One of my favorite paintings was a winter vignette scene. The entire painting was done in varying shades of blues and soft whites, creating a winter wonderland; complete with a partially frozen pond, and lacy ice tipped trees cascading over the water. What I loved most about this painting was how the scene flowed from a vivid center into soft diffused edges, creating a lovely oval. The diffused edges drew the eyes to the center of the painting. The snow, water, rocks and trees came into focus and jumped off the canvas, while the edges of the painting, the lesser trees, rocks and even clouds faded causing an ethereal effect.
In some sad cases, such as person with low self-esteem, the vignette becomes reversed; the negatives, the mistakes, the imperfections and secrets become central. While the positives are pushed into the diffused back ground, barely visible even to the person who accomplished them.
Our lives are not vignettes: Either, all good or all negative, with the rest hidden behind a delicate haze. Oh, we would love to have a life filled with only good: No negatives allowed. But just as in nature, one lends life to the other. A majestic mountain cannot achieve such beauty and grandeur without sharp cliffs, craggy rocks, and harsh conditions. A shimmering lake also has a shoreline of mud and unruly vegetation. The most glorious sunset often lives after the worst storms. The bare branches of a dying tree add a dignified sense of age past to the vibrant green of trees bursting with youth.
In paintings, which I have done: beauty is appreciated only by standing back and seeing the entire scene from a distance. When you stand nose to canvas, inspecting each and every brushstroke or highlight, the eyes see only flaws. Temptation arises to scrape hours of work from the canvas and start anew. It was only after working on a particularly difficult painting that I would be able to step back, take my nose away from the canvas, sit peacefully with God, and appreciate the beauty; flaws and all.
God’s masterpieces are full canvas creations.
Let’s live full canvas lives.