It just dawned on me that I have not posted any pictures of my most recent solo show In A Different Light, subtitled, 365 Doodles On a Wall (called that because the show was about me and my art in a “different light”, the spiritual side). Everyone who came to the opening or saw the show throughout the month expressed their surprise at how large the Doodling Devotional installation was (spanning 35′ and 8′ high), as well as how uniquely different the styles were in each “doodle”.
The installation itself took nearly 20 hours, with volunteers helping, plus 5 packages of white gummy stuff. I went away from this experience with a newfound respect for installation artists, but now I can also call myself an “installation artist” as well as a “Christian artist” who illustrates the gospel. Many years ago I had written in my journal my desire to illustrate the gospel. In my head it looked way different than “doodles” (especially since I just don’t “doodle”), but this is where God has a sense of humor and uses the “foolishness of doodling” to confound the “wise” (serious artist, me).
My idea of religious art is an elegant painting full of dramatic lighting, rich colors and of course beautifully rendered images of Jesus healing or forgiving or watching over us, or, or, or. In other words, visually breathtaking art that stirred up deep felt emotion prompting recognition and inclusion into serious, nose-turned-up-in-the-air shows, hopefully even in a museum. But wait! This “serious” art would also be accompanied by a paycheck and possibly even, dare I say, fame! Yes, I admit it here, God has been humbling me in this department–case in point, 365 doodles. But what an amazingly rich experience it was to mull over God’s deep, awe inspiring word prompted by My Utmost for His Highest, and then try to find a simple, creative way to illustrate my thoughts. Several times, moved to a paradigm shift in thinking.
There was a lot of wonderful feedback from people; some felt inspired to make a commitment to respond to their own personal devotional times; some people made a point to come back and read a month of doodles a day until they were through them all; many expressed a desire for a book of the doodles with space for them to respond as well (I’m working on making that happen); other people said, “Why would you do this?”, to which I’d reply, “To know God more”. God has shown me that every form of art, no matter how humble, is meaningful if done to and for His glory.
The payment I received that meant the most to me and showed me the wisdom of God in taking me through this journey and then being willing to display it, was from a man who was helping prepare the doodles for hanging. He read at least half of the doodles while rolling balls of white gum then pressing a ball in each corner, telling me that he felt like he was doing a “sacred work” by helping. Then he came to the doodle with a caricature of Jesus willingly climbing up the cross to give His life for His friends’ sins, the message moving him to tears. That’s when it was confirmed, doodles are “serious art”!
A shout out to my sacrificial helpers and a HUGE thank you! I would have been days doing this project if it weren’t for you!