I sat before an empty canvas wondering why this one was so much harder to approach than the others. Could it be that I was erecting a wall to avoid the personal ineptness I would experience by working on such a piece? After all, it comes so natural for us as humans to push forward and to climb higher all the while worrying how we look to others. It is so easy for us to forget that, “He must become greater; I must become less.”
Perhaps it was the words of Henry Ward Beecher that paralyzed me, he said; “Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” What if my brush came up dry?
I looked hard into the eyes that were staring back at me from the photographs I had taken earlier. If I could just paint what’s behind that face, I thought. If I could capture that quiet strength and humility that I could see deep within Rick’s soul, then just maybe I could stop agonizing over the destination and simply find solace in the journey.
With uncertainty, I dipped in my brush. To my delight, instead of coming up dry, it came up with a rich pallet of deep, dark “Rembrandt” colors and my journey began. With a renewed adventurous spirit, I began splashing “wet pixels” onto the canvas. John 3:30 seemed to come more alive with each stoke that was made. Time became inward flow and before I knew it I had painted an image of a man who seemed to decrease as he faded into the background, while Jesus appeared to increase as he moved through the man to fill the foreground.
With the signature in place, I stood there full of appreciation to the process. As a friend of mine so eloquently said, “We paint to understand better, to see more clearly and to share.” I am glad to be sharing this with you.