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.
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.