Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Museum of Psalms


I just came across a site that was selling intriguing art work called the Museum of Psalms. Here is the link:http://www.museumofpsalms.com/store/. The art work, contemporary and expressionistic is a collection of lithographs based on selected psalms. The artist has offered these prints for sale on this site. I know nothing about this artist or art work but thought the concept of illustration the Psalms in an expressionistic manner intriguing.

As an art student in the late 60's early 70's the attitude of the professors was that express yourself with shock and awe. Also, the bigger the better. I soon found out how impractical the size option was as most of the dimensions of the work I was required to do for class credit was so large, it didn't fit into my apartment let alone in the home of any family member I knew. The work was not of a subject that would exactly be rated "G" or "PG" if it was in the genre of film. My family, who was footing the bill for my education at the time, could not relate to or get a handle on this type of art. Later on as I began to teach school and eventually begin a family of my own, the former work of college days has slipped into the trash bin, slowly piece by piece. What is left, what endures of the early adult period of my life are what I would call, more classical pieces, not developed to please someone of the academic ilk but rather to please myself.

I went through a period of time when I would not do any more art work. I had been so influenced by my schooling that I decided that my work was not relevant enough to keep doing, that I was an impostor pretending to be an artist. It was at a retreat I attended that dealt with the subject of Art As Prayer that I began to "find my visual voice". We had been given an assignment to create a work based on a passage of scripture. I cannot remember the passage we were to meditate on, but I went back to the small room I was staying in for the retreat and spent time in prayer over the blank paper. After a while I heard a still small voice in my head saying, "Who told you you couldn't do art?" At the same time I had a mental picture in my mind's eye of the portion of the Sistine Ceiling painting by Michaelangelo where Adam and Eve are hiding because they realize they are naked. It struck me that to create art is to become naked. I was ashamed of my art and wouldn't create art because I was afraid of exposing my nakedness. I am creating art now, not as much as I would like because of my work and family schedule, but still I am doing it again!