Arts Can Bring Beauty to an Ugly Age

paint-brushesThe Arts remind me there is still sanity and beauty in an insane and ugly age. Despite living in the darkness of a culture of death — where children are sacrificed by abortion on the diabolical altar of sexual licence, and defeated sick and disabled people are eliminated by euthanasia — the Arts speak to me of beauty and express the hope in life of humanity.

The Arts have been a constant consoling friend to me throughout more than thirty terrifying years of degeneration from serious neurological disease (multiple sclerosis). Christ often speaks to me through literature, visual arts and music (that still small voice).

The Arts have great potential to speak of beauty and the human experience. The prolific California based writer and television producer, Phil Cooke said, “God chose to introduce Himself to us in the first verses of Genesis as the Creator. And yet so few Christians really understand the power of creativity to influence the culture.” He is absolutely right. We do well to reflect on Phil Cooke’s insightful words.

I believe that the human desire and need to create has something to do with being created in the image of the Creator. The brilliant evangelical Christian theologian and thinker Dr. Francis Schaeffer said this: “Art is a reflection of God’s creativity, and evidence that we are made in the image of God.”

Pope John Paul II loved the arts. Commenting on the created process of life, he said: “Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.”

Every human life is created in the image of God and can become an artful masterpiece if only given the chance. When the Arts rise to their pinnacle of possibility, they bear eloquent witness to this immortal reality.

Mark Davis Pickup is chronically ill and disabled with degenerative multiple sclerosis. He is an advocate for life issues and disability inclusion across North America. He and his wife, LaRee, have been married for 38 years. They live in Alberta Canada with their two adult children and five grandchildren. Mark is available to address issues of euthanasia, assisted suicide, and issues revolving around suffering that often fuel calls for euthanasia. He writes regularly at http://markpickup.org and http://humanlifematters.org. For bookings, contact him by e-mail at MPickup@shaw.ca or telephone (780) 929-9230. Mark Pickup's bi-weekly column can be read in the Western Catholic Reporter (Canada) at http://www.wcr.ab.ca/.

  • AugustaMia

    Wonderful article, Mr. Pickup. In my retirement I have taken up watercolor painting. The more I paint, the more I have developed an eye to see … really see … that which I paint. And never is this more evident than when I create portraits of those I love. I am working now on a painting of my sister. We never had the kind of close relationship I see in other sisters (like my daughters). We are not hostile to each other, or estranged, but I feel closer to women I know as friends than I do to my sister. In creating her portrait, I have prayed that God would let me see her and love her as He does. And that is the point of all creation–beginning with Genesis, the purpose of human creation is to love as God first loves. Thus we can understand that we are made (created) in His image and likeness.

  • Maureen Tomaino

    I am a watercolor artist and teacher for over 30 years…this platform has connected me to so many wonderful people who wish to develop their creative side…some never having painted before…they surprise themselves as they learn the ABC’s of watercolor how creative theyreally are…