Some random facts about me; I hate to write. I can't spell. I never journal. So, why blog? Well, as many of you know or will soon come to know, my life has taken quite the turn in the past months. My heart is on the mends, although, will never be completely whole again. Therefore, I am constantly looking for ways to comfort this ache. Over these past months, reading other blogs exclaiming stories about life, death, random facts, daily encounters and simple pleasures, have somehow tended to my aching heart and have allowed me to experience small moments of joy. Blogging has allowed our world to capture a small (although sometimes quite large) glimpse into another ones life, creating a thrill that is addictive and slightly contagious! My blog will hopefully nurture that thrill in hopes to offer you a 'front row seat' into my journey through this crazy experience called, life. Life, in the essence of what gives, breaths and sustains. Maybe my blogging will one day attribute to caring for another ones aching heart.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A must read

Let me introduce to you a dear friend of mine, Kait Stockwell.  I met Kait 5 years ago when she was a senior attending Great Valley High School.  We instantly became great friends.  She graduated from Great Valley and went on to attend Gordon College where she focused her studies in Art.  Kait has been blessed with some serious talent in Art.  Her and I have stayed in touch over the past few years and I have considered it a blessing to witness how she has approached life's challenges and trials through her expression in Art. A  few months back, she approached me inquiring about her desire to paint a piece for our little ones nursery.  I was so humbled by her offer and have been anxiously awaiting the completion of the piece.  Along the journey of Kait creating this piece, she was approached by one of her professor's to incorporate this piece in a special art presentation at Gordon College focusing on Hope through the eyes of Art.  


You must read below the beautiful tribute Kait presented on April 19th at Gordon College...  


Symposium: Art as a Dialogue with God; Hope- Making All Things New

by Kait Stockwell


As an artist and a follower of Christ I believe that art has an important place in the discussion of hope. Art is more than aesthetic, but also language; a part of a dialogue between heart, mind, and God. I have learned through my own experiences of loss and suffering through a chronic illness that circumstances do not change God’s character. Painting is how I honor that. I choose to worship God when I don’t understand the situations of my life. Painting is an act of faith when I endure His silence. I would not have hope if I only talked to God when life was manageable. Often I wondered how a God who could create such a beautiful world would allow such ugly things to be in the world- illness, death, and suffering. Wrestling with this darkness has produced some of the most poignant and beautiful works of art. The dialogue that occurs through creating art has allowed me to fully trust that what I have learned over the last decade of illness will benefit his purpose. What is more, these last ten years of personal hardship have given me the opportunity and the gift of serving others through my art. 


 


On February 7, 2009 Katelynn Melissa Hunt, a friend’s 23-year-old sister, was killed a terrible car accident. Now, 3 years later, this dear friend is pregnant with her first child- a little girl due on Katelynn’s birthday. I was blessed to do a piece for their new family that is in memory of Katelynn but also speaks to redemption, restoration and heaven. This commission would be impossible if I had tried to use my talents to illustrate a specific message to answer the grief that my friend and her family have endured. In the making of this, I too was wrestling with God, his timing, the fallen nature of this world, and ideas of heaven. I was sharing in suffering, but also sharing in their choice to worship God despite the darkness of their loss and the pain of silence and distance from God. 

   

   I’ll quickly show you photos of the painting process I went through in making this. It is based on a photo of Katelynn taken shortly before her death. I worked in watercolor for its freshness of color, fluidity and transparency, which lends itself physically and symbolically to the intention behind this painting. It takes patience to work with watercolor, even though it is a "quick" medium- it takes time to wait to layer the washes of color, to build intensity, and to use water to take away as well. After having professors and friends look at my first attempt, I decided to reposition the figure to emphasize the release of the figure from the darkness into the light. I also made other aesthetic decisions; shifting the color, redefining the arm, and working more with the texture of the atmosphere. This piece went through a cycle of creation, critique, and restoration- a cycle that I believe is part of God's process as the Creator. Painting this commission resonates with the hope that is demonstrated by God’s desire for us to live out his redemptive relationship with us. When I paint, I communicate and create something beautiful. When the questions I am handling are impossibly difficult and painful, my art becomes not an answer to circumstances, but an act of hope in God's faithfulness to His creation.

Click here to see the painting process, Painting Process