10 Feb Consider the Lily – Jacki Kellum Watercolor – Learning to Live and to Paint by Faith
I was 20-years-old when I first heard Cat Stevens sing On the Road to Find Out. I had left my home in rural Southeast Missouri two years before then, and I already thought that I had “found out.”
On the Road to Find Out
by Cat Stevens
Well I left my happy home to see what I could find out
I left my folk and friends with the aim to clear my mind out
Well I hit the rowdy road and many kinds I met there
Many stories told me of the way to get there….
I listen to the wind come howl, telling me I have to hurry
I listen to the robin’s song saying not to worry….
During the year that I first heard Cat Stevens sing, I was nearly killed by a drunk driver, and I was left with innumerable scars, both inside and out. That is when I truly began “to find out.” That is when “I listened to the wind come howl, telling me I had to hurry, and I listened to the robin’s song saying not to worry,” but I did worry, and I began walking down the rocky path of trying to fix everything myself.
It is many years later, and I am finally yielding to the reality that I alone cannot fix anything. Instead of insisting that everything march to the cadence that I think that I hear, I am learning that I need to listen for the guidance that is greater than I, and it is amazing how different my life is becoming because of my beginning to accept the simple truth that I cannot be in absolute control.
Consider the Lily – Jack Kellum Watercolor
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. Matthew 6: 28 – Two verses earlier at Matthew 6:26 Jesus told his followers not to worry about food because even the birds are provided for by God.
A couple of days ago, I bought a pot of Asiatic Lilies, but today was the first time that I had to paint them. When I sat down in my studio, my first thought was: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.” I wanted to hear that song, and I found it on Youtube. While listening, I painted–or I should say, “God painted. I merely held the brush.”
I have often written that I have learned to yield control when I paint and to paint by intuition: http://jackikellum.com/because-i-paint-with-intuition-i-paint-more-than-rosebuds/
When I am painting, I consider it a great day when something within myself takes over and essentially completes my project for me. This gentle urging is intuition. Michelangelo spoke about the importance of intuition in his work when he said: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo.
People say that they like the bravery that I exhibit in my watercolor paintings. The reality is that a team does my best paintings, and I am not the brave part of my team. My intuition is, and I firmly believe that God is the source of my intuition. When I am having a good painting day, an inward force literally takes control of my hand and urges it to dip into a little more of this color or that and to slash it here or there. It is called painting with bravura. The word “bravura” must have something to do with the word “bravery.” I suppose that my art does have a great deal to do with bravery.But if bravery is involved in my painting process, it is the bravery NOT to be enslaved by the plan that I had when I initially began to paint. It is the bravery not to paint everything that I had sketched to paint. It is the bravery NOT to insist on too much realism and too much detail, but to allow the painting to paint itself.
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: … They don’t toil, neither do they spin.”
Monumental things are happening for me in 2018. I have a new Business Manager and Partner who toils over the economics of my art, and I have literally committed myself to listening to that voice that is greater than I.
In 2018, I am learning to live by faith and to paint by faith