I painted a pot with some flowers. I titled it “Easter Basket.” It’s not and incredibly creative name, but it tells it like it is. The colors, subject matter, and composition are all like one giant Easter egg: even the lines to show movement and direction swirl in an egg shape. I painted the joy and wonder of childhood, family laughing, Easter baskets, the idea of a bunny that hides eggs, and the savoring of candy that was almost never in the house. I try to capture all that was joyous, exquisite, and fun. It all looks like meaningless fluff on the surface, and it all (seemingly) disregards the poignancy of the days leading up to this Earth-shattering event and the profound meaning of Easter. How dare I reduce this day to hearts, flowers, bunnies, candy, and fluff?
It’s true. This presents as a trivialization of what should be reverential. I have feebly reached back in time, from the present moment, to capture Easter. I will be judged for what I’ve made. I am sure of it. Are you looking in and deciding that I’ve missed it? Do you think that I have misunderstood the point? Insulted God? Look again, please. Look closer. What I’ve painted is about where I began: where I was formed and shaped from the clay. It’s the place where God found me. It’s a reminder of what almost took me away from this world but didn’t. I do paint all the bells and whistles of an irreverent Easter, but what I’ve painted is covered with the fingerprints of God. I get the sacrifice. It was made for me. I sit in the present moment and gaze in at what I created yesterday. What I see is a tomorrow that gives me hope. Maybe you don’t like how I make sense of time and the master of it? Look closer, please. Perhaps, you are the one who has misunderstood?
I paint. It’s true. I paint about time, space, creatives process, memories, meaning, hope, and joy. I openly say that art making is my “go to” when my place in time and space is hard. I am not afraid of liminality: the sitting in the middle of yesterday and tomorrow from the present moment. I am at ease here because of the gift of creative expression. I AM A “CREATIVE!” Perhaps you have a separate way of dealing with the tension between the past, present, and future? Maybe you make sense of your life experience in a completely different way? Good for you for being who you were made to be. Just remember that God is creative, too. I will not be like you because I am not a replication. Just because I don’t process or experience things like you do doesn’t mean that my way is all fluff. I didn’t reduce this day to an “Easter Basket.” I painted “Easter Basket” because I understand the price that was paid for me to paint it. God made me, too. I just happen to be born with a paint brush in my hand and He put it there.
I apologize to those of you who this does not apply to. This post can’t possibly speak to everyone, and I don’t want to judge anyone’s experience, process, or search for meaning. Hopefully, there is something here that speaks to both my experience and yours? Take what you can use, and let the rest go. With that said, I hope this blog will bring pause when we next make assumptions about others: we don’t really know what’s true for someone else. Art can give us a glimpse of another’s truth, and that’s a God-given gift. Our forms of personal expression can unite us rather than divide us. Our “Right Now” can only be better when we seek to understand each other. The next time all you see is an “Easter Basket,” remember to ask the question, “Is there something more here for me to see?”
Easter Basket, 20201