Eating Color

Tonight we watched our boys in a re-enactment of the Last Supper and the way the light shone through the stained glass onto their faces and the scripture reading and the candles and table set…It all reminded me how our God loves to create. It is Divinely given, this need to paint with words and color and pass stories to the next generation. Because we were created in his image. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. How art feeds–nourishes. The Lenten season–such a thin place–awakens the hunger for beauty; gives it a voice–a name: Jesus.
I asked Emily about it.   
Tell me what it means to you to create.  
She’s an artist. A word-weaver. Songbird. She’s amazing. I am so very pleased to welcome Emily Wierenga to the Wellspring

I’ve left the can open and he’s 16 months and he tips it, white on carpet on wall and there’s so much white I laugh.
Soap and water and clean what son has spilled and it’s the one place I can breathe. This easel, this canvas, my church. This place between brush and canvas, this place between paint and world. I find calm with color, and suddenly I believe again. 
I make bright and the world makes right. Hansa Yellow Lemon and I recreate the wrong. 
Music now, and I sing with my brush, and my tools are Tupperware and paper towel and nothing fancy for this girl who’s never taken a lesson. For simple makes the art. 
It’s taking that child with the bruise, or the man without a leg or a world sick with cancer, it’s taking all of this and making it beautiful again. 
Globs of color and it’s acrylic so I don’t have to wait long, for the beauty is addicting and I paint when son naps or when he’s awake and happy, I paint when the sun’s out or behind a cloud, I paint when I have nothing to write—the editors are quiet and I need to make something or my soul will go stir-crazy. 
sunflower city
They ask me for my secret and I have none. When do you make the time? They say, and it’s impossible not to. Art is oxygen is faith is sanctuary.
The carpet and wall are clean again and son’s playing with crayons now and there are 64 colors, 64 shades of hope and he’s trying to eat them and I gently extract from mouth but secretly, I get it. 
I would eat color too, if I could. 
Paintings: Blooming and Sunflower City by Emily Wierenga. Prints available at the artist’s website.


  1. says

    Two of my favorite “create people,” right here in one place. Two color-eaters, Emily and Laura. 🙂

    Emily, ahhhh, Emily. May I shout this to the people who knit the brow and ask:

    “When do you make the time? They say, and it’s impossible not to.”

    Thank you for that …

  2. says

    i love that you laughed when he spilled the white paint… that you have this joy to sustain and nourish your soul… and you share the beauty with us.

  3. says

    Like Jennifer, I am so delighted to see two of my favorite artists in the same place.
    Em – you paint beautiful pictures with your words and your paints and brushes and your dear heart. He sings through you and I am always blessed beyond the telling.

  4. says

    The easel is the one place you can breathe. Thanks for sharing that you’ve never taken a lesson–who knew? You make such beauty. Maybe it’s the beauty of Christ flowing through you. In any case, your words give courage to many of us tentative artists who’ve never taken the lessons. You encourage me to breathe and just let fly

    Thank you, Laura, for hosting lovely emily here. Happy Easter to you both. He is risen indeed!

    And now, to share your link with some of my other artist friends! Th

  5. says

    Ah Emily, you have no idea how much I look forward to your postings… your writing, your creativity, just open up my soul and heart in a way that is very special – cutting through everything and getting to what matters most. I clasp my hands together and bow…. thank you is barely enough but it’s the only words I have.

  6. says

    I agree with the many before…two favorites together and Emily, your love is contagious–something’s wrong with me if I don’t want to paint too…simple, beautiful, full…I am thinking I ‘need’ a print of yours to cross the ocean with me:-)

    Thanks Laura, you ARE THE BEST!

  7. says

    em: i love you and the way you embrace color, the act of recreating. i’m deeply satisfied and yet ever starving for the grace of God recreating me.

  8. says

    i understand this so very much – i have turned to my creative self in order to draw nearer to my creator and it is more than i can attempt to explain! thank you for sharing this – it amazes me that since i have been trying to tap into my creative self through painting, i am encountering painters in my regular diet of blogs :0)

  9. says

    Delightful! Must share this with a painterly, writerly friend who somehow makes time too. As essential as eating. I guess that’s how you know you were born to it.

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