Creative faith

Reflections

“My art and my faith are definitely intertwined. One without the other is just not possible. And, art and faith and healing are also irrevocably intertwined. A lesson I have happily learned over time,” says artist and disability advocate Elizabeth Mosely from the Parish of Auchenflower-Milton

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How my art intersects with my faith

You could say that I am a late starter with my painting. In 2000 and at the age of 56, I started with lessons at the 50+ Club at City Hall. I had never painted in my life. It was a revelation and I have never looked back. After two years, I found an exceptional art teacher and a whole world opened up to me. I paint using heat-set oils following severe asthma caused by normal oil paints.

I am very much an artist of opportunity. That is, I see something that inspires me, and so I paint it. It can be a tree, a flower, a grandchild or an image a travelling friend has sent to me. Whatever ‘grabs me’, I feel compelled to attempt an adequate interpretation. Sometimes I will change the picture to suit my mood, excitement/ or inclination. My focus is always on the play of light on my subject. Light, and the source of light. Faith and the source of faith.

“I am very much an artist of opportunity. That is, I see something that inspires me, and so I paint it. It can be a tree, a flower, a grandchild or an image a travelling friend has sent to me. Whatever ‘grabs me’”

Even though my life has seemed to be full of medical disasters, I know I never lost my faith in a Higher Being, call Him what you will, but my spirit was badly shaken at times.  I even turned away from my faith for a while because I was very angry with God. However, it would not be denied and it kept me going, and when I was through it all I was able to encompass a WHOLENESS of my faith that wasn’t there before. Because, you see, to lose the fear of dying is to lose the fear of living.

I would never profess to being very intellectual about my faith. To me it is very much a coal-face faith. But it is very deep and it is very real. It is just something; a certainty that I have that there is a purpose to everything. I do not necessarily understand it, but there is a reason for these things to happen.

My art and my faith are definitely intertwined. One without the other is just not possible. And, art and faith and healing are also irrevocably intertwined. A lesson I have happily learned over time.

“My art and my faith are definitely intertwined. One without the other is just not possible. And art and faith and healing are also irrevocably intertwined. A lesson I have happily learned over time”

I have a rare condition causing severe muscle weakness, so I use a motorised wheelchair for mobility. Somebody once asked me if I could face being healed. My first thought, funnily enough was ‘I already am’. Because I don’t look at healing as being healing of the body. I look at healing as being healing of the spirit, and if you’ve got that, you can cope with anything that life throws at you.

It is the healing of my spirit that has allowed me to get on with my life. It is the coping skills I learnt over those tough years that have enabled me to continue forward. It is the constant disregard of the loss of my life skills that makes me determined to prove that the decay of my body will never destroy that spirit.

For one reason or another it has been a few months since I picked up a paint brush. However, there are plenty of sparks in the mind’s eye waiting for the canvas…and a commission I must start very soon…

For more information on the author’s art, please email Elizabeth Mosely.

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