Monday, March 20, 2006

Painting With Watercolors-1

I have talked about the relevance of watercolor painting to this project before, and now want to expand on this theme abit. I don't claim any great expertise as a watercolorist, but it is a hobby of mine, and I am constantly amazed at how working on a watercolor painting reminds me of life.

As one example of this, I have found that the initial sketch of a painting is crucial to the success of the painting. There is no glory in a working hard on a sketch, but if the dimensions, perspective, or composition of the initial sketch are off the mark, the painter ends up fighting these problems the rest of the painting. Obviously, it is not impossible to end up with a decent painting in spite of a bad sketch, but the process of painting becomes more difficult and the likelihood of failure increases substantially. Other things being equal, the painter should avoid becoming a prisoner of a bad sketch.

What does this have to do with living? A great deal, I think. In life, a person's "sketch" is akin to his temperament, or, perhaps, his childhood experience. These are lines that very rarely can be completely erased from one's life. Especially in the therapeutic era in which we live, "feelings" are considered paramout, and many lives are thus held captive to what turns out to be their temperament, or their childhood experiences.

For the longest time, this was true of me in regards to God. I was too bitter about my childhood to consider the possibility of a loving God "up there." And my linear, left-brained temperament was about as anti-God as it could be.

Happily, however, the sketch is merely the beginning of a painting. And, ideally, the sketch is done with a light pencil, not ink.