The Artist’s Lesson

No matter how hard we try there will always be a bit of a flaw.

One of my earlier watercolor paintings.

Recently I took up painting with watercolor. As I sat at the table practicing on a small sheet of watercolor paper that I had for scrap I made a tree. The tree wasn’t quite the way I would have liked it but I was anxious, ready to work on a painting. I made the tree trunk on my paper and frowned. It was too dark and looked more like acrylics than watercolor. I extended the branches next. What a disaster. Next came the leaves, a mix of color because it’s fall. That was so so, I could live with it, but not quite what I had hoped. So my painting turned into another practice session. I took the different colors and made a small area of a colorful bush. I tried to fix the dark trunk that didn’t go over so well. I made it worse by trying to lighten it up with water. I finished my practice page sat back and frowned even more. I scribbled notes on the paper, criticizing everything that I had done wrong. I went over and sat next to my husband on the couch and whined. He stopped what he was doing and listened as I criticized my work. He looked it over, read my notes, and said practice. So not what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to tell me what was wrong, what I needed to work on. You know all the things I had already written down.

As an artist himself, I was looking for criticism -did I really say that?๐Ÿคจ- on what I should have done. (Honest criticism on what I needed to work on.) The problem with that is my husband doesn’t work with watercolor. He works with acrylics and oils so it’s hard to say what should be done except practice until its the way you want it. We both agree that working with watercolor is a whole different animal. If you make a mistake with acrylics or oils you can paint over it and continue on. With watercolor, not so much. Put a drawing pencil in my hand and I do fairly well with drawings and sketches. Working with pastels, I do okay and I can manage working with acrylics. But there is something about watercolor paintings that drew my attention and I wanted to learn how to paint with watercolor. I’ve learned that as an artist, I’m way to hard on myself. Actually, I’m probably way to hard on myself most of the time. ๐Ÿ˜… I should also mention that I’ve only been working with watercolor for about two weeks now. ๐Ÿคจ Yeah, way to hard on myself.

If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves falling into the enemy’s trap and instead of recognizing that it’s okay to make mistakes, we become critical and judgmental. If it isn’t perfect then there is something wrong with it. There is no such perfection here on earth. No matter how hard we try there will always be a bit of a flaw. There is only one perfect man and His name is Jesus. As I chewed on that thought for a minute, I thought about what the Bible says.

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

Save His people from their sins. Huh. Not a word about having to be perfect first.

And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

John 12:47

I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. So, no mention of having to be perfect first. Totally not judging the world but coming to save the world. Can you see where this is heading? Lies. The lies we believe. We know that Satan is a beautiful fallen angel. In my mind’s eye I can visualize him walking up to you or me with that winning smile, carrying on a conversation as he began whispering little things in your ear, things you may have already been thinking about yourself. He probably subtly mentioned you weren’t good enough. Might have even said something about Jesus being a perfect man, (you know after he realized Jesus wasn’t going to fall into temptation) and there was no way you could even be close to Him. Wait.

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Matthew 18:11

Save that which was lost. Well that sounds like Someone you can get close to. Which means we don’t have to be a perfect person first. That He takes us where we are, as we are, and when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He begins to create a new person on the inside. God bless!

The Artist

The Artist studies the blank canvas, rubbing His chin, deep in thought. How will it turn out? As one who likes to doodle and sketch, I imagine the Father looking from the night sky to the blank canvas before the start of a new day. The night sky twinkling with shining stars give way to the colors that streak across the the morning sky as the sun rises escorting in a bright and beautiful day. Have you ever looked at the sky and thought “wow” what an amazing view. The awesome sunrise or sunset and the brilliant colors weaved throughout. Even a thunderstorm with its whipping winds, heavy rains, and claps of thunder and lightning. The beauty of the storm as the sky grows dark and then just as quickly as the storm arose its over with and the sky grows light once more. The water dripping from the trees and the dew on the grass sparkling like diamonds reminds me of His grace and mercy.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

His grace is more than enough for us. His strength perfected in our weaknesses. At the start of a new day, I am reminded of His grace and mercy. In our weaknesses, He is strong. In His strength, we are made whole. Ever stop to wonder about the intricate details that go in to create an amazing masterpiece? The love brimming to overflowing, if you only stop to really see what is before you? When I think about the Master and what He has created, I imagine a parent waiting to share and teach a child. The Father patiently showing us what He created and why or how it works.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

We are His workmanship created for good works. I used to see the world in darkness, living in the dregs of the underbelly of the world. Unable to see beyond the darkness until one day, a pinpoint of light pierced through and a hand reached out drawing me back into the light. When I see God’s beauty all around, from beautiful blue skies, to a sunrise or sunset bursting with color, to the vibrant colors in the plants all around, to the people I come in contact with on a daily basis; I am in awe of all that He did for me. What He does for each of us when we let Him. When we invite Him in. Spend time with the Master and explore all that He has for you. God bless! ๐Ÿ’—