Potential rests in every cell. Potential is dynamic energy that acts on our humanity — inspiring us creatively, driving us to improve, and inviting us to transform community. One’s ability to use potential to turn adversity into meaning forever impresses me.
I draw from my own potential, experience, and relationships, as imagery and substance for my work. My most recent exhibition, “Frames of Mind,” uses representational drawings in box constructions to explore lives of adversity and finding meaning. Each piece projects evidence of my commercial design background, including need for symbolism, message, and formal structure — perhaps bringing order to humanity.
One box construction in the show is of a woman I call Julia who reigns beyond chaos and circumstance. Julia nobly reflects life and loss back to the viewer in an iconic and wise way. She has determined to be victorious in her life, regardless of how the world may judge, all while able to wear just one pearl earring.
The works of Caco Neves, Aldwyth, Sean Henry, Mark Ryden, Juan Francisco Casas, Marc Quinn, and Adrian Arleo inspire me. Each of these artists express the human life and condition in varying degrees of abstraction and passion. They emphasize the beauty of humanity, and capture the essence of the potential life offers. My hope as an artist is to create art from that same essence.
I am made worthy, and perfect, because of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for God’s unrelenting love. Perhaps, the best way for me to explain my relationship with Jesus is with a short story.
I have wrestled with chronic pain in my left foot ever since spraining it over 18 years ago. A sprain – minor to most people, has become a major wellspring for my faith – a blessing of living water. The pain is a daily reminder for me to die to self, pick up my cross, and follow Jesus.
Sounds dramatic, I am sure. It is difficult to explain the manifold range of pain I have experienced, the emotions that emerge from the gradual loss of mobility, or the manifestation of the rare physical disability I now have called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
What I can explain is that I would not be the person I am today without that thorn in my side. My childhood and subsequent Christian walk were of the world. My future did not include formal education, agape love, or discipleship walking in the Holy Spirit. My ministry was busy and shallow, and my driven purpose fleshly.
I have no doubt I would be dead today if not for my Abba Father God, His redemptive Son Jesus Christ, and the person of the Holy Spirit. I used to ask God why He would allow me to have an invisible disability that drives people to suicide. Now, I thank Him for refining me, for not giving up on me, and for using me for His Kingdom purposes.
Today, I wake with worship in my heart, and on my lips. I wonder what God wants me to do. I ask where we will go and whom we will meet. I cannot wait to experience the impossible one more time. Then I toss out a swear word at the driver that just cut me off on the freeway.
I am happy to be one of God’s works in progress, just as I am, for Him and Him alone. My only desire is for others to know Jesus, so they might know God’s crazy love too – though, I will always be His favorite.
I used to Franklin Covey my future. I will not outline my short- and long-term goals for you. I can say that God is not done with me yet. I can say that the days I roll into my classroom in a wheelchair with a smile on my face can teach my students more than my lesson plan ever will. I can say that they need to witness the hope that Jesus brings as they discover their creative gifts. I know that they need a safe, disciplined place to learn and grow to become all God will have them to be.
I could go on… Just know that I continuously desire to walk with the Holy Spirit. God knows we will go. For now, I know I am not worthy. I am not yet perfect. And, I am grateful for God’s unrelenting love.