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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Art Wins

I've been carrying a little birthday money around with me for quite some time now. The plan was to buy a knife, you know, the kind you can only afford once in a while, so it takes several years to fill that expensive knife block. That was the plan.

I was browsing through a bookstore recently, and art called my name when I saw this painting by Brian Kershisnik.

I include a small image here but you can see (and buy!) the larger and even lovelier image by clicking on the artist's name above.

I have seen and admired Brian Kershisnik's work before. (I saw a full wall mural of his Nativity painting at the BYU art museum this year and had to stand and look at it for 10 minutes.) But something about this painting at this exact moment just resonated with me and made my cells hum. I couldn't look away. I had to push the tears back so I didn't look like an idiot crying in the bookstore. 

Then I turned the painting around and saw the title, "She Will Find What Is Lost," and I gained an appreciation for the work on another level. The title is a perfect marriage of an image with words. I admit it: a few tears actually leaked out.

The meaning of art is personal to each of us. I can't really explain what this means to me, but here are some of the questions that go through my mind as I look at it. Maybe you'd like to ask yourself some of these too as you look at the painting. 

  • Who am I in this painting? 
  • Who or what does the woman represent?
  • What does the posture of the woman say? 
  • Who are the angels? 
  • Look at the positions of the various angels. It looks like they are climbing over each other to reach her, yet only a few are able to touch her at a time. What do their positions mean?
  • How are the angels helping her: just through a comforting presence, or are they actually able to help propel her forward? 
  • Why are the angels who are touching the woman all young, maybe children? 
  • Who are the old people and the baby angels to me?

What can you do when something calls your name like this? The birthday money came out of my wallet. The painting went home. It's true, a new knife would have been nice. It could have made some of my cooking tasks a little more pleasant. 

But I put this painting in my bedroom where I see it every day when I wake up and when I go to sleep and even other times in between. Every time I see it I pause to look. I think about all of the angels in my life who are blessing me in ways I don't think I will understand until I join their ranks. 

A good knife would be nice in feeding my family, but good art feeds my soul every day.

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