Of Poets and Painters...{and seers and saints}

There are pictures and there are paintings, and then there is that ineffable thing that we human beings call "inspiration".

When a work of art is God-breathed, it somehow speaks to us.  A mere painting can carry you through an otherwise monotonous day.  That is the least it can do.  It can also change something so deep down inside as to be fundamental.

And not just the seeing of a picture that is more than a picture...the painting of a picture that is more than a picture can express a depth of vision that the artist herself needed to discover.  In fact, you can't have one without the other.  We are not changed by a picture, unless the painter was changed by what she saw first.  A painter is a seer of sorts, and a saint of sorts - a painter must be one who has inner vision.  That vision - that ineffable thing that is more than just a picture...

...it was down there, in her heart all along, waiting to surprise even her.  But ordinary living can obscure that inner vision.  The painter has to find the courage and discipline to push all that is ordinary aside, pick up her paintbrush, and completely inhabit another space.

While others cook and clean and drive cars and sell and meet and hustle for significance.

Painting is just like poetry.  Poetry takes something as ordinary as a walk in a field, and the poet sees a deeper vision.  She uses the power of words to inhabit another space.  Words turn that transient moment into permanent beauty.  Paint can do the same thing with a walk in a field, or a flower or an apple or a grown son or a child sleeping.

But just like poetry, the painter first has to see the beauty of the commonplace, and ache to make it last.

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