The hiding place
“Matter is, and has always been, the hiding place for Spirit, forever offering itself to be discovered anew. Perhaps this is exactly what Jesus means when he says, “I am the gate” (John 10:7). Francis and his female companion, Clare, …somehow knew that the beyond was not really beyond, but in the depths of here.
…Heaven includes earth. …There are not sacred and profane things, places, and moments. There are only sacred and desecrated things, places, and moments—and it is we alone who desecrate them by our blindness and lack of reverence. It is one sacred universe, and we are all a part of it.” Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations, 15 June 2017
The most popular genre of painting is landscape. Everyone can relate to it. This is part of the reason for its popularity. While the beauty portrayed by artists explains our fascination superficially, I suspect something deeper attracts our interest .
Landscape is a mirror of the divine. With increasing urbanization we are losing our connection with God. As more concrete and asphalt cover the Earth our understanding of fundamental truths grow increasingly fuzzy.
One such truth is: in order to produce a rich harvest, the seed must die. (Matt). Farmers know this. Today even farmers have trouble relating this truth to human existence. It holds true nonetheless. Those who have managed to get over themselves gift our world with the greatest insights and discoveries. Putting our ego aside is a form of dying based in humility. Humility is essential to connection.
Landscape artists connect with spirit. Anyone who has spent time with nature knows there is something more, something hidden in the beauty and in the dying. The secret to life is there, right before our eyes.
Unless the paint reveals the secret, my fascination wanes. Revealing the secret is my reason for painting. If the artist has lost his or her way in the dehumanizing world of money it is evident in the long words describing process and the justification for the use of materials. It all sounds very important. In the end the words echo in the emptyness.
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