Tag Archives: painting

A GLOWING COLOUR

Between 1508 and 1512 Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel… a masterpiece without precedent that was to change the course of Western art.  The fame of Michelangelo’s paintings has drawn multitudes of visitors to the chapel, ever since they were revealed five hundred years ago -Wikipedia.

Late in 1943, two Nissen huts were given to Italian POWs on Orkney.  Using concrete, second hand materials and scrap they worked together to make an altar; a chancel covered by plasterboard and paintwork; windows of painted glass; candelabra in brass and iron and a rood screen in wrought iron. The entire interior was painted to imitate carved stone and brick and above the altar was a fresco of a Madonna and Child.  It has been restored and is now a much loved visitor attraction.- Wikipedia.

Lord, you have given us each gifts which you want us to use in your service.  For some those gifts are used quietly and almost unseen or un-noticed except by those they help.  For others the gifts are for sharing with the world.  From the bronze worker employed by Solomon to Michelangelo to the Orkney POWs, people have used their gifts of creative art to enhance places of worship and so to glorify you, Lord.  Many non-believers come to look at wonderful artwork in a church or in a gallery and many feel a sense of awe; spirits may be lifted; some may be puzzled, some may be confused.  But almost always there will be something that makes us stop and look again.  Thank you Lord for the skills of the artist.

Not far from here, each summer a village opens its doors to visitors who move through the community, from house to barn to shed to garage to gallery to pier to harbour buildings, talking, laughing, sharing, admiring as the Art Festival comes to town.  It is a glorious celebration of paintings and sculpture, jewellery and pottery.  Thank you Lord for the willingness to be open to others and to share the gifts you have given.

Whether it is through art or music or craftwork or drama our lives are made richer when the gifts are shared.  A glowing colour, a pure note, exquisite lacework or a soaring melody, all these can touch our lives without the need for words.  All these can connect us to friends and strangers alike in a shared enjoyment.  Thank you Lord for this shared enjoyment.

May we see and hear in human arts a reflection of the glories of your creation and so be moved to offer you our praise and thanksgiving.

The Circle

A 13th Century Pope wished to commission some works of art for St Peter’s in Rome. To decide who he would employ, he sent a messenger to the most famous Italian artists of the day asking for examples of their craft.

When the emissary reached Giotto in Florence, he received a shock. For on hearing the request, the great artist took a plain sheet of paper and, using his arm as a makeshift compass, drew a perfect circle in red ink. He then handed it over as his only submission. The messenger was indignant – ‘won’t you send in more pictures?’ ‘

No’ –  came the reply – ‘just tell your master how I did that’

Needless to say he got the job.

Today some of the most beautiful art in the world, still stands testimony to Giotto’s ability to give something simple.

 

Lord, let us not despise simple things.

Instead let us treasure them.

For often within the simple

is perfection itself. 

Amen