Art at St. Martin’s on June 3 featured the the work of Fort Worth Artist Gwen Meharg, who shared abstract paintings and illustrations with us on a pleasant early June evening. We gathered and socialized and learned more to unlock the creative side of our brains, enjoying a thoughtful selection of Gwen’s art. Gwen walked us through what she brought to share.
One piece was a painting representing the Bible story of the prodigal son, with three characters: a father, whose hand we see as if he was getting up from a chair; the older son, dressed for work in the sun; and a surprising character, a mother, who was not mentioned in the Bible story. We explored this familiar story in her bold, bright painting, sharing our ideas of what each person might be doing and feeling.
Another bold piece explored the short Bible book of Habakkuk. This abstract layered literal text elements of some of the scripture in the book with many visual ideas of the prophet’s words and from the artist’s meditations.
Gwen shared a piece that she painted in prayer as she and her family experienced heartache in a tough time. She poses that, “Art provides a place to connect with yourself and with others.” Creating art and viewing art both give you a chance to be in the presence of God, and can help you uncover layers of feelings. “My bold declaration is that I create hope.”
One creation of Gwen’s is a book that you can enjoy. Gwen shared the idea behind it, which was a challenge from her daughter: meditate and sketch on the Bible readings for every week of a year. She drew 59 meditative illustrations in Sharpie, with whatever color was handy. Her book Liturgical Sketches Journal & Coloring Book is available for purchase on Amazon. This book is a new take on an ancient practice called Visio Divina, or “divine seeing. ” Visio Divina is a method for meditating on scripture using images. Gwen mixes scripture and art and journaling and coloring in this book, encouraging us slow down, listen for a still, small, voice as we are with God. “Listening is facilitated by a place for the eyes to linger and something for the hands to do.” Drawing or coloring is a fantastic way to explore meaning and to remember a story, so her book has plenty of room for us to write or draw our own meditations.
After we learned about each of Gwen’s pieces, we took her suggestion to explore what we find in each piece, and people naturally grouped around paintings to share what they saw and felt. Gwen happily answered questions and sparked discussions as she chatted with everyone.
View photos of the event in this flickr photo album, or swipe through below.
About Gwen Meharg
Gwen displays many art series and pieces on her website gwenmeharg.com, and she also blogs there to share her reflections and creations.
Invitation to show your art
All are invited to consider showing their art at St. Martin’s at our quarterly showings on the first Saturday of each quarter. Help spread the word! Do you or someone you know work with canvas, fabric, paper, photography, iconography, metal, glass, clay or mixed media? Perhaps you have a curated collection to share with the community. You or a group of collaborators can share an evening with us, inspiring our creativity, and letting us enjoy yours. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested or if you have questions. Our next showings are September 2 and December 2, 2017.