There is something so very exciting about an empty canvas or a blank page in a sketch book! It tells me that I can do anything I like! I can choose pencil, water colours or crayons…acrylic, oil or charcoal…I could even get out my calligraphy pens and ink…After choosing my tools there is still endless room for my imagination! Do I want to create something crazy that expresses my dreams or feelings? Something out of real life like doing a portrait of a friend or sketching a horse? Or a landscape? Or…?
I felt a similar excitement entering my new room in my beautiful new flat in the centre of Freiburg. I was returning to this city after a year’s absence – but somehow it didn’t feel like I was returning. It felt more like…a fresh start. Along with this fresh start the empty room, the empty walls – with so much potential! I had acquired a bed for myself. Had traded it for a crate of beer – seemed like a pretty good deal to me! My other furniture consisted of a desk and chair – both of which had been left in the room for my use. I sat down on the mattress in the middle of the large room, looking at the walls and making plans in my head…a few days later the room was already filled with the far too many boxes I had stored in a friend’s cellar. No more emptiness – more like chaos! Time to get to work!
But then that too is part of the whole artistic development – same as with a canvas there is a process with phases of emptiness, chaos and beauty. My chaos phase meant sorting out junk and building shelves out of my empty banana boxes =)
Most works of art also convey something to the onlooker. Be it violence or peace. Anguish or joy. They might even tell a story. My hope for my room and shared flat is that it might be a place where people feel comfortable. Feel welcome. Feel at home. And I pray it might be a place where God is praised and honoured and where visitors get a glimpse of his love…I’m sure it will be like one of those pictures I’m never quite done with…that keep needing another “finishing touch” or change here and there…but for now I’m quite content with my results. Who knows how long this place will be my home and how soon I will get the chance to start afresh again – with another empty canvas.