life

LKS Advanced Course 4.

LKS Advanced Course 4.

At the beginning of July we have arrived at the last compulsory course of our art study. And with the need to paint our final examination painting which we awaited with trepidation.

Teaching Subjects

The subjects of the course included the last sections of art history, material knowledge, and painting techniques, as well as the painting of our examination piece.

After taking time to review and evaluate our homework and receiving the professor’s feedback on them on the first day, we were told the topics for the examination piece to choose from.

Topics for the examination painting:

  • The manipulated human
  • Paths of Life
  • Youth and Old Age

And then we dove into the work. After having done several sketches and developed different ideas, we discussed them with Prof. Baier. To my own surprise and delight, I was able to finish my first piece until the evening of the second course day. This helped me to be more relaxed the remaining days, while working on two further paintings. The first two paintings pictured “The manipulated Human” and the third one, “Youth and Old Age” (life perspectives).

All three of them are painted with Acrylic paint on canvas, 40 x 32 in (100 x 80 cm).

Life and Death – Acrylic Painting

Life and Death – Acrylic Painting

This acrylic painting is much larger than all my previous paintings – it is 120 x 100 cm (48 x 40 in). I did it during a LKS class on large-scale paintings. Even transporting the big (deep edge) canvas was a challenge. We learned a lot of what needs to be considered when painting this large.

My painting shows the contrast between death and life. The middle part shows the “Tree of Life” illuminating the scene like a sun, a river in flowing past it to the foreground, green meadows. At the border to the sections that symbolize death, there are trees that are in part full of leaves and part bare of any life, with dry leaves under the tree, the stream becomes a dry river bed, filled with stones, the meadows turn into dry ground, and the human being turns into a skeleton.

Tree of Life - Acrylic Painting
Tree of Life – Acrylic Painting

This painting is presently exhibited in Bad Schallerbach, Upper Austria. After the exhibition it will be for sale. Please contact me here if you are interested. You can buy canvas prints, posters and greeting cards here.

Choosing Life

Choosing Life

God says, “I am offering you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

“Choose life.” That’s God’s call for us, and there is not a moment in which we do not have to make that choice. Life and death are always before us. In our imaginations, our thoughts, our words, our gestures, our actions … even in our nonactions. This choice for life starts in a deep interior place. Underneath very life-affirming behaviour I can still harbour death-thoughts and death-feelings. The most important question is not “Do I kill?” but “Do I carry a blessing in my heart or a curse?” The bullet that kills is only the final instrument of the hatred that began being nurtured in the heart long before the gun was picked up.

~ Henri J.M. Nouwen in Bread for the Journey

received through “Daily Meditation” from HenriNouwen.org

Through Her Eyes – Book Review

Through Her Eyes

I read a very good book about two years ago. Some time last year I discovered the blog Telling Secrets and started reading it on and off before realizing that the blog author is the same person as the book author. I guess, this says something about my ability to remember names. Embarrassing. Anyway, here is a little book review.

Smith, Marti (ed.). 2005. Through her eyes : life and ministry of women in the Muslim world. Waynesboro, GA: Authentic Media.

The author is a research project coordinator with Caleb project. She collected the material presented in this book while serving in Central Asia with a church planting team. It is a collection of life experiences from several women serving in a Muslim context, mostly Central and Southern Asia.

These stories are organized under 6 topics:

Adjustment and perseverance: being called, equipped and made effective
Relationships: how God is using women to touch people around them
Life under pressure: staying anchored during storms
How should we live: questions of culture, values and money
Singleness and marriage: living the life God gives you
Parenting: family issues, choices, and models

The women contributing to this book are identified by pseudonyms. Most of them have contributed more than one experience, so you meet them again under different topics. They come from different countries, including UK, USA, Australia. Most of them are married but there are also a few singles among them, and some who started out as singles and got married later. All this makes for an interesting mix of experiences.

I guess more than half of the chapters touched me in some personal way, either as an encouragement, or as a challenge, or as a reminder. Not once did it disturb me that they are all sharing about an Asian context. It was amazing how similar their issues and challenges are to life in Muslim Africa.

I can highly recommend this book. I think it could be used as part of an orientation program for new arrivals, but I believe it can be equally profitable for seasoned cross-cultural workers. Come to think, it might be of interest for anybody living among people of a different religion.

The Agreement

The Agreement

The Father
knocks on my door
He searches a home for his son.

I answer, the rent is low.
“I don’t want to rent, I want to buy”, says God.
I don’t think that I want to sell,
but you can come in and have a look around.

Maybe I can let you have one or two rooms.
“Willingly” says God, “I take the two,
maybe one day you are ready to give me more.
I can wait.” says God.

I would love to give you more, but it is difficult.
I need enough room for myself.
“I know” says God, “but I can wait. I like it here.”

OK, maybe I can give you one more room.
Actually, I don’t need it at the moment.
“Thank you” says God, “I take it. I like it here.”

I would love to give you the whole house.
But I am not sure.
“Think about it.” says God, “I would not kick you out.
Your house would belong to me and my son would live in it.
Then you would have more space than ever before.”

I don’t understand this at all.
“I know”, says God, “but I can’t explain it to you.
You will have to find it out for yourself.
That will only happen, when you leave the whole house to him.”

That is very risky, I say.
“Yes” says God, “but trust me.”
I am not sure –
I will let you know.
“I can wait” says God, “I like it here.”

(author unknown, translation mine)

Ten Essentials to a life well lived

I just got these in an e-mail. They are just too good to not share with you.

Ten Essentials to a life well lived
by Randy Garris

These points are not meant to be in order of priority – all are very
important and the forsaking of one can destroy the others.

* A heart of worship
* A handful of Godly friends who know everything about me
* Faithfully living out your role in your family
* Pick up the towel and basin to advance the cause of Christ
* Work hard and learn to enjoy your work
* Rest
* Solitude
* Faithful stewardship of the body given to me
* A wise stewardship of the possessions entrusted to me
* Creativity