As I say in the intro to my book, Diary, my paintings are all done during church. This means they are all open to prophetic interpretation. When I come to the canvas I pray and ask God to speak to me and through me. I encounter him as I paint. I see colors and put them on my pallet. I see a brush and a stroke in my mind’s eye and I pick up the brush, apply the color, and stroke the canvas the way I see it. I don’t see a picture before I begin, only a stroke. And then another stroke. And then another. Layer upon layer of color, one element at a time, until an image emerges.
A worship service may be anywhere from one to two hours long and most of my paintings are created in a single service. Realism is not a practical goal in that time frame. The objective is to communicate through the medium of art. It’s about me communicating with God, and because it’s in a public setting it’s about God communicating to others through me. When people feel a painting is speaking to them, the interpretation may rest entirely with them. It may speak differently to others at the same time. Sometimes a painting speaks only to someone else. I have no idea what it means. They’ll ask for the painting, or they’ll simply receive the message and a few weeks later I’ll be painting over that image. Sometimes a painting is a message for the whole church. The paintings I put in my book are all ones that spoke deeply to me. Whether or not they spoke to anyone else, they had meaning for me so I preserved them.
“What meaning,” you may ask, “could a random multi colored spiral have for the artist?”
First, that’s a random multi colored BLACK LIGHT REACTIVE spiral. It contains streaks of neon and glow in the dark paint. So...it’s cool!
Second, colors have meaning in every culture and in Christian culture they can represent different spiritual gifts. All the gifts here are flowing together. This is the goal. Remember that Sunday School song, “when we all pull together how happy we’ll be!”
Finally, the spiral or vortex represents a portal, an opening to heaven. In Jesus’ demonstration prayer he prays, “Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
This is a representation of the Kingdom of Heaven being released in the room where I was painting and all the gifts represented, different ones in each of us, flowing together to create an amazing picture, that even shows up in the dark. That is only fully revealed in the dark! But the best part about this painting is that while I was feeling and painting the spiritual atmosphere in the room where I was at the time, the interpretation is a universal truth we can walk in all the time. We can choose to work together to bring the gifts God has given us into service demonstrating the goodness of God to humanity. We can go into dark places and bring the light of love.