I have grown to understand that my artwork is deeply spiritual not for its subject, but for its process. My work is very reductive. You cannot walk by and quickly understand what it means, or what it stands for. In fact without my explainations, you may not be able to "get it" at all. But what becomes apparent for me is the process and the spirituality of that, is what I need to focus on.
Generally I build a wooden panel. I will usually cut the wood myself, and then nail and glue it together. I then sand the edges to an imperfect roundness. I coat the entire piece with a layer of drywall mud, or what is called in Australia finishing plaster. There will usually be natural cracks and imperfections, I will apply another coat to lesson but not remove these. Then I will apply layer after layer of paint. Each layer I will sand thouroughly by hand. In the end the bottom colors will sand through the top colors revealing the flaws and imperfections of the surface. When the piece is done, I will rub it with my bare hand for sometimes hours. The oils in my hand in effect polishing the piece to an intense sheen. This is very labor intensive, and the process becomes the piece.
In my artwork, the process is like a mantra. It settles my spirit, it connects me to God, it is prayer. The end result hopefully will be the passing on of a spiritual calm, and truth to others.
In part three I will discuss the changing roll of the artist throughout society, and explain why I believe the church should embrace the arts again in our post modern culture. It is in my opinion one of the more exiting distinctives of the emerging church.