Thursday, May 1, 2008

More Art

I didn't post anything yesterday, because I had the worst stomach virus that I've had probably since I was a child. I'm still feeling lousy, but much better than I did yesterday.

Monday and Tuesday I posted revisions of the two magazine covers I did. They actually had me do one more revision of one of them on Tuesday, which ended up like this:

They did a silly little video, which shows my cover illustration very briefly at the beginning, then more completely towards the end. Here's that silly video:

(That video comes from:

In addition, I did this little banner as well (I drew the gavel in Illustrator and put it all together in Photoshop), which can be seen at

Some Christians, afraid of creating graven images, have steered clear of artistic creativity. However, the Bible offers a robust affirmation of the arts. In fact, the Old Testament even lists certain individuals to whom God gave specific artistic talents in order to build the tabernacle. The human impulse to create reflects our being created in the image of a Creator God.

Because human beings are made in the image of God, we not only love and feel emotion, but we also have the capacity to create. People all over the world, in every culture, produce art. Creativity is intrinsic to our humanness. (Note that, though the Old Testament forbids the making of "graven images" to use for idolatry, it does give instruction for the use of art and craftsmanship toward the true worship of God; i.e., Exodus 20:4; Exodus 25:18; 2 Chronicles 3:6,7; etc).

"The nature of art

There are, I believe, three basic possibilities concerning the nature of a work of art. The first view is the relatively modern view of art for art's sake. This is the notion that art is just there and that's all there is to it. You can't talk about a message in it, you can't analyze it, it doesn't say anything. This view is, I think, quite misguided. For one thing, no great artist functions on the level of art for art's sake alone. Think for example of the high Renaissance, beginning with Cimabue (c.1240-1302) and leading up to Michelangelo (1475-1564) and Leonardo (1452-1519). All these artists worked from one of two viewpoints, and sometimes there was a confusion between the two. They worked either from their notion of Christianity or from a Renaissance form of humanism. Florence, for example, where so many excellent works of art were produced was a centre for the study of Neoplatonism. Some of the artists studied under Ficino (1433-99), perhaps the greatest of neoplatonists and influential throughout Europe. These artists showed their point of view in their art.

The second view is that art is only an embodiment of a message, a vehicle for the propagation of a particular message about the world or the artist or human beings or whatever. This view has been held by both Christians as well as non-Christians, the difference between the two versions being the nature of the message which the art embodies. But this view reduces the art to merely an intellectual statement and the work of art as a work of art disappears.

The third basic notion of the nature of art - the one I think is right, the one that produces great art and the possibility of great art - is that the artists make a work of art, and that then the body of his work reflects his world view. No one, for example, who understands Michelangelo or Leonardo can look at their work without understanding something of their respective worldviews. Nonetheless, these artists began by making works of art, and then their worldviews showed through the body of their work.

I emphasize the body of an artist's work because it is impossible for any single painting, for example, to reflect the totality of an artist's view of reality. But when we see a collection of an artist's paintings or a series of a poet's poems or a number of a novelist's novels, both the outline and some of the details of the artist's conception of life shine through."


satire and theology said...

Get well, my friend.

Nice art and film.

Jeff said...

Thank you, Russ.

After not eating anything except a little bit of Jell-O for almost 3 full days, you would think that I would be slim and trim by now. I wasn't able to keep anything down. Man, if I can't lose weight after being sick for 3 days, then what good is it? So much for my next book, "Lose weight in 3 Days from the Stomach Virus Diet!" LOL

Late this afternoon, I was finally able to stomach a little chicken soup, which made me feel a bit better. My voice is still hoarse from throwing up so violently and so many times, however. My voice sounds like I have a cold, but really, my throat just got raw and sore, and then I almost lost my voice completely, because of the strain on my throat from throwing up about 15 times, once every hour or so, on Wednesday. That, plus the runs at the same time; plus headache, body aches, having a high temperature, dizziness, nausea and upset stomach, sore throat, stomach pain, etc. made for a very unpleasant experience.

This morning, I thought my stomach was back to normal again, but actually it was only feeling OK because it was completely empty. I drank just a couple little drinks of water, and that gave me terrible stomach pains.

It makes you thankful for good health, which is often easy to take for granted.

thekingpin68 said...

It makes you thankful for good health, which is often easy to take for granted.

Yes, I find the same.

If you cannot lose weight, maybe you have sleep apnea.;)

Jeff said...

Actually, I did lose 20 lbs. when I went on a starvation diet (bread and water only, literally) a few years ago, when I was unemployed and could not afford to buy groceries. So, even though that was not a healthy diet, I can lose weight. It's just not easy.

Only a couple months ago, I was getting up very early in the morning and working out with weights and/or doing cardio (including cardio kickboxing), before going to work. I need to start doing that again.