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Learning a Lesser Way

cn00370a1.jpgSo I am struggling with trying to figure out what God wants me to do with my art.  In the past week, I have come to the conviction that God is definitely moving me away from the things that typically are motivations for artists: to sell well, to be known, or to get bigger or better shows.  This is not to say that I don’t appreciate those things … I do.  I don’t look down on any artists who strive for these things, particularly as these are tools that people who need to live off of the proceeds of their art need in order to have commercial success. 

But I have a job… and there are other kinds of success besides commercial success. 

I am starting to believe that God is challenging me to not just give up the desire to seek commercial success, but to explore what it would mean to give all my artwork away – making art as a way to pray for others while I was painting, then giving the art to whomever I was painting (praying) for.  Maybe I should call it “prainting”.

So in starting on this journey, the following questions have come up in my mind:

1. How do I give away these praintings wihtout calling too much attention to myself?

2. How do I talk with other artists about what I am doing without sounding pretentious?  Or if I am trying to “do my giving in secret”, do I talk about this at all???

3. If I am “successful” at giving away my art, this will cut into what I can devote to the galleries I work with.  If I have to choose between this art-ministry or gallery sales, which would I choose?

There are so many dimensions to this that I spent some time this morning after church to talk with some trusted and wise friends about what I was thinking.  They encouraged me not to hesitate because I don’t have answers to these questions, but to press forward – even imperfectly – to do what I sense God wants me to do.

 So, I am moving forward.