“As a man thinks, so is he.” --Proverbs 23:7
After having been painting professionally now for over thirty years, it appears to me that there are two major facets to the career of a fine artist: the professional and the personal.
The “professional” is about how the paintings get done. The personal involves how the artist represents them afterward. Those that view the artwork publicly will wonder about who the artist is personally. Why did he create this? What would he say about it? What are his attitudes and philosophies behind it?
The answer lies in the priorities that the artist chooses for himself or herself, what he or she decides is important in life. Artists create for a variety of reasons, and for every artist there is a list of priorities that causes the work to look like it does, and causes himself to behave personally as he does. At some point, everyone needs to choose how to select those priorities, because it is a natural fact that we all only have so much time. Time is running out, whether or not we choose. But we could prioritize those choices most clearly if we can W.I.N., by deciding ‘What’s Important Now.”
Yesterday there was a memorial service at a local church for well known surfboard shaper Terry Martin. It was was attended by over a thousand people. But in the testimonials from the pulpit from those who knew him, it was not his shaping, or the fact that he has created more hand-shaped boards than anyone else, or even the quality of his art that was the subject: it was the quality of his life. That kindly gentleman was interested in everyone, in the goodness that he knew exists within us all somewhere--and he was able to listen. Terry put people first. That’s how he won the Race of Life. I am sure he is in heaven now.
A pastor in our area so concisely defined the precious opportunity and limited time that we all have to make a difference: “Yesterday is a cancelled check; Tomorrow is a promissory note; Today is ready cash.” I can live my life. And I can make my art. What I need to know is “what’s important now.” May I create quality artworks by living a life of quality, despite my own shortcomings—and may those works glorify the Lord and the giver of Light and Life Who makes them possible.