Saturday, May 5, 2018

“Undone”, 16x20”, colored pencils.

This work is a depiction of an approaching storm and a barren tree. From the start, however, I had in mind spiritual meaning. In Isaiah chapter 6, verses 1-5, we read of the prophet seeing God in His awesome holiness. His reaction, as he realized his true self before such power and righteousness, was “Woe is me, I am undone”.

The clouds and tree here reflect this realization. The dark, stormy clouds call to mind God’s holiness. The frail and lifeless tree, in the face of this, is a stark contrast similar to our own in our fallen humanity before God.

I am too am undone, until I come to the Savior God provided. The unapproachable Almighty is near in the grace of Jesus Christ.

© Jeffrey M Green. “Undone”, 16x20”, colored pencils.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hide Myself

This newly completed work symbolizes the inner experience and personality. Within ourselves is a place we share with no one, hidden behind acceptable masks we show the world. In the deep-seated self, we do not risk exposing our raw vulnerability. We may be filled with past wounds, pain, fear, anger, shame, or failure. While we share the safe part of who we are with others, the secret and visceral level we keep protected. Yet, one of the strongest desires we have is to be fully understood.

As a Christian, it is my belief that God heals our innermost being when we receive His Son. We need not hide our brokenness from Him. Not only does He know us better than we ever will, we can be true and real no matter what our pain or failures are. In intimate redeemed relationship, Christ transforms in the darkest places beyond our reach.

© Jeffrey M Green. "Hide Myself", 16" x 20", colored pencils.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Miracle of Personhood.

As an artist portraying the surrounding world, I praise God for His Creation and the power He displays there. Yet, the experience of personhood boggles the mind with awe of Him. The very eyes, intellect, and hands I use to observe the world were fashioned into being out of nothing by Him. My life, with a distinct personality, points to the God who willed me to be. The self, which alone is served above all else today, would not even be were it not for God’s purpose. How sad that we turn from the One who created us and fashion our own realities to escape accountability to Him.

We perceive the world as rational, emotive, thinking, and functioning beings with individual personality. Though having more knowledge than ever, we have not only lost the wonder of Creation; the amazement of our own existence has been suppressed. Science has become a philosophical doctrine of naturalism and materialism, reducing life to the idea we are mere animals or slime that betters itself over time. Our reality is defined as self-actuating. With intention to magnify our ability, the value of the real worth we have is destroyed. That we exist is a created miracle of God. Our significance and actuality is by the purposeful intent of an almighty God’s will.

I exalt in the joy of living, fashioned by the love of God and designed for relationship with Him. I marvel yet more knowing though I sinned and was at enmity with my own Creator, He brought me near in the Redemption of His own Son. The eternal Son stepped out of Heaven to live a prefect life, die in atonement to reconcile my rebellion, and rise victorious. The sublime goodness, grace, and glory of God is forever astounding.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36.

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Wow Factor of Art

Cotopaxi, (1862) Frederic Edwin Church.
When you view an art piece wonderfully full of expressive detail, it takes your breath away, doesn't it? We think, "Wow". Could this experience be an echo, a mirror reflecting something infinitely greater?

When we look at the world around us we see immense detail. Complexity so intricately designed that we observe with a reaction of wonder.

Today we have allowed technology to cloud the appreciation of wonder with a fixation on ourselves and what we presume we can do. The "wow" factor we feel when we view art can call us back to an appreciation of Creation. As we contemplate the God who made this manifold living reality, we are astounded. If we allow ourselves to think further, what an amazing reality it is to be living souls, with purpose and reason for being.

The uplifting appreciation we experience was put in us by God. The beauty around us points to the awesomeness of the Almighty. What is more, the hands we use to create, the mind and emotions to perceive, these too were fashioned by God. What joy that a personal Creator has given such gifts to mankind.

Photo: Cotopaxi (1862) by Frederic Edwin Church (May 4, 1826 – April 7, 1900).

Thursday, August 24, 2017

What is the Difference Between Perfectionism and Excellence?

Perfectionism is an unhealthy, rigid behavior that harms ourselves and those around us. It seeks the utmost control, a tyrant over falling short in any way. For most, this is not so extreme. Perfectionism, however, can become so severe it ruins our mental health, creates stress in marriages, harms families, and scars children. It is often marked by depression and self-critical behavior. Anger toward others when they do not meet our unrealistic standard is a form of this character trait.

Excellence is different. An ideal which looks toward doing well; it seeks ones best in a spirit of growth and freedom. A healthy goal of achievement allows for mistakes and failure, with the view of learning from them. One can have a strong bent toward seeking excellence and not be perfectionist. Without desire for excellence, music, art, sports, or any other endeavor we seek would not exhibit a quality of  beauty in which the human heart rejoices.

How can we discover which we are exhibiting? Some clues: Are we hurting ourselves or those around us? Do we seek the best but allow failure in ourselves and others? Is an activity or goal meant to be enjoyed making us miserable? Another is often repeating, "I just want things done right, " a defensive statement that seeks to condone unbending behavior.

Will You Let God Love you?

There are many reasons we will not come to God. Some of them are bitter attitudes we nurse. Or we may feel a sense of failure so deep we assume He could never receive someone like us. In both cases we let our experiences cloud our judgment and miss the meaning of grace. It is not “what has God done for me lately” resentment; rather we are sinners before a Holy God. Nor do we need to walk away in our shame and tears, forever alone in our emptiness.

God is calling us to His Son Jesus, who paid the price to set us free. This is love we cannot comprehend until we answer yes to this gift. There is no longer a life of just existing and clawing our way along, freedom and joy waits. Will you let God love you and allow Him to wash you in His grace? Will you give yourself to the Savior?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Great Horned

At left is a new colored pencil piece of a Great Horned Owl, created on canvass. It is the second piece on canvas that I have done with this medium. There is a lot less layering than my regular colored pencil artwork with this surface. The background has a style similar to a work I did, titled, "Watchful", of a Red Tailed Hawk, also on canvass, shown below.

Artwork left: © Jeffrey M Green. "Great Horned", 11" x 14", colored pencils.
© Jeffrey M Green. "Watchful",
11" x 14", colored pencils.