Saturday, June 25, 2011

An underlying joy

Let me start by saying to all my friends and family: I’m fine! Everything is going well with us, and we thank God every day for His provision and blessings. I just felt inspired and led to do this painting; someone out there may may be looking for this right now.

Though My Heart Is Torn © 2011 Karen Mathison Schmidt
5 x 7 inches • oil on museum quality, archival Gessobord

Because we live in a fallen world, we are going to go through rough times in our lives. Nobody’s life is good all the time, but in those stormy seasons when it feels as though our hearts are being ripped apart, if we have a relationship with God through Jesus, and trust in His faithfulness to us, believing His promises and knowing that His love for us is unfailing, we will be undergirded by an unexplainable joy and peace that knows no bounds, even in the midst of life’s fiercest storms. I can’t explain how this is ... it’s a beautiful mystery to me ... but I do know that it is.

The idea for this abstract painting came while I was driving home the other day and the Casting Crowns song “I Will Praise You in This Storm” came on the radio. I’ve put all the lyrics at the end of this post, but the words that really caught my attention:

“... and every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand
You never left my side and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm.”


I started imagining then how I would depict this idea, and yesterday after I had been working for several hours on a larger dog painting with quite a bit of detail, I took a break from that one and started working on this. Once I got going on the actual painting, because of the spontaneity of my abstract technique, it kept changing while I was working on it, but I liked it because the picture was starting to look way more emotional and full of spirit than I had imagined it.

One thing I’ve tried to learn by doing these abstracts: when something cool unexpectedly happens, most of the time it’s best to go with it ... and whenever another piece of the painting falls into place, leave it!

Here are some details:





Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say Amen, and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain, "I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls I raise my hands
And praise the God who gives and takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands
For You are who You are no matter where I am
And every tear I've cried You hold in Your hand
You never left my side and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry, You raised me up again
But my strength is almost gone
How can I carry on if I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain, "I'm with you"
And as You mercy falls I raise my hands
And praise the God who gives and takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands
For You are who You are no matter where I am
And every tear I've cried You hold in Your hand
You never left my side and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

And I'll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands
For You are who You are no matter where I am
And every tear I've cried You hold in Your hand
You never left my side and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scott says-- if you're going to do one of those you need to make it at least 3ft. X 4ft ! or... if you're going to do it the cheater way do it big..... whatever that means ! I ay you're like Picasso -- different periods of your art.... I like it !
Me.

Karen M Schmidt said...

Scott, "the cheater way?" ... you young whippersnapper! (for those of you reading in, Scott is my soon-to-be-19-yr-old nephew)

Kathy, I'm glad you like it ... but don't worry, I'm not switching to an "abstract period," I'm doing it in between my representational paintings (and sometimes, if you will notice, as PART of a representational painting)

I really think the abstract painting helps "clear my palette" between the other paintings (pun totally intended). It helps get my creativity in gear!