Archive for September, 2012

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Workshop: The Four Stages of Creativity

September 29, 2012

Getting to the “AHA!” moment quicker and more frequently

Oct 13 – Saturday  – 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
$10 by Oct 11;  $20 at the door
The Art Bank Gallery, 811 Mass Ave, Indianapolis 46204

Every person is creative!  The belief that only the eccentric, artistic, and brilliant are creative is a myth.  Through short presentations and practical activities for each stage of the creative process, you will learn simple techniques and practices that increase your creativity immediately, and strategies that build your creative muscle.

Writers, contractors, artists, mail carriers, accountants, stay-at-home moms, CEO’s— anyone wanting to release their innate creativity and strengthen their creative muscle will benefit from this workshop.

Reservations by Oct 11 will guarantee you a table.
Walk-ins are welcome, too!

Bring: writing supplies, and lunch money if you want to eat with the group on Mass Ave after the workshop.  Optional: art supplies, if you can learn and create at the same time, and a drop cloth if your art is messy.

The Art Bank has lots of free parking.  Hand-outs, snacks, and all materials will be provided.

For reservations by Oct 11, call or email: 317-918-4720 cathy@howies.org

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Part 7: Back to the Garden

September 20, 2012

(This is the seventh and final post in a series of articles entitled DIVINE CREATIVITY that will present a Biblical apologetic and study on why people are creative. This series contains Scripture passages to read and questions to answer.  Recording your insights in a creative journal may be a valuable exercise.)

We have just two short chapters in the Bible describing life as God meant it to be.  And creating the world is simply the great canvas for the real story: the idyllic relationship between Creator God and those made in His image as they reveled in His Creation.  Working together naming the animals, caring for the garden, and bringing Eve to life was the beginning of something wonderful.  God devised the creative process and the creation for the same purpose— to spend time with those He made in eternal relationship.

God continues to use His Creation to draw us toward Himself.  Majestic mountain ranges, delicate spring flowers, powerful lightning– all display their Maker’s glory, declaring who He is, and giving us reason to relate to Him as we observe creation.

The same is true for the works He creates through us.  Each piece of art is a potential transcendent portal for the audience to be carried into another dimension to which our physical existence can’t take us. 

The art, the finished product, however, is only one half of the opportunity for fellowship with the Master Artist.  When we create with God, when we allow Him to guide each creative decision, each stroke of the brush, each pen scratch, He is there communing with us.  On composing Messiah in 1741, George Frideric Handel remarked, “I did think I did see all Heaven before me and the great God Himself!”[1]

In contrast the first big sadness in the Bible is when God calls out to Adam and Eve, “Where are you?”  The anguish God must have experienced at that moment when the relationship was broken between Him and His beloved was no less deep than when Jesus hung on the cross, forsaken by His Father.

Our Creator’s greatest joy is for us to commune with Him.  He designed creation and the creative process to spend time with us, His image bearers, His creative assistants.  While we can no longer physically walk with Him in the cool of the Garden, we can return there in spirit as we create together, side-by-side, works imbued with His power that will draw men and women to Him for His glory.

>>Go commune with Him as you create side by side with the One who created you with inherent creativity.  Revel in the process and the relationship!
This is the last post in this series.  Please leave a comment about any post or all seven.  Thanks for journeying with me.

[1] Smith, Jane Stuart, and Carlson, Betty, A Gift of Music, Great Composers and Their Influence, Good News Publishers, 1978, p.59.

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Part 6: The Master’s Assistant

September 14, 2012

(This is the sixth in a series of articles entitled DIVINE CREATIVITY that will present a Biblical apologetic and study on why people are creative. This series contains Scripture passages to read and questions to answer.  Recording your insights in a creative journal may be a valuable exercise.)

Back in Eden, when everything was pure—truth and beauty, creation and motive, God and man—all the glory belonged to God.  At the end of six days, after completing the vast array of the heavens and earth, including man “male and female”, He saw that what He had made was “very good”, and He rested.  Finally, at the beginning of the second week, we get a glimpse of why God created.

>>Read Genesis 2 and note reasons why God created the world.  Also make a list of the interactions between God and Adam.

Many aspects of earth suggest it was created just for humanity.[1]  The distance of the sun from earth, gravity, mean temperature, amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, and many other delicately balanced forces and elements are just right for human habitation.  The first two chapters of Genesis confirm God’s intention to create a place for mankind to dwell from the declaration in 1:28 when God gives Adam and Eve dominion over creation, to the specific provision of food for them in 1:29 and 2:16.

Right before and after God gives Adam the plants to eat, however, there are clues as to why God created the earth— reasons far deeper than merely sustaining man’s physical existence.  In Genesis 2:15 God gives Adam the responsibility for caring for His creation.  He brings Adam into His work, into both His creation and the process of creating.

God also brings the animals He made to Adam and lets him name them in 2:19-20, again, bringing him into both the created work and the creative process.  I imagine this event as the first art show—God presenting His works to His assistant.  I can see God leading the horses toward Adam, then standing back, proud of His work, as Adam admires a steed and mare, looks up at God, and smiles as if saying with his eyes, “You made this?  Incredible!”  Each time others are brought— colorful parrots, massive elephants, delicate beta fish, comical penguins—the wonder on Adam’s face and delight in God’s eyes bind them close as they create together, the Master and His assistant.

And finally, when the last animal scampers away, something, or someone, is discovered missing—a suitable helper was not found for Adam.  Was this an unintentional omission, a divine oops— or perhaps an opportunity?  The latter, I think.  In making Eve, God uses a piece of Adam.  He saved the making of Eve until Adam was present, to allow Adam the privilege of giving of himself in her creation.

>>Describe your creative process.  How does creating with God change your process?  What can you do to spend more time with God while you are creating?[2]

Next week: Back to the Garden

[1] The Anthropic Principle is both scientific and controversial.  See Answer 93.

[2] For ideas see Finding Divine Inspiration, by J. Scott McElroy.

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Part 5: Art Idols

September 5, 2012

(This is the fifth in a series of articles entitled DIVINE CREATIVITY that will present a Biblical apologetic and study on why people are creative. This series contains Scripture passages to read and questions to answer.  Recording your insights in a creative journal may be a valuable exercise.)

The context of Jeremiah 10:12 and Exodus 36:1 (from last week’s post) contains serious applications for artists.

In the book of Exodus after God led the Israelites out of Egypt, He gave them the plans for the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and chose the artists to make it.  The Tabernacle was the meeting place of God, where they would worship Him until they reached the Promised Land.  The chosen artists had a sacred duty to give their best creative efforts for the glory of God.  Although art created today will not be placed in the Tabernacle, giving one’s best is the only way for a Christian artist to create regardless of the intended venue.  God gives creative gifts to be used for His glory.

After Israel was settled in the Promised Land, the people began to worship idols instead of the One True God.  The idols were a stark contrast to the glory of God in the Tabernacle!  Described in Jeremiah 10 they were everywhere in Israel, much like the traps in our society for artists today.

Jeremiah’s comparison of pieces of sticks that cannot speak or walk to the living God is almost comical.  It most certainly is ironic.  The idols have to be fastened with nails so they won’t fall over, yet the earth shakes when the living God is angry!  The Israelites worshiped their art of wood, silver, stone, and gold, but their creations had no power.

Today the idols of pride and selfish ambition also have no power, but their lure is more subtle and clandestine.  Socially acceptable attitudes for artists— Bohemian moodiness and self-absorption— are tottering fakes for selflessness and giving the glory to Almighty God.  Why exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worship and serve created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised?  Amen

>>What are your art idols?  Pride?  Moodiness?  Your art?  Notoriety?  Fame?  Something else?

>>What will it take for you to destroy these idols, walk away from them, and give all the glory to God?  What will be the cost if you don’t?

Next Week: The Master’s Assistant
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