A Painting Parable: Beauty Out of a Mess
Years ago when taking a course at our seminary, I met a priest who was an artist. He loaned out his paintings to the priests and seminarians who lived with him there. At the time, Sister Megan, an artist, was my suite mate. I suggested that she loan me one of her paintings. She graciously invited me to her studio and let me choose one. You can see my choice here. It has an unusual origin. Sister explained that one day while she was painting a picture, whenever the brush got a glob of paint on the end, she wiped it off on an empty canvas beside her. After she finished the picture she was working on, she looked at the globs and began swishing them around to create the piece that I favored. Not only do I like my painting, which I take with me from home to home, but I find that like a parable it holds hidden meaning. For me it says that rejects, leftovers, things that seem to be worthless can become beautiful. They can become treasures.
This is comparable to the mystery we celebrate during Holy Week. Jesus took the pitiful human race, polished it, and promised it a glorious life in the next world.
I was going to give other examples, but because I’m furiously trying to finish writing a book this week, I will leave that to you. Can you think of some?
What other meaning do you find in this artwork?
I could have sworn that the picture was a collection
of beautiful snails. (Yes snails). The most beautiful
blue one is in front!