Because of my recent blog posts where I mention God, Faith or quote the Bible, quite a number of people have made statements to the effect " An artist with Faith is a rarity" or "Most artists are decadent and unbelieving". These sentiments have disturbed me, to say the least, because I find the artists of our community to be highly spiritual, conservative people. Northeast Ohio is a stronghold for Christianity and conservatism and our art community reflects these aspects of our culture. In addition we have strong traditional Jewish, Native American, Muslim and Hindu influences, to name just a few of the world religions that call the Valley home. The artists who don't subscribe to traditional religions and who consider themselves Unitarian, Agnostic or Atheist have a highly developed sense of Social Justice and a genuine interest in promoting Humanitarian issues.
From my experience, one cannot be an artist without having a deep sense of faith in the greatness of the Universe that surrounds us. Artists are continually looking for meanings and patterns in the world, and are constantly questioning what is right, good and beautiful in their search for these meanings and patterns. Within these searches is a quest for the Divine outside as well as inside our being.
Being an artist, one is constantly touching the vast creative force of the universe. I find that if one makes an effort to reach out to this force, it will reach back and infuse itself into the life of an artist. Most artists that I know are not in it for the money or popularity but for that moment of Enlightenment when this Immense power joins us in the studio.
As a Painter I find that every painting is a prayer and that laboring over a canvas for 8 or more hours at a stretch is a form of deep meditation. The artist who is in union with the Infinite Creative Force of the Universe eventually becomes an outlet for this force, and brings Life to wasteland areas of our world and our collective consciousness.
Generally speaking, I find that most of the stumbling blocks in the path of the progress of the Arts is misinformation, wrong assumptions, and belief in negative propaganda generated by national media, politicians and local criminals. If we can set these aside and engage in dialogue with the artists of our community, we will all be better off and wealthier in ways that we can only imagine at this time.