Finding the source.

I have been trying for days to figure out how to sum up the source of my inspiration. The reason I live and breathe, the reason I am here on this earth, and the reason I was given this gift of making art. One canít find any sort of reason without asking this one question: Why? So I asked myself. Why do I live and breathe? Why am I here on this earth? Why am I able to paint?

When asking these sorts of questions there are only two places you can look for the answers. Most people start by looking within themselves. I see that I am alive and that I do breathe but that doesnít tell me why. I observe that I am here on this earth and that my actions do effect and change circumstances around me. But I had no hand in putting myself here. It was completely out of the realm of my control that I was born. The fact that I enjoy art is also out of my control. I can become a better artist through my own efforts but I didnít decide one day that I would be better at art than algebra. I was already made that way. I didnít decide; it was not my choice.

The answers were not found in my self. So the only other place to look was outside of myself. As an artist I have been trained to see things: to see shadows, light, color and contrast and to basically notice minute visual details and subtleties. So I looked at the natural world around me and asked the same questions as before. I saw the beauty of rivers and I thought about how water makes everything grow and live and flourish. How could this fuel of plants and animals and humans alike be here by accident? I saw the most beautiful trees in the entire world when I visited Yosemite National Park and learned that these trees seeds need forest fires to enable them to grow. I saw the purpose behind what seemed to be a terrible thing: forest fires. I saw the moon change shape as it marks the months as they go by one by one. I saw order and beauty. My observations showed me an amazingly intricate and intentionally organized place. I saw the work of an artist, an intelligent magnificent artist who thought out and planned the intricacies of creation. Nature was not the voice I heard. The voice I heard shows who He is through the things He has made. He also allows humans to show who they are as we pollute and destroy these things.

This creator has a name. He is the one true God, who not only speaks to us through the visible but also through the invisible. He speaks through actual words to this day in the Bible. His truth can be seen and understood, and the truth of his word answered my questions. Why do I live and breathe? Because he created me in my motherís womb and he knew me even then. Why am I here on this earth? I am here because he wanted me to be here so that he could love me and so that I could love him and others. He made me to show who he is, and to help others find him, their source of life.  His words remain with us to this day in the Bible and it is in knowing this creator, the one true God, that we can truly be inspired. He inspires me daily, and my paintings are simply an attempt to help others see him too. To help others wonder where this beautiful natural world originated and to tell them how they can know the one that created it. So the answer to my last question : Why am I able to paint? He is the reason.

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"I want your symphony singing in all that I am." Ė song lyrics by Switch foot.