By Bob Booth
A painting that is getting stuck and winding down, becoming sluggish and hopeless, is all too familiar. The final result, if it survives the painter’s disappointment at all, is a contrived embarrassment.
I have a note in one of my sketchbooks which reads ‘Paint with urgency as though you only have a few minutes’. This short simple statement becomes more and more important to me as time goes by.
The month of June includes Trinity Sunday which falls on the Sunday after Pentecost. It is probably an understatement to say that we do not fully understand this central doctrine of Christianity, and considering its significance it is interesting to note the absence of any clear Trinitarian formula in the New Testament.
On the other hand the Gospel of Mark for example has an atmosphere of haste right from its beginning. The language is urgent, the moment is decisive, and there is little time for sustained reflection and discussion.
All this all seems rather dangerous when dealing with such weighty matters, and we could frivolously speculate that St Mark might have reconsidered this approach had he known that his words would be reproduced, translated and considered millions of times over . However Christianity is built on a life rather than a philosophy, and it is a life which continues to unfold within changing contexts and generations. In a similar way painting is a source rather than a product, it is expansive rather than conclusive. It is about meaning and not function.
I am the vine, John 15: 5.