Sunday, December 13, 2015

In Plain Sight ~ Spiritual Art Journal Painting

Hello Creative Friends!

It's been ages since I updated my blog. In April, my husband and I began our nomadic lifestyle. It happened quite suddenly, but after a bumpy start, we are very content living a life of constant change. We've lived in Arkansas, U.P. Michigan, and two national parks - Grand Canyon (AZ) and Big Bend (TX). While my artmaking has slowed way down due to so many moves, my creative tank is filled from all the beautiful scenery. This summer, I was able to do a little plein air painting, but mostly I've photographed scenes from road trips, hikes, etc.

I recently ordered some new art supplies to help jumpstart my creativity. Last week, I had a chance to play with my new Qor Watercolors and mediums. After doing a few experiments, I spontaneously painted this picture in my art journal. It started from my imagination, but as I completed it, I referenced a few of my recent photos from Big Bend.

In Plain Sight ~ Sandra L. Martin

As some of you know, art is part of my spiritual practice. I view it as a physical act of worship and prayer. I often pray before I paint and listen for additional insight through the process. It is safe to say that the Holy Spirit is my Muse, giving gentle guidance and divine inspiration.

At first, I was simply capturing the desert landscape. I had fun using dimensional grounds to add texture to the grasses and sagebrush. I painted some interesting clouds I saw recently. Then a special cloud came rolling in on the left. I thought of the cloud of God's Presence that covered the Israelites in the desert, shading them from the heat and guiding them to the Promise Land. Before I knew it, I also drew a clay vessel in the middle of this desert, pouring forth colorful rivers of paint. God reminded me of John 7:38 -
He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (NKJV)

There is also a related passage in Isaiah 44:3 -

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. (ESV)

I knew also that I was to add a square to the landscape, almost like a viewfinder. Later, it morphed into a plein air easel. The painting blends in with the surrounding landscape. It's there in plain view. I prayed about what to name the painting, and heard "In Plain Sight."

Later that evening, I went to Bible Study. A friend shared an app with me that had several faith-based movies. My eyes grew wide when I saw this title:

Here was a field, with a broken woman who found redemption. I saw the correlation between the broken clay vessel in the desert landscape, also with similar color grasses. I felt God was calling me to pray for those caught in the sex trafficking industry.

Just wanted to share with you. Has the Creator given you direction through your artwork? Has an art journal piece helped unravel a mystery or help you deal with some emotions, work through a problem, etc.? Feel free to share if you're comfortable in the comments below.

For more information on the documentary, In Plain Sight, visit their website.

To read more about the symbol of the Broken Vessel in my artwork, check out my testimony.