God: The Master Artist
When I first started learning and teaching with the Principle Approach®, the time eventually came when I needed to spread my wings and write my own lesson plans. It was actually quite nerve racking. As many do at this stage, I wrestled with whether or not to continue teaching my children with this philosophy and method. Why oh why couldn’t the Noah Plan® lessons continue onward through the rest of the grades? Well, they didn’t and I had only two choices: continue or abandon the mission. Of course, you know that the I’ve continued with the mission (thankful for the overviews!). And my first attempts were by teaching my children about God: The Master Artist. Because the History of Art is about God . . . not about autonomous man.
Indeed, it’s not about autonomous man—the artists we study in Art History. Nor is it about autonomous man—individuals who pick up art supplies and tools and create. I’ll explain a little later on . . .
Why I Began with Art
Advice given to me by other seasoned Principle Approach® moms was to begin with a favorite subject of mine. Well, art is that favorite. So, it was a quick and easy decision for me to begin there.
I’d say that I’m an artist, but I believe that each of us are to a degree. For we are all created in the image of God and Art is an attribute of His.
That said, I do feel it deeply and I do feel that what I create is a part of who I am. It’s a part of my innermost thoughts, feelings, insights, and perspective. Once it’s drawn, painted, pieced together, or even written . . . it’s out there on display for all to see. That can be uncomfortable because it can make an individual feel like ‘the center of attention’. Yet, it can be satisfactory knowing that God is being glorified because He is being pointed to.
If there’s one thing (really there are many) that I absolutely love about the Principle Approach® it’s the Biblical reasoning it produces. Applying this philosophy and method to my own studies has taught me so much. I’m so very thankful.
A Lesson From College in the Art Program
Prior to my years as a Principle Approach® student, my college years roll around. In college, I major in Visual Communications (the Graphic Arts). Art and concepts are something I absolutely love to play around with.
An assignment is given to my class to design a logo for the Arts Department. The head of our program always says: “Design to communicate, not to decorate.” Taking that to heart, I go forward with my concept and design. When it comes time to learn of the board member votes, each of us wait with great anticipation. My classmates have several dots (votes) on their mock-ups.
Mine has only one.
Needless to say, I at this point I’m feeling quite disappointed. I feel embarrassed, I feel like a failure, and all types of insecurities are rising inside and then . . .
. . . the head of our department informs us that the dot on my mock-up carries the most weight. It is the vote by the Dean of the Art Department. Bernie’s vote is in favor of my concept and design.
Lessons that become a part of me that day:
- Artists are attached to what they create because it’s a part of them. Is it any wonder? I think this must be the way of it with Creator God—even if some of His Creation rejects Him. All of His Creation belongs to Him by right of ownership. God is the Master Artist! There’s a seed inside of me beginning to germinate—I know there’s more to this. But what?
- There is a range in which artists tend to fall: 1. Overly confident in how their work will be accepted; 2. Completely comfortable knowing they’ve given it their best, see where things fall and be relaxed n’ fine about it; 3. Somewhat insecure about how their creations will do when they are launched. Will their work be accepted? Will that part of them be accepted?
- There is not one mention about God, how He is the Mater Artist, how and when He created all-things-art. It was handled as a ‘neutral’ subject. I will tell you, it is not a neutral subject.
- That it doesn’t matter how many people like or don’t like one’s concepts. It matters who likes them. In particular, it matters Who–capital ‘W’ for God.
- It’s a growth process. More than developing skills, it’s a personal growth process.
So, I graduate with the presupposition that Art is neutral, but deep down inside I know that there is more . . .
Teaching Art with the Principle Approach®: The Master Artist is God
Keeping the growth process close to my heart allows for me to grow in continuing Principle Approach® studies of Art.
Many individuals may ask: what does it matter? It matters to the Christian who desires for their children to be pointed to Christ—Whom all things are created through. And it matters to the Christian who takes seriously the effect the arts has in culture. May Christian parents have an idea of what a Biblical worldview encompasses. But, here is what you may not know about teaching a Biblical worldview.
You see, as individuals apply techniques and styles in art they tend to just think of the process. But, Creator God is behind all of this! So, it’s not about “what this person here has done or about what I do.” And even Art History is about Christ in His-Story.
So, to help you teach with this philosophy and method, I have created a Bible Principles Art Guide from my own studies. It compliments any art curriculum you may already be using. Or it can be the spine for what you teach and you have the flexibility to chose the art project you’d like to go along with the Bible Principle lessons.