Category: Design + Faith

Beyond the Gallery: Stephen Watson

Stephen Watson
There has to be something to color and smell and texture that matters." This is a quote by Stephen Watson, as heard in the documentary about his recent show at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. And it gets to the heart of why I've come to admire this man. Stephen Watson is an Assistant Professor at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. And while not limited to installations, that is the work of his that I'm most familiar with. I forget how I first encountered his work, but I Read More

Beyond Significance

When beauty and significance are not enough
It happened again last week. I created a design that I fell in love with. Throughout the next couple days I would pull it up on my computer to bask in its greatness. Then I received the reaction from my client. It's not what he wanted. How could that be? Why doesn't he realize how good this is? I asked myself, "Why does it seem the designs I love the most are rejected?" It's hard to gauge the quality of my own work in a fair way. I know the story behind the design. I know where it's been. I know Read More

Art Rhymes with Heart

Art rhymes with heart: a five-year anniversary tale
Last week my wife and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. Below I tell our story in relation to her pursuit of and love for art. Part 1: The Meeting Seven years ago this punk girl entered my life. I'd seen her around church and learned she was in art school. When eventually we bumped into each other, we started chatting. We talked art—specifically, we talked Frida Kahlo. Talking to her was easy. That's not my norm. Soon I got a call. She wanted to do some plein air painting Read More

Beyond the Gallery: Josh Davis

Josh Davis: Faith and art in practice
A few months ago I wrote the first article in a series I've titled, Beyond the Gallery. The series is all about artists or supporters of the arts whose influence and focus is found outside of the gallery, and who glorify God through the arts. This second installment is about Josh Davis. I struggle to figure out where to start. It's natural to begin with his songwriting successes. But I imagine my humble friend reading this, wishing I would skip that part. It's probably best to start with how I Read More

One in Christ

Collaborative artwork based on Lebanon, PA architecture
My wife and I like to talk about collaborating on artwork. Occasionally we actually start a project. But it's rare that we actually complete a collaboration. So it was with dubious spirits that we agreed to work on a collaborative piece for a juried exhibit at the Lebanon Picture Frame & Fine Art Gallery in Lebanon, PA. Kate already had a working relationship with the gallery and learned they were having an exhibit with a theme of architecture within the Lebanon city limits. One Sunday Read More

Beyond the Gallery: Andrew Thomas

A tribute to Andrew Thomas, lover of the arts
"Beyond the Gallery" is the name I'm giving to a series of posts I'll be writing from time to time that focuses on visual artists (or proponents of the visual arts) who are not well known, but who are doing a great work in spreading the love and truths of Christ through art. These are people who have proven the value and power that art holds outside of the gallery. Last week I received word of the passing of my dear friend, Pastor Andrew Thomas. It's a bit odd for me to refer to him as a dear Read More

No Greater Design

The Bible as the ultimate example of design
Eighty-eight days ago I started reading through the Bible on a 90-day plan. I've stuck with it and am one book away from finishing the entire Bible. I've read through it using yearly plans quite a few times throughout my life, but this is the first I've tried a plan shorter than a year. My expectation was that I'd be reading so much in so little time that it wouldn't sink in and would simply be a "quick review." But that was far from the case. When you're reading fourteen to eighteen chapters Read More

Lovely as a Tree

Last week I had the rare opportunity to sit still in nature for an entire day. It's called hunting, and it's something I rarely make time for these days. I try to go at least once a year, and it's usually during the week after Thanksgiving. That means there's the potential for it to be very cold, but this year the temperature was quite moderate—not the idea condition for hunting, but beautiful for sitting out in the woods. As I sat in my tree stand, I had a sudden urge to climb down and Read More

Is Self Promotion Wrong?

Is using social media to self promote yourself wrong?
I've been struggling with this topic for the past couple months. The whole concept of self promotion feels like a dirty business. Times are changing. First desktop publishing came along. No longer did you necessarily need to hire an agency to produce your print designs. Next came a flurry of products and solutions promising easy website publishing. While few deliver on that promise, it is possible to publish a website without going through a designer or developer. And today we have social media. Read More

Artwork as Cairns

Evangelistic artwork and the concept of cairns
Art speaks only to an excessively small group of people —Cézanne When I first read this quote, I assumed it meant that a piece of artwork is seen by relatively few people. Since Cézanne's time there have been massive advancements in the ability to share a piece of artwork (or anything) across the world, to the point it can be practically instantaneous. But after some additional thought, I believe the focus of the quote is on how many people a work speaks to—not how many Read More