all the arts we practice are apprenticeship. the big art is our life. ~m.c. richards
in the four years or so since i first bought my dslr camera, i’ve taken probably a dozen online classes/workshops. it hasn’t been so much for me to be able to operate my camera per se, but rather to help me learn to see, photographically speaking.
in addition, for the past two years i have embarked on a journey to take one photo every day. this type of practice develops muscle memory…taking pictures becomes second nature. and in this way, taking a picture every day has made my camera almost an extension of myself.
between the classes i’ve taken and my 365 projects – together these practices have had a profound effect on my photography. but mostly what they’ve taught me is how much more i have to learn about photography.
this is the great paradox of art. and i think this same concept applies whether i’m practicing what i like to call my ‘a’ art (photography) or my ‘A’ Art (life). the more i learn, the more i realize how much more there is to learn.
art is an act of faith, and we practice practicing it. ~julia cameron
as i’ve shared here on my blog many times, my goal in practicing photography is to be able to tell the story of my life in pictures. to capture the magic and joy in my ordinary life. and to that end, i look to other talented photographers – including my teachers and my amazing circle of photography friends – to inspire me and help improve my skills. refine my vision.
but what about the art that is my life? who should i look to in order to learn how to fulfill my purpose in life and bring glory to God?
the Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. ~hebrews 1:3
nowhere in creation does anything exist which so perfectly glorifies God than the person of Jesus. throughout his life, in big and small ways, Christ submitted himself to the will of His Father. His obedience, even in his suffering and death, reflected his love for God and his trust in God’s plan for our salvation. Jesus is the glory of God and Jesus shows us what it truly means to live a life that glorifies God.
like Jesus, i was also created in the image of God, however, because of my fallen nature i will never be able to reflect His glory so perfectly. the Good News though, is that because i am a Christian, because of my belief in Christ’s saving work on calvary, i have a new life in Christ. and me being in Christ and Christ working in me, i am a “new creation”. (2 cor 5:17)
still though…there are some days…when i am overtired and overextended. anxious, worried. these are the days when i miss the mark. days like this remind me that, left to my own devices, i could never become Christlike and fulfill my purpose. but Jesus did not leave me alone to try to figure out how to live a life that brings him glory. i don’t have to do this on my own.
the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (2 cor 3:18)
before he ascended into heaven, Jesus left us his Holy Spirit. and His spirit lives in us and transforms our lives. you and me. we have a Helper who empowers us to fulfill our purpose.
as a Christian artist, this is how i see my life…it is a continual practice. and it takes even more practice to actually live a life like this. but thankfully, God is always here with me. with His grace, by the salvation of Jesus, and through the help of the Holy Spirit, i can live a life that glorifies God. i can make art with my life.