An Artist's Process
By Andy Mork
Each year for the past few years the pastors have reached out to ask me to do artwork in line with the annual theme. I am humbled by the request each year, as this honor used to belong to Greta Sandquist, a professional painter and artist. Although I am an art major and teach art, I struggle with "impostor syndrome," the idea that I am pretending and eventually will be found out. Honestly, one of the reasons I still am a person of faith, is the continued faithfulness of God to give me ideas about this each year. I am amazed to find that, following the revelation of the theme, I immediately have an idea. This year was no exception.
At the mention of healing, I saw clusters of plants and leaves. I can't explain it. As an artist, I still struggle with being thankful or joyful at the completion of any of these pieces of art. Yet I realize it's not really about me. On my worst days, I struggle with feeling that I am a modern-day pharaoh, and that God is glorified through me no matter "which side" I am on. On my best days, I recognize that God works through me, and uses my images and ideas for His glory. This year that was evidenced by Pastor Steve commenting back to me, "I really like the way you made a cross in the middle with the leaves." I had no idea what he was talking about. I had to go back and look, and was amazed to see that yes, there is a cross right in the middle of the composition. I had not intended that, and yet, there it is, clear as day. May God be praised! As far as the process...
As I was thinking about this coming year's theme, a Year of Healing, I thought about many different components of healing – physical, spiritual, mental, personal, family, and in community. The abstracted organic shapes represent each of us, with green tones to show life, growth, development, and healing. The clusters of shapes are where we have intersections in family and community. We continually develop and re-develop healthy relationships. The clusters serve to block out the darkness of death, despair, depression, and broken relationships. Because healing and relationship building have unpredictable elements, I used the watercolor technique of wet-in-wet. This process you can see in the leaves, and is created by adding wet paint to wet paper, and the paint unpredictably bleeds into watery areas.
I can't wait to redevelop relationships this year with God and with you all.
- Andy, I so, so, so appreciate your openness and honesty. It is such a comfort and a blessing. Thank you!
- Your artwork is really getting a workout this year, Andy Mork! It's incorporated into our livestreaming rather extensively. Thank you so much!
- Andy, thank you for this description. Your explanation enhances the visual beauty and makes it even more enjoyable and meaningful.