This world is overwhelmingly beautiful. The Earth is full of charm and adventure that bring out this child-like wonder in each of us. Think back to a moment in your life where the beauty of this world brought you to tears. In those moments, you tend to feel like a smaller piece in a grand design. Painting landscapes renews this experience in me, and allows me to see my own life in a larger perspective. Each piece in my show, Journey, intends to recreate that occurrence in my audience using three distinct locations that display creation in different lights.
Every animation was constructed together through the use of Photoshop and After Effects. Just as life takes on a long means of shaping who we are, the creation process took months of building. The original concepts for each landscape began as simple sketches in a notebook. When the ideas were solidified, I painted the scenes in Photoshop to begin. In order to animate, I had to create each piece as its own layer. This allows me to design the illusion that my pieces are in a 3D environment. I worked on the base paintings until the details became life-like. Then, I spent the rest of my time importing the layers into After Effects to bring these simple images to life with animation. This process symbolizes a fragment of the underlying theme in Journey.
I compare Journey often to the phrase “stop and smell the roses”. What does this mean? To truly enjoy the rose, you have to focus on it, and bring the rose to the front of our awareness. To smell the rose, you have to get close and linger around. When we do this, we find ourselves not only delighting in the rose, but loving it. This simple act leaves behind an impression that, if done right, can significantly change the quality of our entire life. When this idea is applied to creation, we start to see life as this long journey full of deeper, richer joy and love. Yet, even the most beautiful place cannot satisfy this deep desire in the core of our beings. Even though there is so much wonder and beauty, it almost seems to be pointing at some deeper truth.
Journey’s purpose is to explore this idea. It aims to awaken those common feelings of how wonderful this world is. Yet, with all the sunsets, all the art, and all of creation, I find that these cannot satisfy as the meaning of life. As a Christian, I see creation playing its intended part in the grand design. God means for us to be stunned and awed by his handiwork, but not for its own sake. He means for us to look at His creation and ask, if the mere work of His fingers is so full of wisdom, power, grandeur, majesty, and beauty, what must this God be like in Himself? He alone is the soul’s end. In one large act of symbolism, my piece did exactly what it was intended to do. Art and creation are meant to point to its creator. As scattered solar beams tell us that there is a sun, this journey of life shows us that deeper meaning behind the beauty.
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
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