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Artists for the Lord

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Having read Tim Challies’ interview which I posted here, I decided to do an interview with artists whom I know. Here is post number one with a local artist (Lee Monts) and member of Christ Church.

Question 1: When did you first discover your love for art? Did you receive any formal artistic education? Who are your greatest influences in your art?

Answer 1: I grew up in a small town pretty much in the middle of nowhere and spent most of my time with my sister who is 5.5 years older than me. She was good at drawing and crafts, so I would often do the things she did. When I was younger, I was really great at drawing. I “lost” this talent when I went to college. I have never lost the creative desire though. I would often try to start drawing again and often attempted water colors, but I would always get frustrated and quit. About 10 years ago, I started making mobiles out of wire and various materials…success with mobiles unlocked my creativity, gave me confidence in artistic expression, and eventually led me to try acrylic paints. I have had no formal art classes or instruction…what I have learned is a result of trying and God blessing me with talent. God has opened many doors and has enabled me to become an established artist in the Columbia area in a short amount of time. Alexander Calder, Mark Rothko, and John Singer Sargent have influenced my art along with many current day artists. God has given me a special style…one that has become instantly recognizable to many in the local art scene.

This question reminded me of a poem I wrote in 2003. It is provided below.

“Sketches”Finding my way back
to being lost
in the childhood talent
of small hands
holding pencil to paper
drawing challenges within
the perimeters of
my father’s boundaries –
images from a desire
to know the world
beyond artistic capabilities…
images not easily defined
nor easily erased.
Finding my way back
to who I was as a child
knowing what I know now,
living within
my own boundaries
my own freedoms
painting pictures
with mature hands.

Question 2: What kind of art do you primarily create?

Answer 2:I mainly create acrylic paintings on canvas. While my early paintings were mostly abstract, most of my works are now abstracted contemporary landscapes. I am also interested in assemblage art. This art form employs found objects and ordinary articles that are assembled in an artful manner.

Question 3: Tell us about how you came to know the Lord.

Answer 3: Short answer: through God’s grace. Longer answer: I have been told that I am very transparent. I prefer to tell the story in person. Let’s just say that God has used a lot of people and situations along the way. He has, and continues, to transform me.

Question 4: Eric Liddell, the great Scottish Olympian and missionary once said, I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure. Even in something as simple as running he felt the pleasure of God. Can you identify with that as you create works of art?

Answer 4: I often feel closest to Him when I am creating. I often find things in my paintings that I know I could not have created if I had tried. Such findings excite me, and I like to point them out and give Him the credit. Birds often show up in my paintings! I think they are reminders that He even takes care of the birds in the fields. I also see Him making me bolder in that I use my art as a testimony to Him. I often place three dots in my paintings to represent the Holy Trinity. I love to stand back at gallery shows and listen as people point them out…many come to that conclusion on their own. If they don’t, I will take the opportunity to explain the meaning of the dots. While they appear in many paintings, I let Him lead me. I never want it to be considered a “gimmick.” I am currently playing with simple jewelry designs. I am planning a special brooch that will have the first part of Isaiah 40:8 – “The grass withers, the flower fades, but…”.I am hoping that nonbelievers will ask about the brooch’s meaning, allowing the wearer to complete the verse saying “but the word of our God stands forever.” I am going to give this to a lady at church and ask her to wear it, use it to witness, and then pass it along to another lady at the church to do the same. God just kind of planted that idea on me, so I am excited about it. Just think of how many people could be exposed to Christ by a simple brooch.

Question 5: Have you ever thought about what art will be like in the new heavens and new earth? Do you suppose you’ll be able to continue to create art for Gods glory for all eternity?

Answer 5: I have honestly not thought about this before. If it pleases God!

Question 6: Which of the works you’ve made so far are your favorites? Why? How do you seek to bring glory to God through your art?

Answer 6: My favorite pieces are those that just “happen” and turn out well. The pond I grew up on is a reoccurring element in my paintings…it is often where I sought solace (and it is a beautiful place). I seek to bring Him glory by using my talent responsibly, to the best of my ability, and in ways that will help others see Him in me.

Question 7: What are your hopes and dreams for your art? As you look to the future and allow yourself to dream a little bit, what would you like to see happen with your art?

Answer 7: I hope to continue to grow as an artist and to be blessed with continued support from galleries, patrons and friends. I hope to continue to diversify and allow Him to lead me and I pray that I will have the abilities to keep creating. My art career is currently part-time. I would love to be able to be a full-time artist one day. We will see where God takes me…after all, He knows best!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Velvet DeVors permalink
    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 8:50 am

    Great story…good job! Testimony is found in the way we live, not in what we say…You’re testimony is true.

  2. M.E.G.Sojourner permalink
    Thursday, January 1, 2009 8:09 am

    WOW ~ works of wonder; Psalms 9:1-2

    ~praise the Lord for this intentional-Christian, living the intentional Christian life; seeking God and glorifying Him.~

    I found the article to be uplifting; lifting my eyes upon our Lord.

    s.d.g.

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