Archive for January 14, 2023

A couple years ago, I was ministering at a prayer breakfast. I was doing a speed painting and it was interesting. I had a simple painting in mind of Jesus is prayer. I had never done it before, but I was having fun with it. Now as any artist knows, every pice of art has an awkward phase—a time when it looks like nothing is working and the little voice in your head says, “Who are you to think you’re an artist.” Occasionally that voice comes from outside your head, and this was one of those times. I was right in the midst of the awkward phase when a gentleman made one of those comments that probably made him think, “Did I say that out loud?” He did, and I loved it. When he finished the painting he apologized before I even began to speak. I said no apology was necessary because it wasn’t, and there’s a reason for that.

I did it on purpose.

You see it was my intent to make the painting look as awkward as possible until it was done. Why would I do that? Simple—I want to “Keep ’em guessing.” You see I don’t do these paintings because I love to paint. These paintings are not all that much about art for me. A six minute painting is not the best painting I can do. It’s the best painting I can do in six minutes. I do these painting to Draw’ Em In. I want them to wonder what I am doing. I don’t care if they think I’m not a great artist (though I do try to do my best in the time allotted). What I want is for them to be so intrigued by what I have done that they hang on every word when I bring the message, because to me the message is the most important thing. Not only do I stretch the awkward phase as long as possible. If it’s possible, I try to also make the finished piece something that makes them scratch their heads. “I thought this was Gospel presentation, so why did he paint a giant bug?”

Now please don’t get me wrong. I’m not just doing art for arts sake here. The image I do has to make sense to the story, but if I can hear them go, “Ohhhh” when I bring it all together, I feel like I did what I set out to do, The giant bug, for example, is used as a sort of culmination of a message on God’s creation. The bug has some amazing abilities. I then tell then to think about the idea that if God put that amazing stuff in a bug, just imagine what He has put into His most amazing creation,. you and me.

It’s this simple, the longer I can keep ’em guessing, the more engages they will be when I get to what’s really important. The message is the thing and we are called to use our gifts to draw them into God’s truth.

Keep ‘Em Guessing !