In this book the author examines nine artists in chronological order, hoping to provide a sampling of the development of Western art from the Italian Renaissance to today. Some of the artists are well known, others are not. They are:
Jean Frederick Bazille
Vincent Van Gogh
Henry O. Tanner
Each artist is approached in a way that is part art history, part bible study, part philosophy and part an analysis of the human experience. Most of all, it is an attempt to tell the story of a particular person and the way beauty and creativity influenced and shaped their life. It is also the story of the images they created, and how those creations arouse our belief in God, who is the ultimate Creator of all that is beautiful and good.
There are also some useful appendices at the end:
How to visit an art museum
How to look at a work of art
Overview of Western Art: Renaissance to Modern
As someone with little training in art, I found this book to be both interesting and helpful.
VERDICT: 5 STARS. Highly recommended!
For more about art and creativity see these book reviews:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Since God is the Creator, doesn’t it make sense that humankind, the children He made in His image, would also be creative? God gave us “dominion” over the world and blessed us with the instructions that we should “be fruitful and multiply.” This reminds me of the parable of the talents …. the master trusts his servants to be good stewards of what they have been given. I guess we could take these words superficially and say, well, we’re supposed to populate the earth and work diligently to receive a good return for our labor, but I think God meant for us to go beyond that.
God blessed each one of us with a unique personality and abilities. Some of us will be artists, writers and craftsmen, but creativity doesn’t stop there. We can all imagine creative ways to do what we love to do. There are creative parents, teachers, business owners and cooks. There are people who get creative about ways to be generous, ways to relate to different cultures, ways to invent useful gadgets. I think people feel most completely fulfilled when they’re getting creative about the things they find fascinating and enjoyable; the things God created them to do, to understand or to learn about.
What gets your creative juices going? What are the talents God gifted you with? Are you spending your time on them? If not, why not? Start now.
“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 8:6-8
If you google prayer journals you will find it overwhelming. There are so many ways to journal your prayers, from simple to complicated. Here is a pic of my prayer journal.
I love making things myself! It is therapeutic and so fun to be creative. (God is creative and so He has made us to be creative in His image!) I just took a plain spiral notebook, divided it up in sections (prayers of thanks, pleases, family, friends and others, and bible verses), and made a pretty cover for it with scrapbook paper!
I don’t just write my prayers in there, I also doodle…
As you can see, I started out color coding my prayers (my OCD) but have not really been able to follow it so I just write with any color pen. In the back cover, I have an excel spreadsheet I made for organizing prayers so that once a month I cover the things I want to remember to pray for… here is the link if you would like to see it.
I pray for 5 categories; praises, myself, my husband, my children, and reaching beyond. I wanted to make my prayers more specific so that’s why I created this spreadsheet. That way I pray for one specific area of the 5 categories each day. By the month’s end, I have lifted intercessory prayers on behalf of all these areas of my life. Don’t feel like you have to be this organized with your prayer. (again my OCD) I am not perfect at it myself but I find if I try to organize my life I am less frazzled and don’t get frustrated as much when I feel overwhelmed or can’t remember something. Maybe this idea of journaling can help you too. Remember…there is no right or wrong way of keeping a prayer journal. Find what works for you and if you need to switch it up and try something else, don’t beat yourself up. I find if you keep it fun and creative it is less likely to feel like a chore and the more you will be inspired to keep doing it! Happy journaling 🙂