Category: Design + Faith

Why Bother?

Is art worth the bother? Your heart knows the answer.
Sunday was a miserable day. It was the first weekend in May, a time when many nearby communities were celebrating the unofficial arrival of spring. Lancaster city was hosting its annual ArtWalk. Small cities were having community events. Plus there were some rather exciting things happening at our church. But my wife and I had committed to setting up a booth full of her collages for our hometown's "Artist Alley" show. And despite the weatherman's assurance of sun, after the last item was loaded Read More

Ashes to Gold

"Ashes to Gold," artwork created for Scarlet Steps 2014
I recently wrote about a piece of artwork I was creating for a group exhibit. That exhibit, Scarlet Steps, has now come and gone. And once again it was great to see the creative solutions artists developed as they worked within this year's theme. The theme is always based around the gospel. This year Jay O'Maille, a talented gentleman from my church who is a writer/poet/songwriter/rapper, wrote a song called Villain that presented the gospel message in a unique way. Our job as artists was to align Read More

Blank Canvas

The newborn child as a blank canvas
Ah, the anticipation of a blank canvas. With my love of wood-based art, my blank canvas is usually a chunk of wood or a collection of wood scraps. And that's the case for a piece due for a group exhibit in just one week. I have a concept and I have a wood block. What I don't have is time. That's not uncommon. The realities of life often have a direct effect on the artwork I'm able to develop. My concept will need to be simplified. But simple is better, right? That's one saying that is usually true Read More

Son of God Movie

Thoughts on how to critique the Son of God movie
Imagine an art gallery atop a mountain. What's the most beautiful thing you could place on that gallery wall? Probably a window. Is anything you or I create going to improve upon God's amazing creation? Can our nature-inspired work improve upon nature? No. I will never create anything as beautiful as a window. So why create? Where is the value in creating something sub par? That's the basic question I'm hearing asked with the recently-released Son of God movie produced by Mark Burnett and Richard Read More

Heart of Grace

Thought on art for Grace College's "Heart of Grace" compilation
A few weeks ago I received a letter from my alma mater, Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. They are in the process of compiling a publication called "Heart of Grace," in which graduates of the art department share their thoughts on art for the sake of future graduates. The theme was straightforward: "What Art Means to Me." Below is my submission: What Art Means to Me It's an exciting time to be a Christian and an artist. The world values creativity. Even the Church values creativity Read More

Dwell in the Brokenness

What does it mean to be a Christian and an artist?
In April of 2011 my wife and I celebrated our one-year anniversary by taking a road trip. Our turnaround point was Memphis and there were many stops along the way, but the most notable stop was Franklin, Tennessee. Union University was hosting their ACT Conference. (ACT stands for art, culture and theology.) This wasn't originally in my plans. I say "my" plans because Kate likes when I plan our road trips and surprise her day to day as the trip unfolds. Kate had stumbled upon the news of this conference Read More

In Defense of Creatives

In Defense of Creatives
There's been a backlash to the use of the term "creative" as a title (e.g., "He's a creative.") It's simply another way of saying that somebody is creative. Some of this backlash has come from people I truly admire. And I get their point. The reasoning goes something like this. God is creative. We see it in His creation, and that act of creativity is the first thing we see mentioned about God in the Bible. It's right there in Genesis 1:1. "In the beginning God CREATED the heavens and the earth." Read More

Root of Jesse

"Root of Jesse" artwork inspired by Romans 15:12
In Romans 15:12 the apostle Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah saying, "There shall come the root of Jesse, and He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope." Jesse was the father of King David. And from David's line, Christ would come. This was the inspiration for the sculpture I titled, "Root of Jesse." This, and Acts 10:43. The Acts passage gave the original direction for the piece, which was built for a Good Friday art show hosted by NewSong Fellowship Church in Lancaster, Read More

Quotes by Thomas Kinkade

Quotes by Thomas Kinkade and thoughts on his career
Given the recent death of Thomas Kinkade, I had been reflecting on his life as an artist and collecting my thoughts with the goal of writing a post. But Dan Siedell beat me to it with an article called "The Dark Light of Thomas Kinkade." Dan is an art historian and curator (among other things), and I've been enjoying his writings. My wife and I saw him speak at the ACT arts conference at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee last year. Here is what he wrote: » Read The Dark Light of Thomas Read More

Realism and Abstraction

Realism versus abstraction
I like to think I've grown wiser over the years. It would be a sad commentary on my life if that was not the case. And I'm ready to admit I've been downright wrong about many things, especially when it comes to art and style. I'm not just talking about the parachute pants I wore in the eighties (although they definitely fit into this category). Music has played a huge role in my life. My first white-collar job was at radio station WADV, a Southern Gospel and Christian Country station. The Southern Read More