The most common thing I hear from women in the middle is this: “Why spend money and time making art? What good does it do? I only have so much room for canvases to pile up. I am not selling what I make.”
Why do we think this way about our visual art? We do not do this to ourselves with any other art form. We don’t stop baking cakes because we aren’t selling them. We don’t stop putting together cute outfits because we aren’t fashion designers. We don’t stop singing because we aren’t making EP’s. We don’t stop journaling because Zondervan isn’t calling us. Why do we think that way with our art?
If I could, I would make you a hot tea or coffee and look you in your eyes and tell you that art is a God-given tool in your toolbox for the maintenance of a well soul. “Making” is healthier than drugs, cheaper than a therapist, and easier on all your friends.
I would also ask you, “What is it that you DO-DO when you are feeling whole and happy that you DO-NOT do when you are feeling bad about yourself and your life? Whatever that is? That is your art.
Is it baking? Is it dressing up? Is it home or hospitality? A ministry in your church? Sketching? Exercise?
I have people in my life who no longer have well souls. How do I know? Because they no longer do the kinds of things they once did, back when their lives radiated a better joy. But guess who they blame? Guess who else has been made to suffer? Some of the very people they used to call their closest friends.
Prose and poetry and painting are what come out of me when I am either feeling whole, or actively working towards wholeness. Those things stop when I am feeling broken. Therefore, my art is my visual Hallelujah.
My prose is my praise.
A canvas is my painted Amen.
Maybe for you, your tangible Hallelujah is a cupcake. If it is...please share those praises with me. Because: yum. I can’t lick paint.