More and more, I see the Gospel, the entire story of our Fall and Redemption, as a holistic story. In this tale are the glorious beginning, treacherous descent, and final restoration of mankind. I love Tolkien, and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The reason is that in it I see all of the elements of our epic Story, which is hard-wired into the collective consciousness of the human race. It encompasses the loss of our home, and our relationship with the Trinity. And the loss of our collective direction, and identity. I don’t think we can separate any one element from the other. Our relationship to God, and those around us, are all part of who we are. Of who we become. And they directly impact one another.
I think the film clip from Anger Management in the previous post illustrates our difficulty in seeing ourselves as we really are. I have to admit that watching it makes me a bit uncomfortable. I feel for Dave as he struggles to tell the group who he is. And I’m not sure, given the same setting, that I could do any better.
I’ve read that many of the great Painters reused their canvas’ up to a third of the time. They would paint one, or even two entirely different paintings on a canvas before they might be satisfied enough with the final work. Or there may be successive layers to the work, all similar, yet unseen except for what’s on the surface.
Often they would begin with an underpainting, a rough sketch to guide them in the completion of the final work. And so it is with the development of your soul, your personality, throughout this life.
In the search for our identity, there are clues. There is an underpainting of the life that God intended, the very texture painted into your soul at the very first. The surface of the work may appear unfinished. But underneath are foundations, structures already in place, firmly embedded in the bedrock of your psyche. Colors that uniquely define you; your talents, abilities, and those endearing quirks! Our mistake, our tendency, I think is to look in the mirror and believe what we see on the surface. We have forgotten the clues to our true identity, the underpainting of our being in the mind of God. To recover that requires some hard work. Life has painted a poor picture of you. Others have played around after school on our canvas. There are layers that must be removed, the underpainting must be examined, and restored.
The good news is that what we see on the surface is not all that there is. There is more.
As you may have guessed, I’m very interested in this subject!
- Little Bit of Underpainting (bethparkerart.wordpress.com)
- Introduction To Underpainting (mayajoyintheworld.wordpress.com)
- Applying an underpainting from the book 100 Things Every Artist Should Know (craftside.typepad.com)