Transgressing In Love

I'm beginning to see Jesus as a subversive rule breaker!  Yes, you heard me correctly.  Jesus was there when the world was created.  Not only was He present, He created the world in which we live.  He also created its laws.  He knows them inside and out, up and down.  Of course He does.  He created them!  And, just like any artist, He breaks the rules beautifully.  As an artist, I see that I must learn the structures and the laws of art in order to understand how to create.  As I grow in my artistry, I begin to work outside of the rules I've learned.  I begin to break the rules to create more subversive, provocative and innovative art.  

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My response to an Article I saw on Facebook

Much of what I do in my studio for those that come to me wanting more of Jesus is to help them trust themselves again.  What we hear from our church leaders is that we are not trustworthy.  We cannot trust our own experience of God.  We are told to look to our leaders to tell us what is right and wrong, true and untrue.  While there is a place for that, leaders have done a terrible disservice to our own inner experience of God.  II Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”  EVERYTHING WE NEED – The resurrection power of Christ, who has made our fleshly bodies His dwelling place.  The Holy Spirit is active and powerful within our physical bodies.  I can trust what my experience of Christ is.  He is my teacher.  The Spirit of God is my teacher.  God the Father is my teacher, in accordance with His holy scripture.  Thanks be to God! 

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Bridal Mysticism Series

This is my second painting in theBridal Mysticism series that is currently in progress.  It is entitled "Wedding at Cana."  These paintings are very personal and very real in terms of how they've been experienced.  To recap, these images are born out of my experience with the Ignatian exercises.  (Look below for the specific passage of scripture).

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The Creative Process

I am intrigued with the marital language that Jesus chooses to use in scripture when He talks about the church.  Over and over, He paints a picture of a bride and groom when He talks about His beloved people.  In 2010, I was able to travel to Italy and see the Bernini sculpture of Teresa of Avila, where she is depicted in a romantic encounter with the Divine, which fascinated me.  Through my experience of prayer, I am exploring this mystery of bridal love with the Divine.  I am excited to put some of these scenes onto the canvas.

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Tiffany's Story

I want to begin using some of this blog space to share stories.  I have been incredibly graced to be in a position where I get to see beautiful, brave stories unfolding and emerging forth in the world.  Perhaps you have a story to tell, or a story to hear to help you along the writing of your own.

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The Magic of Art

Art has a way of bringing people together.  It seems to have some secret delight in being an excuse for humans to gather in places and come together.  Art covertly acts as an adhesive, bonding people together in rich connection and shared human experience.  It doesn't need our acknowledgement or permission to go about such work; it simply and intrinsically happens, whether we invite it or not.  I realized after the fact, that's what took place in my home studio this weekend.

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I had scheduled a 2-day encaustic (heated wax medium) workshop at a studio workspace in Nashville.  I ended up having a smaller number of registrants than anticipated and so last minute, I moved the location of the workshop from the Nashville location to my home studio in Franklin.  At first, I was disappointed, wishing we could spread out in the large studio space that I had reserved.  But as the first day went on, I noticed that though the space was tight, it was very conducive for conversation and interactive creative processes.  There was a palpable camaraderie around the projects that were being created.  If one was stuck, not knowing what to do next, another would offer thoughts on the next possible movements.  The conversation was about the possibilities that were out in front of the artist; there was a freedom for that artist to move one way or another without rigidity.  I sensed a great honor and respect for each process that was present in the room.  There didn't seem to be competition or militant expectation.   I sensed a spirit of solidarity in the exploration, leaving a spaciousness rather than a confining right and wrong, black and white approach to the process.  It was quite refreshing! 

 

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There is something incredibly mystical and magical that takes place on a creative process.  I taught the same techniques and the same processes to each person in the room.  They received what was given to them from the lens with which they see life and with which they see their own artistic process.  And each declaration of such was completely different.  There were no two pieces or processes that were alike.  It's       always quite breathtaking to watch the individual process for each creator.  It further solidifies my deep belief that God cares so intricately for each person and their creative process.  He can touch something so deeply held in crevices of a creator through this process, perhaps for some of us, in ways that other forms of worship can't quite get to. 

 

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These photos are little peak of what took place over the weekend.  If you would like to participate in the next Encaustic workshop, please go to the Art Instruction page to register.  The next workshop will be January 18-19 in my home studio near downtown Franklin.  I hope you'll join us!!

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This is a piece created by one of my students this weekend during the workshop.  Her name is Pam and this is her work.  So fun to have her as a student.

Waking Up Grey at Fellowship Bible Church, Brentwood, TN

Waking Up Grey Group at Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, TN

I have been given much grace and am privileged to come into contact with some incredibly exceptional people as a result of the work of Waking Up Grey.  I want you to meet just a couple of them right now. Marya Elrod is a woman gifted with stunning grace, perseverance and a love for beautiful things.  She is a visual artist and is currently building her website, which I will post when it is ready.  She has endured an incredible amount of hardship and suffering as part of her beautiful story and she comes to us as one who is more wise and compassionate as a result of hard places in her story.  She is truly courageous and I am continually learning lessons of kindness and steadfastness from her.

My dear friend, Stacy Elliott, went through Waking Up Grey for the first time a few summers ago and has been a girl on fire ever since.  She has married her back round in social work with her recent new love of screenwriting to create awareness around the issue of human sex trafficking!!  I am so proud for her and the work that is coming out of her!

So, these two kindred spirits approached me last Spring with an idea they had concocted.  They wanted to bring Waking Up Grey to their church community along with some new material that I had been writing.  Their vision was to incorporate the Waking Up Grey process with some hands-on technical studio direction and space for solitude and silence all while creating an environment for artistic and spiritual community.  This would be within the structure of the church, offering it as one of the women's ministry bible studies that would begin in September and conclude in April.  I was hesitant at first, concerned that the intimate atmosphere provided by facilitating Waking Up Grey in private homes would be lost to the clinical institutional feel that can sometimes accompany meeting in a church building.  As Dan Allender says, "I don't know if I am right, nor am I sure the path chosen is the best, but after reflection, feedback, debate, and prayer, I am choosing this path.  In the process, I will seek life like water and drink death like wine." 

And so it was.  We went forward and I have been blown away by the people I have met and the brave paths taken and courageous stories being told.

This past week, we set up griddles and heat guns and after blowing one circuit, we finally figured out how to get everything to work and I got to share my love of the encaustic medium.  This is a heated wax medium made of beeswax and damar resin and is delightful to use for mixed media exploration.  To see my encaustic work, visit jennieschut.com  

To sign up for my upcoming workshop in Nashville, please go here: http://www.flyforward.org/art-instruction/ and save 50% off the class fee!

I would love to see this happening in your church community!  Message me to discuss if you are at all intrigued!

 

 

 

Encaustic Morning

Encaustic Morning (Pictured Top, left-right: Tiffany, Brianna, Christi, Jennie, Gayle, Lori, Jan, Kristin, Jeanie.  Bottom, left-right: Colleen, Kirsten,  Lani 

Me and Marya

Me and Marya

Stacy and Lani

Stacy Elliott and Lani

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Encaustic Morning (Pictured: Deb Wilson)

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Pictured: Leann