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LarrySeiler
08-15-2003, 11:51 AM
I am not Catholic...but was very much impressed and encouraged to read over Pope John's letters to artists. Shared earlier today with me by another WC member via email. Very inspiring to creative/artistic people of faith....

http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2ARTIS.HTM


Larry

Keith Russell
08-15-2003, 02:00 PM
Too bad it ends with advertisements.

I mean, there are Jewish artists, Native American artists, pagan artists, and (lest I forget) unbelieving artists, too.

Does the Pope really, truly expect that we (yeah, I'm in the above group) will be inspired by 'the Risen Christ', or the 'Blessed Virgin'?

Really?

K

LarrySeiler
08-15-2003, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by Keith Russell
Too bad it ends with advertisements.

I mean, there are Jewish artists, Native American artists, pagan artists, and (lest I forget) unbelieving artists, too.

Does the Pope really, truly expect that we (yeah, I'm in the above group) will be inspired by 'the Risen Christ', or the 'Blessed Virgin'?

Really?

K

actually, I believe he was addressing believers of the Christian faith...and those of such faith might very well indeed be so inspired. I don't believe he expects those not of this faith persuasion nor antagonistic of such faith to be inspired, and nor do I. The wording was that of someone of what I think above average intelligence, and that more or less causes me to think he had a pretty good idea to whom he was addressing this too.

I personally enjoyed what he had to say about beauty... and I related much to the euphoria of joy I experience as a believer creating during the act of art making. I don't expect nonbelievers or nonpractioners to agree, understand, nor carry my same enthusiam. Nope, nada...uh uh, niet.

I am not personally inspired by the virgin...though I understand that those of Catholic faith would be. The Risen Christ- the only One whom gives my life ultimate meaning and purpose and has so for the past near 30 years.

Understanding you would not be inspired, I hope you recognize others might be. It was those others I had in mind when sharing this...believing they might find it quite interesting, insightful, inspiring and encouraging.

I am not suggesting people not of the Christian faith do not have their reasons for inspiration. But, then again...this thread does not address that consideration, of which such is awaiting for when you start your own thread "letters to Artists by Keith!"

Of course people of all faiths, beliefs, ideas and persuasions are always welcome to investigate and appreciate what makes others tick. On Wetcanvas...that would preclude to be undertaken with a bit of decorum and respect for the rules and intent for which each forum is designed.

So, with that in mind I would hope some out of curiosity though not necessarily of the faith might yet find the read of interest as would I reading other's worldviews not of my own. Knowledge of even that in which we do not agree yet has its value if for no other reason than to affirm our own positions.

peace,

Larry

LarrySeiler
08-15-2003, 03:39 PM
I really enjoyed musing and contemplating over this comment by the Pope....

"Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence. It is an invitation to savour life and to dream of the future. That is why the beauty of created things can never fully satisfy. It stirs that hidden nostalgia for God..."

This savoring is, I think, something I experience frequently painting plein airs or on location with nature as my subject.

...if I have successfully captured the essential elements of what inspired beauty from that location's scene....I can look at the plein air weeks, months...years later, and experience a recall aesthetically of having been there. The savoring....

I also like this idea that the beauty never fully satisfies. I've yet to do that one painting and experience that one outing on location which so absolutely delighted the senses and so satisfied that no further paintings or outings would be necessary. We hope...in the flesh that such would never happen. It becomes not only the drive behind working, but the cause for celebration.

Its like...each experience is only a taste...perhaps a foretaste where we standing in the presence of God, find all other things in their beauty, their esteemed value to pale and be instantly forgotten.

I think that is one thing that is an after taste for me.

You know...like eating something that leaves a pasty film in your mouth....but perhaps in a good way.

I finish this painting. Like the God of Creation I find myself silently acknowledging that what was made "is very good".....

Ever notice when you get a painting home you've finished, that you tend to want to set it out where every so often you can glance at it a bit?

Initially...that might be a practice to see if it might not find improvement. However...after experience...you find satisfaction in the work's quality that tends to re-affirm your aesthetic connection to the scene you had spent that time with observing then recording. It works....and you are satisfied; pleased even... that it works.

Then...sometimes I think of the delight of it. The drive to go out and do one more...and think that one day I will witness beauty that the mind and heart cannot even begin to comprehend. That a life of having pursued beauty and thinking to have come close will suddenly realize it doesn't add up to a scratch of it in the presence of God.

Perhaps...the effort is building up a prelude that will only more help to take it in. What pigment....what medium could one at that moment grab to express it?

If a scene at its one intimate dramatic moment can almost make me shout from aesthetic overload...

...hhhmmm...it is no wonder to me that a glorified body would be necessary to even contain such....

these are connections that faith and making art bring together, that faith and the pursuit and celebration of beauty hold in common. Hold many of us in common together though we be miles apart.

Larry

Keith Russell
08-15-2003, 05:31 PM
Larry, you titled this thread "Letters to Artists"--

--not--

--"Letters to Christian Artists".

(And I think you titled it correctly.)

I think the Pope is addressing all artists, in order to try to tell them what to believe, in order to be (what the Pope, at least, considers to be) 'good' artists.

I think it is propaganda, and I expected as much; promoting Christianity, in particular the Catholic 'brand', is (a large) part of the Pope's job...a job he does well.

He describes what art is, and what he feels makes art 'good', 'better' and 'best'. He traces the history of the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, and between the Church and artists.

And, he explains what he sees as the failings of our increasingly secular culture; a common theme for this Pope.

But, I don't see this as another 'Christian art' thread, even if you added the word 'artists', shouldn't all of us be able to express our views about what the Pope said, even if he was only addressing a specific subset of all artists--which I don't believe he was?

K

Stoy Jones
08-15-2003, 11:55 PM
I find the letter quite interesting and a bit "winded". Personaly, I think it is (for the good or bad) our life experiences that have greater authority over what we believe in than what the pope or anyone else can tell us.

I'm not catholic either (rather a christian myself who is like his artwork, a work in progress:D ), but a lot of it rings of similar experiences that I have had in my life and I think that may be the intention - reaching out to artists of similar experiences, whether they believe fully what they read or not.

Having read the letter (one side of the coin so to speak), I'm sincerely interested in where non-believers or believers of vastly different faiths derive their purpose for their art and where they find their inspiration. "What people tick", always fascinates me.

Stoy Jones

LarrySeiler
08-15-2003, 11:57 PM
I have no power over what you believe, Keith...

Of course...any careful scrutiny of the read, sees the responsibility and the requests the Pope is putting upon and making of believers and upon artists. I think he knows he has little influence over nonbelievers. In fact, he even makes a reference at one point to those that have become indifferent to the faith...and is likewise not speaking to those people. He is speaking to those that place emphasis on God, their art as a created being, celebration and use of their giftings as a form of praise and honor. He goes as far as attempting with great pains to explain the believing artist's connection with long history to the church to spur one in the same on for future good works.

At any rate...since you insist the letter addresses all artists how do you feel your work can (as the Pope beckons) contribute to the church, or the church to your art?

:rolleyes:

Larry

Pilan
08-16-2003, 01:08 AM
debaters!

LarrySeiler
08-16-2003, 01:24 AM
Originally posted by Pilan
debaters!

;)

...not what I intended, not what I hoped for...

to get the thread on track as I'd like, how does the wording of the Pope here to artists strike you Pilan? How does his describing beauty and its affect on the artist mull over with you...?

thanks...in advance!

Larry

Alias Art
08-16-2003, 01:39 AM
The man can barely speak English and he wrote that?

I don’t think soo--

he must have had a holy ghost writer

ya i know I'm bad :)

Jennie Rose
08-16-2003, 11:38 AM
Hi Larry,
Thank you for posting a Interesting and Inspiring letter from the Pope.
He is a very wise man to learn from.
Sincerely, Josie :)

Keith Russell
08-16-2003, 01:09 PM
Larry said:
"Of course...any careful scrutiny of the read, sees the responsibility and the requests the Pope is putting upon and making of believers and upon artists.

Keith: Absolutely, and I said just that. The Pope described what he beleives 'good art' to be (and thus, by contradistinction, what 'bad art' is, as well). This is an entreaty to for artists to 'do better', and it also sounds like a plea, from a faith that has lost its way, is losing its followers, its employees (fewer and fewer monks and nuns every year), and desperately needs artists to )hopefully) again inspire faith in 'God', as well as in the Church.

Larry: I think he knows he has little influence over nonbelievers.

Keith: Why jump immediately to non-believers? I think he realizes that he has very little influence over industrialized Europe (Catholicism is strongest in third-world countries, on both continents), and even less influence over American Catholics. He has even less influence over non-Catholic Christians, even less over Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., and--ultimately--his influence is weakest, of course, over agnostics and atheists.

But before the Pope worries about trying to influence atheists like me, in my opinion he ought to worry about those American and European Catholics who have been alienated by the Church for half a century of Nazi collusion, sex scandals in Europe, inability to end the conflict in Ireland, inability to influence the Middle East peace process, sex scandals in America, and the Church's backwards position on birth control, sexuality, censorship, capitalism, etc.

Actually, I do pay quite a bit of attention to the Pope, and what he says. I disagree with nearly all of it...

Larry: In fact, he even makes a reference at one point to those that have become indifferent to the faith...and is likewise not speaking to those people. He is speaking to those that place emphasis on God, their art as a created being, celebration and use of their giftings as a form of praise and honor. He goes as far as attempting with great pains to explain the believing artist's connection with long history to the church to spur one in the same on for future good works.

Keith: Forgive my cynicism, I see this as a last call for artists who can again inspire faith in the Catholic Church.

Larry: At any rate...since you insist the letter addresses all artists how do you feel your work can (as the Pope beckons) contribute to the church, or the church to your art?

Keith: I think the Pope would love nothing more than for me to convert to Christianity, specifically Catholicism, and begin painting anything that might reach 'the faithless' (in this case, not just atheists, but those who are not of 'the Catholic faith') and help to inspire them to convert, as well.

That is what I see as the goal, and purpose, of this entreaty.

In my case, that's not going to happen...

K

5thsister
08-16-2003, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Stoy Jones


Having read the letter (one side of the coin so to speak), I'm sincerely interested in where non-believers or believers of vastly different faiths derive their purpose for their art and where they find their inspiration. "What people tick", always fascinates me.



Well said. However, it appears that the sole purpose of some of the responses contained within this thread, and others, is to be derisive of anything having to do with a deep and profound Christian faith. On the other hand, I have yet to see any reply, by those similarly profound in faiths other than Christianity, behave in such a contemptuous fashion. On the contrary, they have been respectful, even in their disagreements.

Larry, as a devout Catholic (by choice, not by birth) I thank you for this thread and for the link. I found the following of particular value: "Those who perceive in themselves this kind of divine spark which is the artistic vocation—as poet, writer, sculptor, architect, musician, actor and so on—feel at the same time the obligation not to waste this talent but to develop it, in order to put it at the service of their neighbour and of humanity as a whole."

I, currently, am at a crossroads in my life. After many years working in the health care industry, then several more as a busy mom, I am finding that I am being called to create. It has even become a stewardship issue for me. I am slowly stepping into the realm of art with eyes wide open. I truly appreciate these threads, started by Larry, as they bring inspiration and confirmation that I am on the right path.

With Praise and Thanks,

LarrySeiler
08-16-2003, 09:09 PM
Originally posted by 5thsister
I am slowly stepping into the realm of art with eyes wide open. I truly appreciate these threads, started by Larry, as they bring inspiration and confirmation that I am on the right path.

With Praise and Thanks,

that is my hope....

that is my anticipation for those which could benefit from such sharing....

that was my intention....

your being encouraged and inspired, my validation...

praise God, blessings and peace to you...

now...let God accomplish in you that which He has birthed and intended before the foundations of the world!!!

Larry

LarrySeiler
08-16-2003, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by Keith Russell

In my case, that's not going to happen...

K

...we are not ignorant to that dedication and commitment you have, which makes your agenda all the more apparent.

Why then, even having so stated your benign state do you insist on entering into a discussion as such if not for any other reason than to be devisive, factious and a potential irritant??? Why?

If you allegedly have no such agenda to be divisive and factious, and at the very same time state so assuredly there will be no conversion on your part...then the only other reason that stands clear is you seek to "save" others from what you believe to be mindless blind following of God. There really is no other position for you in pretense.

That being the case...there are no other alternatives but to continuously ask moderators to please keep an eye on your postings, right?

If you say no....then you must explain that if you are not here to gain something, what it is you hope we people of faith for whom this thread is intended might gain from your participation and intrusion?

I think you assume that we have never been challenged to consider opposition and reason to our faith, and thus believe your position necessary to provide such a service to us. You are wrong in your assumptions.

Larry

Keith Russell
08-16-2003, 09:29 PM
Larry, you titled this thread 'letters to artists'. As an artist, I don't see how I am exluded from this thread.

Larry said, earlier:
At any rate...since you insist the letter addresses all artists how do you feel your work can (as the Pope beckons) contribute to the church, or the church to your art?

If you don't want my opinions, don't ask for them. If you want to prevent non-Christians from responding where we find contradictions, errors, and thinly-veiled insults--then the Christians here should work with the moderators to set up a 'Christians only' section at WC.

Otherwise, I don't know what to say.

You asked my for opinion, and I gave it to you. Now, if that is something worth bothering the moderators about, well, I'll need that explained to me...

K

arourapope
08-16-2003, 10:32 PM
Larry, I've read this thread through. I actually like the Pope, most of the time (had a bit of trouble with what he said about gays lately, though). I like that he fought for peace recently, when peace needed a Holy Man to step forward. So I like this Pope, and I respect this Pope a lot. I say that as an ex-Catholic, too.
However, I have to agree with what Keith just said. You didn't entitle this thread to Christian artists. Unless you feel an artist has to be a Christian, then it seems that anyone should be able to post on your thread.
An interesting and powerful man has made a statement directly to artists. You ask if we, as artists, are inspired by his statement. An artist responded. You said:

So, with that in mind I would hope some out of curiosity though not necessarily of the faith might yet find the read of interest as would I reading other's worldviews not of my own. Knowledge of even that in which we do not agree yet has its value if for no other reason than to affirm our own positions.

Isn't that what just happened?

LarrySeiler
08-17-2003, 12:21 AM
everyone is invited to read, to participate....but of course keep a thread on topic.

One can probably read into a thread the intent...the direction.

I answered Keith's questions...

I believe reading the Pope's letter makes it pretty plain he is discussing issues of interest to artists...specifically pertaining to faith, the blessing for those whom are art makers holding to faith. The call to continue on, to see the higher calling...so on, and so on...

Keith's initial query was asking if I thought the Pope really thought someone like he would be inspired by the Risen Christ? as though somehow my posting assumed he and others like him would be. In the first place...Keith knows full well my familiarity with him and his disposition on the subject. There really is no reason for him to ask this but to be coy. More directly, harassment.

No...again, no in case I am misunderstood, I don't expect Keith and others like him to be impressed. Thus, logically...gee I guess I didn't post it for his benefit. If he's not impressed...no one is preventing him from reading, but not being impressed then there is no reason to participate. This is not the debate forum.

What I am going to do now, is something other members have done for sometime...and that is to develop my own personal ignore list so that I am no longer distracted off course....period. Thanks...

Larry

LarrySeiler
08-17-2003, 12:41 AM
Within the vast cultural panorama of each nation, artists have their unique place. Obedient to their inspiration in creating works both worthwhile and beautiful, they not only enrich the cultural heritage of each nation and of all humanity, but they also render an exceptional social service in favour of the common good.


This comment by the Pope saying as regards artists being "obedient to their inspiration"

this is something interesting to muse over...

I am surprised even on this virtual community the number of artists I've encountered even of late that have been carrying inner wrestlings, doubtings...questionings as to if they are being selfish, irresponsible, out of line somehow to really dive in and pursue their potential as an artist. Their art making.

I've had a number email or pm me directly to offer a word of thanks for their somehow picking up a spark of enthusiasm and assurance from something I've said, but....I like how the Pope worded this act of the individual that makes art. That they are being "obedient...." to their inspiration.

I think of the scriptures that say the enemy or devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy....and I muse and wonder here if that which holds people back from seeking their creative self is not a product of buying the lie.... if you will?

I hope a few more will read and be encouraged.

Larry

arourapope
08-17-2003, 12:43 AM
Well, I've tried using the ignore thingie. It just makes it hard to follow the threads. It's no good.
In any case, I guess I just keep hoping that there could be a way for folks of different ideas (and ideals, maybe) to be able to have productive conversations about matters such as this without offending and being offended. I keep thinking that the conversations can expand in good ways, if such a thing could happen. It would be a grand thing. I'm afraid it's a hope that just keeps getting fainter; but I'm not completely ready to give up on it yet.
Carry on, I guess, and don't mind me.

Pilan
08-17-2003, 01:28 AM
Larry, this is certainly an interesting article. I have only read through The Artist Common Good. I can tell you that so far, I think the Pope or whomever wrote this, (so far) has a deep understanding of responsiblity and truth in the creative spirit. This is a long article and will finish it another time, soon :).

I am enjoying this a lot.

this paragraph here tells me, that the Pope and I think the same way. :) I am glad to hear what he thinks of artist and their duty.

( The particular vocation of individual artists decides the arena in which they serve and points as well to the tasks they must assume, the hard work they must endure and the responsibility they must accept. Artists who are conscious of all this know too that they must labour without allowing themselves to be driven by the search for empty glory or the craving for cheap popularity, and still less by the calculation of some possible profit for themselves. There is therefore an ethic, even a “spirituality” of artistic service, which contributes in its way to the life and renewal of a people. It is precisely this to which Cyprian Norwid seems to allude in declaring that “beauty is to enthuse us for work, and work is to raise us up”.)

I love this part :).

If others want to debate it maybe they can go to the debate forums and start a thread there. I am not.

I will come back soon.
Pilan



Originally posted by LarrySeiler


;)

...not what I intended, not what I hoped for...

to get the thread on track as I'd like, how does the wording of the Pope here to artists strike you Pilan? How does his describing beauty and its affect on the artist mull over with you...?

thanks...in advance!

Larry

Keith Russell
08-17-2003, 02:33 AM
Larry, I fail to see how you can call my posts here 'harrassment'.

I believe I have addressed the Pope's statement in more detail, and from within a wider context, than anyone else in this thread thus far, yourself included.

The Catholic Church has a history, and I believe that anything a Pope says cannot be properly understood except from within the context of that history. I have read most of the Papal Encyclicals of the last four decades. I have followed the history of the Church from its beginning, through the Dark Ages, through the Renaissance, through the Nazi years, and into its latest scandals--both those in Europe, and more recently, here in America.

With the latest crisis--especially in America, where this Pope has never been popular among many Catholics--things are nearing a crisis point. The Anglican church, too, has reached a crisis, and the Pope cannot be unaware of this.

It is very interesting that the Pope chooses this time, now, to call for artists to work together with the church.
Over the last three decades, there has been a terrible outcry over 'anti-Catholic' art. (Do the names Andres Serrano, or Chris Ofili, ring any bells?)

But, because none of this is what you wish to talk about, my bringing the subject up, is called 'harrassment'.

K

Pilan
08-17-2003, 11:06 AM
Keith, Please post this in the debates forum. I am positive that you will get to argue about it more openly there.

This is supposed to be a creative forum.

Thank you,
Pilan

paintfool
08-17-2003, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by Keith Russell
Too bad it ends with advertisements.

I mean, there are Jewish artists, Native American artists, pagan artists, and (lest I forget) unbelieving artists, too.

Does the Pope really, truly expect that we (yeah, I'm in the above group) will be inspired by 'the Risen Christ', or the 'Blessed Virgin'?

Although it may not make me the most popular moderator on the block, i have to say that the above statement and question is valid and reasonable therefore i'm leaving this thread intact and for the moment, in this location. I do ask that we continue on by addressing the original topic though. Thank you for your cooperation.

Cheryl

LarrySeiler
08-17-2003, 01:05 PM
thanks Cheryl...

no, I would not want the post removed. Keith asked a fair question, but I believe for the purpose of taking opportunity to produce friction.

I do believe I answered the question which demonstrated that inspite of my suspections of his interest to be devisive and factious, I treated the question as though it were fair to ask. (Suspicions, I might add... bearing witness to a past history that supports just cause for such)

What is not fair...is once stating what I believe to be the Pope's intent, those readers/listeners that are obviously his target group...and the intent of my purpose for sharing it, that all this garbage continues which proves to be nothing more than smokescreen for unnecessary harrassment.

The main purpose is to discuss how the Pope's message and thoughts might fall upon others that find faith and artmaking together vital. My intent from here with will be to ignore and put on ignore those that would attempt to take such purpose other directions.

It precludes the additional burden to take extra steps to word my thread titles more carefully so that some cunning and crafty in their divisiveness find less opportunity.

I appreciate your decision and the position you are in, so no problem from my end. Thanks Cheryl.

take care

Larry

blkros
08-17-2003, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by LarrySeiler

I am surprised even on this virtual community the number of artists I've encountered even of late that have been carrying inner wrestlings, doubtings...questionings as to if they are being selfish, irresponsible, out of line somehow to really dive in and pursue their potential as an artist. Their art making.

Larry

I don't have any of these problems. Because art is not propaganda, art is not sociology, art is not redemption. Art is art.

All we can do is make it.

LarrySeiler
08-17-2003, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by blkros


I don't have any of these problems. Because art is not propaganda, art is not sociology, art is not redemption. Art is art.

All we can do is make it.

let's broaden that a bit, because it might make a good discussion on topic here...thanks,

you say all we can do is make art. Is there nothing required of us in making art? Is there never a need to our making and what human components have part in that? Our response to the world around us? Ever?

Might there not be a sociological impetus that affects us and works to compel and play upon our need to create? Might we not experience a euphoria thereupon completing our work that serves to fit a need somewhere in our makeup?

Perhaps art serves to be propaganda if not to others, then to ourselves- suggesting that by making we will be satisfied, yet really...many artists in the end are not satisfied with their results but instead restless. Perhaps something about art for those individuals finds a promise that some inner need will find satisfaction in engaging and making art. That they might never find satisfaction means their purpose is never being found. Art therefore is making an empty promise it can't backup...and would that not be a form of propaganda; one's self in pretense of one's self?

Why make art? Is an accident we make art? If not...something compels, and that is the stuff we are talking about. The compulsion for art making...

for some...it is discovering their compulsion is divinely driven; an inspiration...a transcendent intention.

Larry

blkros
08-17-2003, 04:31 PM
There may be sociological impetus for some.
There may be propaganal impetus for others.

That's a reason made up for doing it.

Why does restlessness and not being satisfied mean (to you) that the pupose of their art hasn't been found. I say that exploration is the purpose. An artist is an explorer. Everything else is chaffe, and detritus. Stuff that happens on the wayside. Not the purpose of art, but the byproduct.
True art explores, that's why a true artist never stops seeking. Is never satisfied. There is no pretense. Art never claimed to offer satisfaction. Art never promised anything. Art is art.


Is it an accident that we make art? How do you mean this? Much of my art is accidental (or not planned), just the way my being an artist wasn't planned.
Is it 'divinely inspired'? No. It's driven by my world, by my thoughts--if anything it's demonically driven.

LarrySeiler
08-17-2003, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by blkros
There may be sociological impetus for some.
There may be propaganal impetus for others.

That's a reason made up for doing it.

Why does restlessness and not being satisfied mean (to you) that the pupose of their art hasn't been found. I say that exploration is the purpose. An artist is an explorer. Everything else is chaffe, and detritus. Stuff that happens on the wayside. Not the purpose of art, but the byproduct.
True art explores, that's why a true artist never stops seeking. Is never satisfied. There is no pretense. Art never claimed to offer satisfaction. Art never promised anything. Art is art.


Is it an accident that we make art? How do you mean this? Much of my art is accidental (or not planned), just the way my being an artist wasn't planned.
Is it 'divinely inspired'? No. It's driven by my world, by my thoughts--if anything it's demonically driven.

Art is immaterial...thus won't claim to offer satisfaction any more than a rock sitting on a road would.

The answers to your questions such as restlessness is fundamentally rooted in one's worldview. Thus, the meaninglessness of art might be meaning to one; Pushing for to find meaning where a restlessness persists perhaps has nothing to say to the one satisfied with restlessness and meaninglessness.

Another reason though...that many feel it is important to connect with and discuss such with those that concur or rather share a like mindedness. In this case artists whose faith connects them with others of faith in a common act of art making.

As for accident making art ...what did I mean by that? That a painting or sculpture does not make itself. It requires a maker. Most makers I know have drivenness, thoughts, compulsion, senses of urgency and mission which I'm sensing you might, if not careful...sum up and assess as propaganda unfairly forgetting that you yourself might too have some compelling reason to create. Again...because art does not make itself. It takes a maker, and makers tend to be complex individuals. People have motives.

Larry

Keith Russell
08-17-2003, 05:54 PM
Larry said: Art is immaterial...thus won't claim to offer satisfaction any more than a rock sitting on a road would.

Keith: Larry, you say 'art is immaterial' (as if that is a statement of fact, and needs no support, no definition. I'm not even sure what you mean by 'immaterial'.) Besides, there is at least five thousand years of philosophical discussion that has yet to provide an answer. I believe art is conceptual, but just as real ('material') as the rock in the road.

Larry: The answers to your questions such as restlessness is fundamentally rooted in one's worldview. Thus, the meaninglessness of art might be meaning to one; Pushing for to find meaning where a restlessness persists perhaps has nothing to say to the one satisfied with restlessness and meaninglessness.

Keith: Restlessness doesn't necessarily arise from the view that art (or life) is meaningless. I am (mostly) unsatisfied (restless) with my results, but very satisfied with my progress; my process. I continue to create art because I believe that art is, ultimately, meaningful--in and of itself, via that process.

Larry: Another reason though...that many feel it is important to connect with and discuss such with those that concur or rather share a like mindedness.

Keith: I'd rather discover different ideas, which can only come from those of 'differing mindedness'. I don't want reinforcement; I want challenge. I want to test my ideas against other ideas; to see if my ideas hold up. If they don't, I'm willing to change.

Larry: In this case artists whose faith connects them with others of faith in a common act of art making.

Keith: Is it odd, then, that I don't have a burning desire to connect with other, non-believing artists? Does 'faith' (in this case, defined as the belief in 'God') drive believers together, while a lack of faith gives one the confidence to 'go it alone'?

(I don't know; I'm just asking a sincere question.)

Larry: As for accident making art ...what did I mean by that? That a painting or sculpture does not make itself. It requires a maker. Most makers I know have drivenness, thoughts, compulsion, senses of urgency and mission which I'm sensing you might, if not careful...sum up and assess as propaganda unfairly forgetting that you yourself might too have some compelling reason to create. Again...because art does not make itself. It takes a maker, and makers tend to be complex individuals. People have motives.

Keith: Hmm, I'll have to think on the above, just a bit more.

K

blkros
08-17-2003, 09:29 PM
Originally posted by LarrySeiler


Art is immaterial...thus won't claim to offer satisfaction any more than a rock sitting on a road would.

The answers to your questions such as restlessness is fundamentally rooted in one's worldview. Thus, the meaninglessness of art might be meaning to one; Pushing for to find meaning where a restlessness persists perhaps has nothing to say to the one satisfied with restlessness and meaninglessness.

Another reason though...that many feel it is important to connect with and discuss such with those that concur or rather share a like mindedness. In this case artists whose faith connects them with others of faith in a common act of art making.

As for accident making art ...what did I mean by that? That a painting or sculpture does not make itself. It requires a maker. Most makers I know have drivenness, thoughts, compulsion, senses of urgency and mission which I'm sensing you might, if not careful...sum up and assess as propaganda unfairly forgetting that you yourself might too have some compelling reason to create. Again...because art does not make itself. It takes a maker, and makers tend to be complex individuals. People have motives.

Larry

You start out by saying that art is immaterial. Then you end up saying that it requires a maker. If it is immaterial, that means that it's one of 3 things. 1 it's unimportant, 2 it's irrelevent, or 3 it's incorporeal, or spiritual, or not physically there.
If it's either of the first 2, then why are we talking about it? If it's the 3rd, then it doesn't require a maker, because it's not there.

I don't believe that art is immaterial in any of those senses. And yes artworks have makers. Nowhere have I said that they don't.
What I've said is that art is a search, that that is it's nature. It's a search for truth, for meaning, for technical prowess, even. What, I believe, you're saying, is that this search, this restlessness, makes art meaningless, and that meaning is to be found elsewhere. I don't believe that. I believe that the search is the meaning, the hunt, rather than the kill, if you will.

Do I have motives in my art? You betcha butt icon I do. Do I let them get in the way of what comes out? Sometimes--and that's when the quality wavers. Don't let the motives get in the way of the truth. It can be the truth of that red against that green, or that horizon line being at this rather than that angle. I have my purpose, just because I'm not satisfied with where I'm at doesn't mean that I don't.
In fact I believe that the opposite is true--if I'm satisfied where I'm at, then I have no purpose, because there is no goal left to reach for.
All progress is made by dissatisfied people.

boopie
08-17-2003, 11:24 PM
larry I read the letter twice, It is a little over my lowly head but I believe something drives someone to be an artist. I have had a pencil brush or something in my hand since I can remember. No one in my family for as far back as i have been able to trace has ever been any type of artist. Then why me? I was raised on a farm in upstate New York I had no exposure to art. However in school I was constantly repirmanded for drawing. My whole life I have felt the need to capture things I saw to keep them as if I did not then they were not real . If this need came from somewhere other than my mind then it came from my heart so if it is faith then I am greatfull. Art is my life ,it has kept me sane and alive. and I thank you for posting this ,gives me something to think about

LarrySeiler
08-17-2003, 11:52 PM
Originally posted by blkros


You start out by saying that art is immaterial. Then you end up saying that it requires a maker.

meaning that art is only a name given to a thing we do. Art itself...is inanimate. It is what we do that gives art life.

You don't just put materials out on a table...wait 50,000 years and art will produce itself. It requires a maker.

The point is...I'm pushing that art is not made in a vacuum. It represents ourselves, our lives...going back to what you were saying, "art is art"...

what the heck does that mean?

I'm saying even if you do accidental art....or abstract, or allow materials to produce whatever they may...you have made choices to do that. There is a reason behind it...and you are compelled to do so.

That we are given or prone to action, there are underlying reasons for such actions.

Thus...I relate to such underlying things with what the Pope as a religious leader was saying.

LarrySeiler
08-17-2003, 11:54 PM
very cool Mary! yes...we are driven. There is a compelling force within us to create.

This thing for which the Pope said calls for us to be obedient to our inspiration.

Yeah...there are some neat things to contemplate over what he said.

Larry

virtu
08-18-2003, 12:03 AM
I am an artist who has struggled with carrying inner wrestlings, doubtings...questionings as to if they are being selfish, irresponsible, out of line somehow to really dive in and pursue their potential as an artist.

My art seemed like a luxury I could not afford. To spend time and money on this indulgence seemed selfish. After all, there were so many good causes that needed financing more than I needed brushes, paint and canvas, and how could I tell my kids,"do it yourself, Mommy is busy?" Art was way down on the priority list.

In time, I have come to an understanding similar to that expressed by the Pope.The artist has a special relationship to beauty. In a very true sense it can be said that beauty is the vocation bestowed on him by the Creator in the gift of “artistic talent”. And, certainly, this too is a talent which ought to be made to bear fruit, in keeping with the sense of the Gospel parable of the talents (cf. Mt 25:14-30).

My whole life, I too have felt the need to create. I too was reprimanded for drawing in class. Ironically, what my teachers considered a distraction actually helped me absorb their teaching. Somehow, doodling helped my ears work better.

Art is more than what I do it is inseparable from who I am.

LarrySeiler
08-18-2003, 12:23 AM
Originally posted by virtu

Art is more than what I do it is inseparable from who I am.

wonderfully stated....

You know...God is in the redemption business.

Most people will never read the Bible...and our lives become when lived as they should with the empowerment from God by His Spirit, the only page some will ever read.

So...it might be asked, okay..."What does a Christian lawyer look like?" ...if a police officer became a believer, how would that affect the way he performs his job?

Christian has meant, "mini Christ" or follower...and a person has the opportunity to example as an ambassador of the Lord the difference the Lord in one's life makes.

So...now, what about the arts? What would an artist that has a heart for God, whom is grateful for salvation, loves the Lord...what would such a person be like?

You see Virtu, all believers play a role of being a light. The world needs believing artists as well. We, being born for such a time as this.

Many people are confused about what it means to be a Christian, and in that confusion...many keep at distant the consideration of it.

I remember once I was in a pool hall with some friends. We had met a few other guys...had some laughs and a good overall time.

Somehow (I don't remember) the conversation became more personal...and one of my friends made a comment about my work in ministry. The talk shifted, but then one guy said, "You can't be a Christian....your hair is too long!"

In the Old Testament there were the "Sons of Isachaar" who it is said, "understood the times and knew what Israel should do"

I think many creatives dealing with the world, get a pulse on the human condition and have empathy. They stand in the gap where talk in the church is often rhetoric as concerns loving the lost and reaching out. Where some might judge a guy with torn jeans or long hair daring to come to church in anything but high end name brand clothes...our hearts go out. We see the injustice and do not want to see Christ's love limited to touch such a one.

Not everyone has the tenacity, the backbone to stand in the gap. The artist, working in isolation and often well aware of his or her actions often being misunderstood tends to have enough to see justice as a worthy cause.

We might grow our hair out...so such feel welcome in church in the future not coming in and feeling alone. We might wear jeans even worn or with tears so that others coming in might feel the potential of connection and acceptance.

Where the church does not understand the world....we help bridge and call for patience, for wisdom. Where the world does not understand the church...we also may well do the same.

I performed years ago in a rather popular Christian hardrock band back in the big hair 80's years. We experienced a lot of rejection...but we witnessed reaching a lot of people. Today, I still write and perform music and I often take it to coffeehouses, concert environments...festivals, and have played in bars.

Many Christians cannot imagine doing such. Too worldly. "Be separate" would be the insistant advice....yet...how should a musician act whom might know the Lord? Should not the world see such a one? How would one behave? What would such a one say?

People find their objections to faith challenged when they have believed the report of the media of what a Christian is...then having come to like someone as a person suddenly discover they liked that person. How could that be!!!!!

It might cause people to question and reconsider what being a Christian really means.

So...what happens when God gets hold of our hearts as artists? What changes come? What new priorities arise? How does it affect our creative disciplines and so forth?

The darkness needs to see such light....

we need to be walking paradoxes....spurred on to good works.

peace,

Larry

Pilan
08-18-2003, 12:33 AM
Larry, thanks. :) that was a nice post.

LarrySeiler
08-18-2003, 12:48 AM
;)

Keith Russell
08-18-2003, 10:29 AM
Larry, two (sincere) questions:

1) What did you mean by 'art is immaterial'?

2) What does being a Christian really mean?

Thanks,

K

jimb
08-18-2003, 11:20 AM
My desire to be a good Christian caused me to edit out the things I really wanted to say.
Larry, since Christianity is not a topic to be tolerated here, maybe you can put together a list of those more friendly to your topics and send it in group PMs. Then we might be more likely to get the inspiration and help with creativity that we came to this forum for.
Have a good day.

paintfool
08-18-2003, 11:30 AM
Please, people. :(

virtu
08-18-2003, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by Larry
People find their objections to faith challenged when they have believed the report of the media of what a Christian is...then having come to like someone as a person suddenly discover they liked that person. How could that be!!!!!

It might cause people to question and reconsider what being a Christian really means.

I think it would benefit people, even Christians to stop and reconsider what being a Christian really means. The report of the media is distorted and inaccurate but so too is the representation by many Christians.


Originally posted by LarryMost people will never read the Bible...and our lives become when lived as they should with the empowerment from God by His Spirit, the only page some will ever read.

Yeah... When our lives, with the empowerment from God by His Spirit, are lived as they should be, in obedience to him, we become a more accurate representation. We are then closer to the truth.

The body is made up of many parts. The hand serves best in doing what a hand does. For it to try and fill the role of a foot could only at best be minimally effective. It would put the whole body upside down and cause the other members undue strain in trying to compensate.

My acting in the capacity of an artist, being obedient to my inspiration, is part of my purpose. Although I am not Catholic, it is nice to see the Pope acknowledge this.

jimb
08-18-2003, 01:19 PM
It has been asked "What does being a Christian mean?"

Here is my response, and I offer it not for debate with unbelievers, but only for the benefit of those that sincerely wonder, and to strengthen the testimony of those that believe, or want to believe.

As we think about Christ’s life, Christians are amazed in every way. We are amazed at his coming to earth and the circumstances surrounding his advent. We are amazed at the miracle of his conception and the poverty of his birth.

We are amazed that at only twelve years of age he was already about his Father’s business. We are amazed at the formal beginning of his ministry, his baptism and spiritual gifts.

We are amazed that everywhere he went, the forces of evil went before him and that they knew him from the beginning. We stand all amazed to know Jesus cast out and defeated these forces of evil even as he made the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the infirm to stand.

But I am most amazed at the moment when Jesus, staggering under his load to the crest of Calvary, said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34.)

How could he forgive his tormenters at that moment?

In the Sermon on the Mount, before he stated that perfection is our goal, he gave something of a last requirement. He said all must “love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matt. 5:44.) This is a constant reminder of the meekness and mercy and gentleness—yes, the forgiveness—that should mark every Christian life.

So how does a Christian make sure that we never “ignore or slight or forget” his greatest of all gifts unto us? We do so by showing our desire for a remission of our sins and our eternal gratitude for that most courageous of all prayers, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” We do so by joining in the work of forgiving sins.

Anyone can be pleasant and patient and forgiving on a good day. A Christian has to be pleasant and patient and forgiving on all days. “Love your enemies and bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you.” That is the demanding pathway of perfection.

I stand all amazed that even for a man like me, full of egotism and transgression and intolerance and impatience, there is a chance. But, if I’ve heard the “good news” correctly, there really is a chance—for me and for you and for everyone who is willing to keep hoping and to keep trying and to allow others the same privilege.

Do all of that, be kind, considerate, be of service to others using the talents he has given us, and keep his commandments. For his glory yes, but not for his benefit, but rather, because he desires it for our perfection. Acknowledge that he has paid for the sins that all of us have committed, and are redeemed if we will only recognize and thank him for that. For me, that’s what it means to be a Christian.

It's not easy, but no one ever said it would be. Only that it would be worth it.

Keith Russell
08-18-2003, 03:15 PM
jimb said:
Here is my response, and I offer it not for debate with unbelievers, but only for the benefit of those that sincerely wonder, and to strengthen the testimony of those that believe, or want to believe.

Well, this unbeliever is also one of those who sincerely wonders.

Thanks for the above explanation. It doesn't answer all my questions, but does fill in another piece in the puzzle.

K

Jennie Rose
08-18-2003, 03:35 PM
Dear jimb,
Thank You for explaining our Christian Faith so Beautifully!
You really hit home.
God Bless You,
Sincerely, Josie :clap:

LarrySeiler
08-19-2003, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by jimb

But I am most amazed at the moment when Jesus, staggering under his load to the crest of Calvary, said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34.)


all well stated, Jim....thank you.

What also amazes me when I consider...is when I consider the times.

Think about it. A bombing recently in Baghdad, people died. Fires in the news...droughts. Ethnic hatred and cleansing in Africa... on and on, troubles mounting upon troubles.

Now....here I might stand on the shores of a northern Michigan lake. Out there are stands of pines and hardwoods that have stood the test of time and have been around hundreds of years before my coming.

One feels small to take it in.

The light flickers with an interplay of surface wind/water activity and shore's reflections. In the distance...a hen mallard nervously chatters for her brood to follow.

I am moved. Moved enough...that the color of blue in the distant ridges, the pinkish yellow cast in the sky compel me to paint.

How is painting significant in such days of troubles?

It amazes me...that God would count my humble offerings as significant.

That possibly for this reason...Christ died for me?

I read a billboard today in leaving as we drove thru Ishpeming, Michigan asking if what we were doing was worth what Christ died for?

The urgency of the times makes understanding the times and knowing what to do very difficult for some folks to sort out.

How is painting significant for such?

Would it not be better going door to door asking for canned goods donations to send off to far away lands and hungry people?

I am amazed...that God has chosen me to be an imitation of his creative nature, to demonstrate the heights, the breadth, the width of man's potential, redeemed.

I find myself not at all taking this potential lightly. I am both profound grateful...yet humbled to a silent pondering in light of the world's troubles.

to be significant in doing one's artististic works....so grateful that Christ's death would redeem my heart and mind and His life so fill it to do such works.

I don't fully understand. I can only celebrate...and offer praise.

Larry

Pilan
08-19-2003, 07:38 PM
:)

Aspiring
08-19-2003, 07:50 PM
I have enjoyed reading your letters about the subject and wished I had something wise to add. But all I can come up with as a response to this question is the: Taste and see that it is good! Amen

virtu
08-19-2003, 09:45 PM
The program archives of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries http://resources.christianity.com/ministries/rzim/main/searchItems.jhtml?&page=4&JServSessionIdroot=u067t14qs1


Mind Games in a World of Images

It's been awhile since I listened to this but the parts I remember seem relevant to art in these times. Unfortunately, my speakers quit working a few days ago and I am currently wihtout ears.

Keith Russell
08-20-2003, 12:48 AM
Larry, you say you do not fully understand.

I assume that this is your answer to my question 'what does it mean to be a Christian'.

Do you wish to?

(And, I'd still like to know what you meant by the statement that art is 'immaterial'...)

K

RobinZ
08-20-2003, 12:11 PM
Yep. SAME AS IT EVER WAS.

RobinZ
08-20-2003, 12:15 PM
Larry, I sent you a pm about this. You'll see that I was right about my first sentence, lol!!!

YEAH! Amazing letter. Although written over 4 years ago, I needed that. Today.

Keith Russell
08-21-2003, 12:26 AM
Robin, not quite the same as it ever was.

After nearly 9,000 posts, my opinions have shifted, quite a bit...

K

LarrySeiler
08-21-2003, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by virtu
The program archives of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries http://resources.christianity.com/ministries/rzim/main/searchItems.jhtml?&page=4&JServSessionIdroot=u067t14qs1


Mind Games in a World of Images

It's been awhile since I listened to this but the parts I remember seem relevant to art in these times. Unfortunately, my speakers quit working a few days ago and I am currently wihtout ears.

Listening to the series this morning....thanks Virtu....! I've heard Ravi before...read a couple of his books as well...appreciate the link.

Sounds quite interesting thus far!

Larry

LarrySeiler
08-21-2003, 10:39 AM
wow...indeed Virtu....quite a listen. Just got thru the first session using Real Play....

took notes, good stuff to chew on. Nearly forgot how good it is to listen to Ravi...

I appreciated his story of a friend that described the pain of going thru a heart attack. Unlike other pains such as a fall, a cut or so forth you stand outside the pain and can make judgments about it, but with a heart attack...the very vessel of life pumping, the pain is such that you are "in" the pain.

He then compares that to our generation having grown up in the media/medium and how we have lost our objectivity to judge its overall affect upon us. Because we have been "in" the medium, wrapped up in it.

From there...he goes on to talk about problematic induction and how important induction has been for societies, culture, or simply mankind...of course explaining that induction is that which "leads to..."

God himself using induction throughout the scriptures to measure man, but interestingly God does it from the basis of what ought to be, and then makes His pronouncement on what is. So His inductive process yields to propositions that have something to be measured against.

We on the other hand...have thrown off restraints by which to be measured by...and being so wrapped up in the medium are not even in the position to make statements contrary to such...

I found it interesting the statement that by the time a youth is 18 years of age, they have been exposed to 11,000 hours of school, but 15,000 hours of television. Quite interesting....

I found this statement attributed to Dostoevski interesting-

"First art would imitate life,
then life would imitate art...
and finally life would draw its very reason for existence from the arts."

if that thought alone is not enough for us as Christian or even religious artists...artists of faith to ponder upon and muse on our sense of responsibility in these times. How many have now latched onto making art for their very meaning of life? Find the purpose for their daily existence in such?

Our life...is found in Christ, whom then meets with us, fellowships in Spirit...renews us, strengthens us. Our making art is a going out...an expression of life we already have, but not a seeking to find life we do not have. Our praise thru our art making is for the One who Lives and Reigns, and our work works best when it directs the hearts of others to contemplate not the greatness of our art or ourselves, but serves as a vehicle to direct eyes heavenward in thanksgiving.

Much stuff for me to chew on for awhile....

peace,

Larry

virtu
08-22-2003, 10:57 AM
So much stuff to chew on.

Doesn't that make life interesting? If we knew it all, had seen it all, what would we do? I like to explore, to discover new things. Things that others before me have already discovered, things new to me.

Who? What? When? Where? Why?

God, in his wisdom, gave us quite a playground.

I like to explore through my art, discoveries new to me, filtered through my unique person, recorded in a visual medium, topics covered before but never through my own uniqueness.

I like to explore new thoughts and ideas. RZIM has helped me expand my thinking. You, Larry, have helped me expand my thinking and I thank you for that.

I plan to buy new speakers today. Maybe I can give it another listen(Mind Games in a World of Images). I need to refresh my memory. I often have to listen to Ravi a couple of times to understand more of what he is saying. He gives me so much to chew on and this is not fresh in my memory. I don't know if you have gotten to it, but the tower of Bable and one world language really seemed significant to me.

LarrySeiler
08-24-2003, 11:22 PM
Originally posted by virtu
I don't know if you have gotten to it, but the tower of Bable and one world language really seemed significant to me.

I've not been home the past several days....but will carry on where left off.

I've not heard what he has had to say about Babel...but I've heard and have personally delivered some interesting messages on this tower.

Also....in a similar line of thinking...the study of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is a good one. That we extract life or death from that which we feed from....Jesus, the tree of Life, that knowledge (worldly, fleshly carnal pridefilled kind) of good and evil brings as the scriptures say, "death"...ie, spiritual death or separation from God.

talk to you later....just cruisin' briefly....
peace,

Larry

Keith Russell
08-25-2003, 03:13 PM
Renee, feel free to share your 'Good News'.

And please, allow me the freedom to share my own, in whatever form it may take...

K

jimb
08-25-2003, 06:15 PM
Josie, Larry, and Renee,
Thanks for your kind comments.
As I said before, Christianity is not tolerated well here. I don't think there's much we can do about that except perhaps to just ignore those comments that are meant to incite, irritate, or otherwise demean. It's just the way of the world I'm afraid.

Smile!

"Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake."
"Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets."
Luke 6: 22-23

Y'all have a nice day :)

paintfool
08-25-2003, 07:55 PM
Just a friendly reminder folks, all posts that are too far off topic to add value to this discussion will be removed. Yes, this does mean that i have to use my own judgment as to what does and does not add value but i think you get my drift. It's the only way that i have to keep the thread moving in a forward direction without moving it.
This is not the Debates forum. Please conduct yourselves accordingly.
Thank you
Cheryl

CarlyHardy
08-25-2003, 11:47 PM
When Cheryl's offline, I try to keep up with things around this place...but sometimes it just moves too fast for me! As Cheryl said above, off topic comments should be taken to PM or email. Comments not relevant to the topic are unnecessary.

carly

Keith Russell
08-26-2003, 02:31 AM
carly, comments not relevant to the topic could be considered seasoning...

K

paintfool
08-26-2003, 02:39 PM
Seems we have plenty of spice around here lately. :D We now return to our regularly scheduled program. :) Thanks Carly.