When I was younger, I painted my pictures in a state of emotional turmoil.

Intensity was the name of the game, affirmed in certain quarters as necessary for good art.

The heat of passion was mistakenly understood as some kind of inspiration, without which, it was supposed, no good art could be made.

(I use the word ‘passion’ – not in the ‘serious- dedication-sense’ but in the emotional turmoil sense)

Art practice was sometimes being referred to variously in terms of energy or fervour etc.

The age-old debate about ‘real’ art, ‘true’ art, etc. discussed in the multifarious schools of art-thought, is never ending.

That it’s ‘a matter of opinion’ saves the day. And allows for no definitive answer to the question.

What is art? Craft versus art. Art versus craft.

The mental and emotional fervour I experienced, meant I couldn’t stop painting until the early hours of the morning. I couldn’t leave the brush down.

Now, when starting a painting, such a state of being is no longer there, nor sought, or allowed to be there – by my choice of will.

And especially from a spiritual standpoint I never wish it to return.

One of the fruits of The Holy Spirit is self-control. (Galatians 5/22-24)

Emotional turmoil cannot be allowed to lead our lives as Christians.

We can experience and be led by what ‘blazes in the soul’ or what ‘burns in the spirit’ (W. Nee). The latter being preferable.

There is a difference – and the Grace of God at work in us determines and teaches us the difference by experience.

We can lapse into the soul-dominated life or stay in the Spirit-led life.

Though I/you face the trials of ever-present straying emotions, that beset us easily, (Hebrews 12:1) – bringing temptation of whatever kind –

There is need to:

1 Timothy 4:15-16

16 Take heed to yourself…

and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Taking heed to what is going on within us and seeking God’s enablement to stay in relationship connection with Him. That is the priority goal for all Christians.

In my culture we often use the saying: “Catch yourself on!” Which means – stop what you are doing and realise that you are not in a good state  of being, or pursuing the right path, or acting in an acceptable manner.

Much – cries out – to distract us from this paramount endeavour of maintaining our right relationship with and in God, including emotional ‘hyperactivity’ that can hinder our Peace with Him.

There is always a way back from this.

God desires –

II Thess. 1/

7 …to give you who are troubled REST WITH US…

7 thoughts on “Hyper-art

  1. Yours are helpful thoughts, Ken. I confess to being a somewhat manic Christian at times. Sailing on an even keel is a much better idea. Emotions bring flavor to our lives, but they shouldn’t always drive the 🚌 bus. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so good Ken. There is a book we’re reading by a man named Carl E. Trueman called The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self – I’m about a quarter of the way this amazing book and he explores poets i.e. Wordsworth and others, and the thoughts you express below regarding art, he concludes about that genre of poetry. It’s quite a tome – I hope my brain keeps coping 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s