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Journal

The Life of an Artist

        Every thought growing up was to do something in the arts. It was as if I was called. There is a great peace of mind in this aspect of already knowing what I have to dedicate my life to. The hardship and strain is knowing that I can't take it lightly. When there is no doubt of your calling to spread the gospel, if you don't answer you will feel its weight.

        The arts have been a great teacher. Drawing just like prayer or a relationship with a spiritual director can be a harsh or even a dry judge. I hear it from my students, "look at this ridiculously bad drawing," vocally declaring their frustration. Continually, I have this same frustrated outcry, but I have learned that it produces the most fruitful drawings. It begs you to concentrate and listen.

        Painting is a very social act. Constantly, I try to form relationships within my work. I look to see more than is there. I am constantly throwing objects this way or that, maybe even walking away outraged with my paintings. This energy of trying to understand something so sensual transcends to your personal human relationships. Unlike what I found when working at a desk all day, I had no mind or brain to continue the focus, but even after a long day painting exhausted I am able to continue listening and being present to the other.

        The arts excite those around you. I am not doing anything amazing or spectacle, I am just stuck in a basement all day painting, but they interact with you differently for some reason. Sometimes this may be them telling you negative things or very positive things. They are intrigued.

        The arts are speaking to the human heart. My job is to bring wonder, excitement, vision, hope, acknowledgement, conversion, and a desire for the undesirable. This becomes very exciting. I become a vessel of our Lord's Divine Grace!

John Defilippis