healingtreeI had an assignment for my class at ArtFruition.com. You should really consider this class the next time it is offered, by the way. The lesson included a whole bunch of things that took me back to a memory. At the end of the lesson was an assignment to create a piece of art reflecting on a video where a pianist was playing a beautiful piece of music while an artist painted a very beautiful somewhat abstract tree. My memory also involved another painting of a tree. There was substantial resistance in my heart to paint a tree for fear that it would look derivative and unoriginal. Then I remembered this was not about originality, it was about healing and this was the way I received healing so I painted the picture. Here is some of what I wrote about the assignment.

I know this piece probably looks really derivative of the work that was in the video, but I could not help myself. In 2011, I was sort of adrift. The church I had planted was failing. I knew God was calling me to more art ministry, but I had no idea what that meant. Then one day I saw some videos by Jessie Nilo about art ministry and her ministry Vine Arts. I flew most of the way across the country to learn more about how they do art ministry. I think God had other plans. I sat in with the leadership team for their meeting and something broke within me. I began to share from the heart and I began to weep. The people prayed over me and spoke words of life over me that I have never forgotten. One man told me that I paint on people’s hearts. I’ve since been privileged to do this for probably thousands of people and yes I am blessed.

But there was another young lady sat near the back of the group. I could tell she was creating but had no idea what she was doing. Toward the end of the time together that day the young woman, came up and handed me the little painting she had done. It was a tree planted by the water. She spoke over me that, that tree was me. That I needed to receive from the Lord so I could be nourished to give and that as I receive from the Lord, He would allow me to pour out but also to grow. That word has never left me. That memory combined with the painting in the video were too mind-blowing to be coincidence. The painting is my version of the piece Alyee gave me on that day, a very healing and pivotal moment. .

I painted it quickly using primarily a one inch chip brush and acrylic paint on a 16×20 dampened canvas. I listened to the video as I painted, using the rhythm of the notes as guidance for a pointillism technique. My intent was to paint the whole thing in the length of the video, but rather than stress myself out, I allowed it to reset and play a second time. The only place where I departed from pointillism was in the stream and the tree trunk. I wanted the piece to be fairly clean because I intend on displaying this one prominently in my studio.

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