My first year at George Fox University, I had never considered myself an artist. When one of my art professors asked the class to raise their hands if we thought ourselves as artists, I hesitated. Three years ago, I believed that to consider myself an artist would mean that I knew what I was doing. It would mean that I had an extensive background in the arts and was experienced with various mediums. My professor later challenged the class, that if we believe God to be Creator, and if we believed ourselves to be created in the image of God, then to think of ourselves less than an artist would be contradictory. This thought rocked my world. Since then, I was able to step into my full calling as an artist.
In the last chapter of Rowan Williams book, Grace and Necessity: Reflections on Art and Love, Williams points the reader to the thought of God as a creator and the relationship between Creator and creation.
“It is loved by God, to paraphrase St. Augustine, for the sake of what God purposes to do with it; for its future, its possibility; loved as a work, as a product that is at once dependent and underdetermined, in process of achieving its own integrity.”
William suggests that God’s continual making of “other” is in some ways God’s nature. To create something that won’t necessarily solve all of God’s problems, yet He choses to do so; that is God’s nature. Reflecting upon Williams suggestions of God’s creative process, it brought me back to my identity as an artist. At the beginning of times, when God created the heavens and the earth and everything in it, He was able to step away from His completed work and allow it to speak for itself. Williams seems to challenge the artist to imitate God’s creative process; to be able to create and allow the work to “achieve its own integrity.”
Experiencing the wonders of the world, it is easy to understand that when I create, something beautiful is happening. I am imitating the very person that created me. It is personally inspiring to marvel at nature and the many wonders of the world around. Some of my favorite inspirational pieces include Cristóbal Vila and TED Talk by Louie Schwartzberg.
Both videos show how marvelous God’s creation is. To achieve the effect that nature has on the viewer would be to have accomplished a piece of art that reflects God.