Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Hills of Mist" Oil Painting

6x6, Oil on Canvas

Just got finished watching, "Ansel Adams" on PBS' American Experience.  This particular one was done by Ric Burns.  He has done some of my favorite documentaries ("Civil War," "New York" and "The Donnor Party" are just some of his work).  I had the pleasure of getting to hear Ric Burns speak at the Eisemann Center about making his documentaries.  I had to go by myself but it was so enjoyable.  He spoke on how Americans love documentaries to see things "as they are."

I have always been in awe of Ansel Adams photographs.  There is such clarity and power in the nature that he loved to share.  I saw that in the interviews with him and in his personal work in the video.  One thing I also saw was this determination to just do work no matter the cost to personal life (i.e. children, wife etc). 

I truly believe that Adams was in love with the American Wilderness.  He passionately saw and felt Yosemite in particular as he would travel from San Francisco to Yosemite throughout his life.  I know I am no Ansel Adams but I found his words to be something that I have said in that he was trying to capture the "feeling of the place."  I tell people that I try to capture in my skies and trees this feeling that can't be said in words no matter how hard I try.

Adams said, "Art is both the taking and giving of beauty; the turning out to the light the inner folds of the awareness of the spirit. It is the recreation on another plane of the realities of the world; the tragic and wonderful realities of earth and men, and of all the inter-relations of these." 

Even though he did not know Christ he did admit that there was a spirit in the world that was real as he had felt it there many times in beauty.  I like to think that is one of the most powerful ways in which God does speak to us: through beauty.  We take it in as we gaze on a lovely face, a beautiful sunset, a grand vista.  We have no words except to realize the smallness of us and the greatness of that beauty.  Ansel says, "art is both the taking and giving of beauty."  I pray that our lives also give it freely.  That when people see us they see Jesus.  Our beautiful Savior who is the Master Artist.

I finished this little 6x6 on Saturday and like the quietness of it.  I've really gotten into mist lately and want to do more.  So if your sick of it then...well...too bad!  ha!  I like the mystery it communicates as well as the incredible light it filters.  There is so much beauty in this world and I truly love to paint the skies and trees that fascinate me and stir my heart to Him.

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