Art Critic? or Art Lover?

9:10 AMHeather

I must be honest with you. I'm a little weary of art critics. Those who seem to see what is wrong and what needs improvement rather than those art lovers who can embrace each work of art for what it truly is--a masterpiece. A masterpiece planned and created by the Creator of all. Of course, each and every masterpieces is nothing more than a work in progress. Philippians 1:6 says that "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus." Of course, there are brushstrokes that must be softened or colors that should be muted. I do not wish to step on any toes, but I must say my heart is a little bruised from the art critics. I think we can all stand to improve our abilities to appreciate art and love the masterpieces for what they are.

One masterpiece in my house is most like a watercolor. Soft and gentle, light easy hues, and easy to appreciate. He doesn't demand attention, but is one of those works of art that is easy to classify and just plain enjoy. Another is more like an oil painting. She's painted in brighter hues, and demands a bit more attention. She is slightly more complex than the watercolor, but delightful nonetheless. Then, there's my mixed medium. He's complex and hard to classify. There are elements of watercolor and acrylic and oil paintings. He's a work of art that seems to have layers, and every time you look at it, you might notice something new and different. Some art critics seemed bothered that you can't easily identify which category of the gallery is the best fit. Some art critics see one element of the masterpiece and miss the beauty of the rest.

Then, there are those masterpieces in the world that the art critics might see as damaged. Perhaps they perceive a tear in the canvas or a misplaced brush stroke. An art critic might look and see just a simplistic childlike work of art rather than a complicated Monet or Matisse. They are missing the point. The wonder of the masterpiece is the simple beauty it projects. There is nothing damaged or broken in these works of art. The Creator made them perfectly just as they are. If we would just change our perception we could appreciate them for what they are.

And, I really don't mean to step on any toes here, but there are those art critics who do not like the gallery where we've chosen to hang our masterpieces. There are many galleries around, all having their merit. And, we have pleaded and prayed with the Creator, willing to hang them wherever He might want. We have obediently chosen to hang our masterpieces in the public gallery. We respect and admire those who have chosen a private gallery or even a home gallery. And sometimes I am hurt by those who lack the same grace and acceptance of the Creator's plan for our little masterpieces.

INTENTIONAL challenge: I believe we all have that critical nature. Sometimes, we do need to gently set a masterpiece straight on the wall, letting them know they are hanging crooked. But, I believe we need to be more mindful of our general approach. Are we being art critics or art lovers? Are we first looking to the beauty of each masterpiece, admiring the unique way they are created, even if we prefer another medium? Or are we first looking to all that we perceive is wrong with that masterpiece, bothered by the attention it demands or the inability to classify it or the simplistic nature of it? "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing," 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Thank the Lord that he continues to refine this art work, evening out rough strokes and covering over blemishes. I pray that He would help me to be much more of an art lover than an art critic! What about you?

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