition doesn’t matter, when it is replaced by the Riches of Christ. It is Christ who satisfies, not only in this world but in the one to come.

There is a place for doing things well, for creativity, and for enjoying the communication of life through the arts.

A place for someone to have goals and resolutely set out to achieve them (provided others do not get trampled-on along the way.)

But there is a fine line between seeking man’s empty praise and appreciating the love that others give, that makes us feel worthwhile and satisfied that we have something to give, through our expressed talent.

Life poses the question: ‘Are you ultimately empty?’

Funny question?

Perhaps – but there is a spiritual vacuum inside each one of us. That can only be filled through a relationship with Christ. 

Realised ambitions will not take this vacuum away.

Apple Gluttons (w/colour/acrylic)

13 thoughts on “Ambition…

  1. I love the diversity of your work. My husband spent his working years in the advertising business. He worked for several agencies until he formed his own company. It thrived for twelve years and gave us a decent living for a long time. Then the bottom fell out. At age 50 we lost everything including the business, our house and vehicles, but even so God was in the midst of all of it. He led Paul into fine art. He began wood sculpting and sold many pieces to businesses and private buyers. He then opened a studio in the warehouse district and was successful with that for another 12 years. Now he is teaching classes and still finds time to carve, to paint, to enjoy art and share his love for it with others. It isn’t always about the money. I love sharing his art, because it is inspirational for me. I enjoy putting words together with his art. Life is too short to worry about dollars. BTW I watch Lust for Life – Van Gogh’s story and his troubled mind was the death of him, but he sure created some great art.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautifully written, Ken, and beautifully summed up: “Perhaps – but there is a spiritual vacuum inside each one of us. That can only be filled through a relationship with Christ.”

    Amen to that.

    Regarding your art work, I am so very happy to have the painting of the “tuxedo cat” you graciously gave me hanging on my wall. I love it, as do visitors to my apartment. It brings much beauty to my home, and I know that it will always serve as a reminder of my own little Rachel, though she is still very much alive.

    Thank you for this wonderful gift.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks David – and for the reminder of your Biblically named Rachel! Glad the painting brightens a corner – as long
      as she doesn’t think it’s competition from another feline 😅 (still have the photo you sent)

      Liked by 1 person

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