Monday, November 15, 2010

Burning in the Bones

But if I say "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.
Jeremiah 20:9

"The only experience the writing of every song has in common is what I would call a sense of being burdened. Often there is a specific message with which I am burdened. More often, however, there is little or no specificity. What I am to say is not in the least clear to me. There is just a burden to say something. And God help me is I do not attempt to say it."
Michael Card from 'Scribbling in the Sand'

I want a "burning in the bones." I want a message to deliver. That has been the cry of my heart/art lately. I am spinning my wheels. I cannot find inspiration. I am playing, but not feeling fulfilled in it.

I have been watching the PBS series "Art 21" on Netflix. It is a series of profiles of 21st century artists. My reason for wanting to watch initially was just that I like to look at art. As I have been watching though, I am desiring to know more about the artists and what drives their work. I have to admit that a great deal of what the artists say about their work sounds like incoherent and contradictory babbling to me. But almost all of them have a common thread. There is some message to deliver in what they are creating. There is some force driving it.

I think I am stuck in that no mans land between creating something that delivers a message and creating what people will pay me money for. The latter can work for an artist, for me, for only so long. Dryness, staleness, confusion and frustration are my companions in the studio right now. I can make pretty things that people will buy, but my soul is not singing.

So, what is my message? What must I say? The Word. That verse from Jeremiah resonates with me. Indeed, it is burning in my bones. I have been quenching it, ignoring it.

I want to run with it. I want to deliver the message. God help me if I don't attempt it.

1 comment:

Jeanne Rhea said...

Amy, Have you tried writing a story and then sculpting or painting that story? It would not have to be a whole story in one paintings, but could be a series of paintings. I am in the process of trying to make a series of paintings based on one word and what it means to me. I could be doing it in clay, paper and almost anything, but first had to "see" what the word means to me. I am amazed at how the ideas keep coming and coming. I know it is not necessarily something that will be marketable, but my goal is to make each painting stand on its own so no one has to have all of them to get a "story."

Good luck and I know you will discover what will work for you.