Posts Tagged ‘purpose of teaching’

Why art?

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Why do I paint? 

The easiest, though not the complete answer is “For me.”

Why?  Because I feel compelled.  Because I enjoy the challenge of depicting the beauties I see in the world around me and to continue to improve my skills through ongoing practice.  Because I increasingly feel that I’ve been called to it, despite the shortcomings I continually identify in my work.  And because I believe that, in its own way, it is a blessing both from and to God and to other people.

Is it for me?  Yes.

Is it for others?  Yes.

Is it to make money?  Not primarily, though I prefer that it should be self-supporting.

"Story Time" by Charlotte Mertz  (10” x10”, pastel on blue-toned paper, #171010sp)

“Story Time” by Charlotte Mertz
(10” x10”, pastel on blue-toned paper, #171010sp)

What, then, is the purpose of my art? 

I draw and paint to express my experience of, and appreciation for, God’s world.  I teach to share with others the pleasure and satisfaction I, myself, find in art and to enhance their own enjoyment and appreciation of it.

It is of little concern to me if my own artwork ever makes waves in this world.  But if it sends out even little ripples that can extend joy and encouragement to others, and if I can open the potential in others to share their own art with the world, I will be happy.  Their artistic pursuits and successes are up to them, not to me.  But if I can prepare the way for them, smooth the road, and introduce them to some of the possibilities of their potential, I will feel I have done my part and served my purpose.

In that case, you might ask, how can I justify charging money for my work, either paintings or teaching?  My response is from Matthew 10:10: “A worker is worthy of his support.” Those who knowingly contribute to my support in willing exchange for my artwork or teaching are more likely to place continuing value on what they receive in return.  This last consideration is not directly supported biblically, though Matthew 10:16 reminds us to be “shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves” in our dealings with worldly issues. Financial reciprocation is the way of the world in which we conduct our business dealings.

I am open to leading from the Holy Spirit regarding when to set this policy aside (which He does lead me to do, on occasion), and I trust Him to provide appropriately for me, the giver, and to bless the gift for the recipient’s benefit in His own way and time, whether or not I ever become aware of the extent of His blessing.

I hope that my art has been blessing you.  Your pleasure in it brings me pleasure, as well.

If I have taught you anything to enhance your own artwork or the appreciation and understanding of others’ work, the knowledge of that brings me a sense of satisfaction.

I hope you, too, will share your gifts – in whatever form and whatever way the Spirit leads you.