I have a granddaughter who loves to sing. Once we hiked up a 2.5 mile trail in the Smoky Mountains and she sang her way up the mountain, and then she sang her way back down the mountain (she was 6 years old at the time). She sings because it is part of who she is, how she was knit together. Her desire to sing, and the ability to sing is a gift from God, the creator of the universe. God made her to sing... That is how I view my artwork. It is a gift from the Creator of the universe. A gift from the Gift Giver. Because of this gift, I have always loved to draw, paint or simply create things. We, as people made in the image of God have nothing that has not been given to us by the Creator of the universe.

However, there was a day when the life I lived and the artwork I created was dark and distructive. As the Bible says, I was an enemy of God. Like it or not, we are all born into this world seperated from God by our sins. I lived a life ruled by my ungodly passions, spiraling downward into a black abyss, seperated from the God who truly loved me. It was all about me and what I wanted. I now praise the One I used to run from; The true Lover of my soul. He has shown me His love by sending Jesus Christ to die on an old wooden cross for me. Believing in the death and resurection of Jesus Christ removes the wrath of God from all who will simply believe.

When I trusted Jesus to forgive my sins, as it says in His word, He began a work in me to make me a "new creation". Old things began to pass away and He began to make "all things new". Life took on a whole new "color". The Bible says in II Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

When I trusted Christ, the darkness begin to give way to His light. My desire now is for this small gift He has given me, the gift He has given many artist over the centurys, to bring Him glory, to point back to Him. I find it impossible to seperate this from the artwork I create. I think of that old saying "All roads lead to Rome". When I paint, all things in this physical world we see point to the Creator. Psalm 97:6 says:"The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory." A general revelation of God is seen through His creation. And, because He loves us so much, He has also revealed His "good news", the Gospel, to us through the Bible. (John 3:16)

Since the day I believed the Gospel and committed my life to Christ, I have been on a journey unlike any other. I am learning that the One who created beauty must indeed be Beautiful. The One who IS Love wants to pour out His love in our hearts; the One who desires that we walk in truth, is Truth. He said this in John 14:6: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

The awesome thing about the "good news" is that salvation is available to anyone who will call on the name of the Lord. The Bible says in Romans 10:8, 9, 10, 11 -"But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, 'WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.'" (click here for more information)

When I finish a painting, I usually put a reference to a particular verse in the Bible under my signature. I am not trying to make a "Christian" painting or anything "Religious". We don't need more "religion" in the world, we need to simply have a RELATIONSHIP with God through His son, Jesus. Because there is a God who made us and all creation, I can't paint the things around me and not mention the Creator. It is just the way it is. The painting will one day be gone, it is just pigment and oil on a piece of cloth or wood. It will pass off this earth sooner or later and be nothing but dust. God's Word, however, will not. Perhaps a little scripture reference on a painting will cause you or someone to look into God's word and find LIFE in its' pages.

Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

To contact Steve: steve@journeyinoils.com

Paint Out in Waxahachie, Texas - 2008
Image Bearer won best of show in 2008 Visual Arts Society of Texas 40th Annual Visual Arts Exhibition
Plein Air Ramblings...
Paint Out in Waxahachie, Texas - 06-07

The French expression en plein air means "in the open air" and is most used to describe the act of painting outside in the enviroment. It is by far the most enjoyable painting experience. Most who try it once are hooked.

Part of the appeal for painting "en plein air" is the natural light. While painting from photos gives the artist more unrushed time, photos do not capture all the subtle colors and depth that can be observed in nature.

Usually, plein air paintings are done quickly, within a couple of hours and are painted on smaller panels or canvas, rarely no larger than a 12" x 16". The primary reason for the short time and small painting surface is the ever-changing light. Light and shadows will change dramatically in a 2 hours span of time.

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What is a Giclée?

Like the long standing European tradition of rendering one image at a time, these giclée images are printed one at a time on canvas. These unique prints capture even the most subtle tints and minute details of the original painting. Giclée prints render deep, saturated color which are as close to the original artwork as is possible.