Blowsy – (Watercolour)
In light of the necessity to find answers to the hereafter question – everything else, in my life is ‘relegated’ to second place.
Fully embracing that we are to enjoy our lives in this world, and live in appreciation of everything that has been created – or that we can create, I nevertheless see the necessity of ‘seeking first the kingdom of God…’. (Matthew 6/33)
Some – one or two years ago I decided to stop posting my paintings and share Christian subject-matter and teaching, ‘interluded’ with my poetry.
But I have decided to drop the odd piece of artwork onto the blog, for your consumption.
When we were kids we played a game called blowsy. ‘Bubble-gum’ cards were collected, and we each placed one of our cards face down on the window-sill. Each person contributing one of their cards (perhaps a card they had more than one of). The idea was to blow the two cards and get them to flip to right side up. If this was done successfully our opponent forfeited their card.
Thus the above depiction.
THE STREET IS NOT FOR SALE
The street is not for sale
Even though progress claimed it
Even though I left it
The street is not for sale
Even though I need the money
Even though it isn’t funny
The street is not for sale
It goes beyond the pale
Spiders, smells, and the odd snail
The street is not for sale
Best memories keep intact
You prise ‘em out with a jack
It’s all my front and all my back
My rearview and my heart-beat attack
My ancient recall and all
Reference to better times
Memory and emotion intertwine
The street is not for sale
It could have been somewhere else
A thousand streets in Paris or Rome
A back alley at the Picturedrome
A spontaneous sneeze before I leave
Taste the street at my feet
You can see now – why I think it’s neat
A special-any-old-asphalt surface
Always my purpose…
To return again and again – but
Times change – we move away
We have less to know and more to say
About the childhood street I do picture
It emerges at the end of my finger
Hung up on the wall
– pencil, pen and ink – fountain or ball
No price tag – not for sale
Price too high on the Richter scale
The street is not for sale
“I just quickly wanted to say…
I enjoyed your work
Not in a position to buy – you understand…
But just love it
I like the way you handled this lower part…
And I like the way you did the mountain…
I’d love to have them all…
But anyway –
How long did that take?
How much did you leave out..?
I just love art
But I can’t make the next exhibition I’m afraid
I think artists add spice to life…
I won’t be buying one tonight
But thanks for inviting me along
I’m buying a new car next week
Otherwise I would buy one of your pieces…
I love art”
The masterpiece of you and I
Something you contributed – but with a sigh
You can’t live up to the critics hype
That’s not you – you’re not the type
The masterpiece came into sight
Proudly displayed in the early evening light
At the railings – propped up well
‘All my own work’ – it’s not hard to tell
Masterpieces – might smile or frown
Before the wind blows them down
As the public pass to have a look
They also saw me – as an open book
And to my surprise after-awhile
It suddenly became clear the artistic-style
Was more about me – than my elbow grease
The oddity I was – became the masterpiece
HEADING FOR THE NEW LAND
When I painted this piece – I found the subject suggesting itself, as the painting progressed.
This is usually how it works for me.
It’s an exception as I rarely set out to paint a biblical subject or truth.
But I came across the painting again (it is no longer in my possession and I have forgotten who bought it).
I was consequently reminded and reflected on the fact that I am heading for a new ‘land’.
The heaven of heavens is my destination through no merits of my own – rather because of the fact that, admitting I had no merits – led eventually to finding great grace and acceptance in Christ.
Because of what I have experienced of the heavenly sphere (already) down here in this lower sphere, I believe and therefore I speak.
II Corinthians 4/
13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.
I will be raised up passing from this land to the ‘new land’. Who told me that? The person who gave the words as just quoted.
The painting which of course is metaphorical shows horses being changed from flesh to spirit.
They enter speedily into a land of light, and en route they pass a tree of life. No one can fully and completely enter the light before entering eternal life, represented by the tree.
A tree of life that in Scripture was guarded to prevent man from remaining eternally in sin.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
24 …and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
The tree of crucifixion dealt with the sin problem. Allowing man to partake of the other tree and gain eternal salvation and life through Christ.
There is no sword in the painting – to prevent the entrance to eternal life.
The painting is of course in watercolour – still a fresh and beautiful medium. Just like the gospel message.
There are recurring questions that have been asked throughout the history of art.
The two simple questions I have in mind are:
What is art? And/or – what is poetry?
Perhaps I am least qualified to ask the questions, or offer an answer, as perhaps I don’t take either too seriously, or should I say: serious enough, as is the manner of some.
I enjoy both creative-expressions, but my spiritual aspirations are inclined to place art and poetry in the shadow category of less importance.
I may therefore, fail to get a listen from you, as you think of the artist or poet or art critic you hold in high esteem, and to whose opinion you turn quickly, and firstly, to help you form your own conclusions.
But in light of seedsinmotiontruthnart – and blogging in general, I thought I might explain.
ART – art for me can’t seem to get too far past painting. Although it would seem that painting almost needs re-defined as it seems it is becoming only antique.
With all that makes up the post-modern conglomeration of art-expression through conceptualism and any other ‘ism’ et al, painting seems to have transitioned from the place of premier expression in the upper echelons of the art world, to a secondary place.
Of course the pendulum is always swinging when it comes to ‘art-fashion’, and no sooner has the statement in my last paragraph been made, when it becomes redundant, in our eclectic ever changing hodge-podge art world.
So my: ‘art is painting’ statement is limited, uncool, retrogressive, etc. – however – once again one needs to add: i.e. ‘at the moment!’
For those who have followed this blog from the beginning and are aware of the changeover from ‘posted paintings’, to Christian writing, and for those who might be curious – my art at the moment seems to be pre-occupied in exploring the abstract (see above).
Even though painting in the art world, as in applying a physical substance to a physical ground seems to have taken somewhat of a backseat, it is somewhat paradoxical (though I admit it’s guesswork only, on my part), to state that I reckon that the manufacturers of art materials for painting – have never had it so good?
From what little I do notice as to latest trends – would I be right in thanking New York for keeping painting alive?
POETRY – well, here – I am even less qualified, as I am the exception that proves the rule, namely, that a good reader or a widely read reader, is a good writer. Or that a good poet has to be a prolific reader. I’m not an obsessive reader, by any stretch of the imagination, and certainly not a widely read one.
Guess I better hide in the same shadow of less importance, that I have placed my paintings and poetry in?
Here I go anyway, expressing what poetry is for me. Poetry is the enjoyment of words. I guess that’s about it – my raison d’être of poetry.
Poetry in my view, is not restricted to definitions of what it should be. I favour ‘words for words sake’ running parallel with ‘art for art’s sake’.
This can be dangerous I realise.
As when I write poetry it could be mistaken for profundity, when at times that is far from the case.
I’m just enjoying the expression of words.
At times profundity will be involved in the poem, but sometimes I will write at the other end of the scale, allowing myself to have fun.
Which will leave me disqualified from being taken as a ‘serious poet’. The other end of the scale verging on Edward Lear type ‘nonsense’.
Then again somewhere in the middle is the goal, but the enjoyment of words strung together, can be a major concern of mine.
Also sometimes I ‘play the part’ of the someone who is mentioned in the poem. Or the poem expresses a concept or view simply because it has emerged un-premeditated (as it were) in the course of writing the poem – as I juggle with the words.
An example would be a poem I wrote entitled: ‘The Biker’s Reunion’ – truth is I have never ridden a motorbike. (Apart from an off-road bike my son owned when younger, when one ride was enough for me!)
The person’s story in the poem may not be my story. The description I use of a particular scenario is simply playing with words. The conclusion one comes to as expressed in the poem, may be the opposite to my own personal opinion.
So what does that make it? Poetic fiction?
And so on…
There has to be a ‘…and so on…’ to cover all the possibilities of the varying ways poetry can be enjoyed and emerge from the pen.
In short it’s all imagination – sometimes with reference to ‘my reality’ but equally just as many times – not.
I enjoy words, and putting them together. That’s about it.
CHRISTIANITY – My Christian writings, however are a field apart. I seek the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I try to write things as I genuinely believe them to be.
I’m thankful to God for His enablement. I’m thankful to God for the ways He has opened the eyes of my understanding in the face of Jesus Christ. I know in part, according to scripture, but the part I know I hold dearly. I know what I have been delivered from.
And if my poetry does not reference directly – my spiritual life, this is because I have too much to say plainly and without apology when it comes to Christian Truth and if the poetic form is not my choice, it is because of my priority which is to make things clear.
Paul The Apostle speaking: Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
So in Christian writing – I write to pass on what I am convinced about, and so therefore mostly choose, straightforward language to do so.
I write as a scribe, teaching the Christian Gospel, without an over indulgence in wordsmith-ing.
I enjoy wordsmith-ing mostly, rather, through poetry.
Spiritually speaking – I’m called to be a scribe.
I pen what I come to understand from the scriptures.
But art and poetry are fun and enhance our everyday lives.
I cannot take my Christian writing seriously enough, as it is a matter of life and death.
I cannot take my art and poetry too seriously as it is to do with intellectual, visual and emotional enjoyment of life in this natural world and there is so much more to life – the afterlife.
Of course my poetry can have purpose and meaning, but I always bear in mind that ‘…the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God’. (I Corinthians 3/19)
Poetry and literature doesn’t compete with the weightier matters of spiritual life – in light of an awaited eternity.
So – suspect that in my poetry, I might have my tongue in cheek sometimes, at the same time you may also find profundity and reference to the truth as it overlaps into the spiritual, – or there again – not, as the case may be.
There is no fixed rule in art or poetry.
But I will continue to obey God and write for Him, while providing you with Poetic Interludes.
So in summary, my Christian writing is written that you might believe in The Lord Jesus Christ and through believing may have life in His name.
My poetry and art follow the dictates of imagination.
Please call again. 😎
Deluge – acrylic by Ken Riddles
In times of extreme flooding there seems little that anyone can do. The floods being so bad that all preparations or precautions taken, are swept aside, so overwhelming is the problem.
That the moral decline of mankind is sweeping the world like a flood is obvious to most reasonable thinking people.
Established norms of behaviour are challenged continuously, whilst all manner of excuses for all kinds of self-indulgence are made.
It seems the defences set in place by God’s Word are eroded, and no one quite knows how to respond to the degradation of morality as it disappears beneath the flood tide.
To go with the flow of the tide, to be swept away by the deluge, is an option given to us all. You must decide. I must decide. Do I hold fast to that which is good – or do I let my life slip beneath the flood?
I Thessalonians 5/20
Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
‘Lest at any time’ – this is such a time.
Let’s find and gather with those who don’t wish to drown!