These paintings have several things in common. I didn't draw or conceive a design when I began them. I started them both the same way and neither is what I intended although I am happy with both. I wanted to paint something to go with the verse "He restores my soul"- from the 23rd Psalm. I get tired, discouraged, frustrated. Then I need to spend time with God to restore my soul, to rest and become renewed. I wanted to paint something restful, serene. I thought it would be best to start soft - without any lines at first. I started both paintings with yellow and blue - very loose and wet.
I painted Colors first and it quickly became clear that there was too much yellow for what I wanted. So I added to it a little at a time to see what would happen. Having learned from that I used less yellow when I started the second painting. I kept it very soft for a while and then some shapes started to appear so I outlined and darkened the shapes I found interesting and they began to look like clouds. So I added a few more clouds. The difficulty was to get the blues darker but keep the yellow - without letting the blue wash over the yellow and make it green. This is a little tricky to do when you are working wet and maintaining soft edges. So I was very pleased with the result - there are some hints of green but on the whole the yellow is good!
Then I looked at it. . . I spend at least as much time looking at the painting as I do actually painting. It did have a lot of the qualities I wanted for "He restores my soul". . . but I had been thinking about a Vision painting. I did a bible study on Habakkuk while I was in college and had loved the verse about waiting for the vision. I had recently read "Barking to the Choir" which is Father Greg Boyle's second book and I had heard him use that quote about vision in a TED talk. Right now Father Greg works at Homeboy Industries which is the largest gang rehabilitation program in the US. It is in Los Angeles and is a remarkable program. But it didn't start out that way. There was no program of any kind when he began working at Dolores Mission in Los Angeles. To get there required vision, a lot of hard work and help - finding financial support and workers who supported the vision.
We hear and read bad news every day - there is a lot of evil in our world. But there are also so many good things. A lot of good can happen when people say: "It shouldn't be this way. How can we make a change, make things better?" God has given each of us a vision.
"For still the vision awaits its time. . .
If it seems slow, wait for it;
It will surely come, it will not delay."
Hold fast to your vision.