Landscapes and Worship
Something Mysterious is present.
After God created the world, He did not just leave it alone but remained in close relationship within and throughout all of His creation. And so He is present in nature and His presence can still be felt within nature. Indeed practically anyone who has ever found themselves out in the land, away from the busy cities, would admit to feeling some sort of Presence beyond what they see and is indescribable in words.
Much of my own landscape paintings have been attempts to capture what I feel inside while outdoors rather than what I see. It took me a long time to grasp this idea, but I finally began to sense it when I saw the work of Tom Thomson and the Group of 7 Artists, from Ontario, Canada. Whether or not they recognized the true source of this presence outdoors, they certainly tried to describe it, not in words, but rather by simply arranging shapes of color.
“If we view a great mountain soaring into the sky, it may excite us, evoke an uplifted feeling within us. There is an interplay of something we see outside of us with our inner response. The artist takes that response and its feelings and shapes it on canvas with paint so that when finished it contains the experience.” - Lawren Harris
Even though very little of my own art is landscape anymore, there is always something special to painting outdoors or drawing wildlife.
I have to confess that I struggle to communicate with God through singing repetitive songs in a big crowd.
Rather, my best experience of worship or communicating with my Creative Savior have been out in the wild lands with a brush. But if I can't get there, I will draw some sort of wild animals while listening to music or someone with a good British accent reading ancient scriptures.