He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
So often, as I contribute to this blog, I get caught up in the subject matter and forget that it’s an artist’s blog. Chris has such a tremendous gift for capturing moments in time on his canvasses that it becomes easy to be absorbed into the subject matter, and nearly forget the skill and beauty of the process that went into the creation of the painting. The beautiful southern landscapes, many of which were either drawn from memory or a quick sketch that Chris made during his travels, evoke thoughts of the simplicity and beauty that surround the pastures, barns, and country roads that he illustrates. The expressions and feeling that are captured in many of his spiritual paintings can nearly transform the viewer back in time to sights, sounds, and emotions of the moment in history.
From a technical standpoint – Chris tells me that this painting was done with acrylic paint, mostly with a palate knife. This allowed him to achieve the texture of this painting that I find fascinating. It is based on a group of 1950’s California artists, including Elmer Bischoff, whose style Chris saw in one of his many art history books. Immediately when he saw this style of painting, he knew the subject matter that he wanted to use for his creation with that style. As an artist, Chris tries to “Re-use, Recycle, and Re-purpose” themes, styles, and techniques of artwork in a way different from the original creation. Much like his painting of Judas Kissing Jesus, where he blended two different Picasso paintings’ styles into a beautiful expression of Jesus’ betrayal. Chris’ love for art and the creative process lend themselves very well to inspire and motivate him to create ever evolving beautiful portfolio of work.
From a content standpoint – This painting, if you know the story from John 9, screams so much! Like they often did, the religious leaders had set out to investigate Jesus’ healing of a blind man near the pool of Siloam. They wanted to know how and why “this man” had restored sight to the blind man on the Sabbath. They questioned the intentions that Jesus had in healing the man, along with the power with which he did it. They called him a sinner for carrying out a healing act on a holy day of rest. I love the man’s response as they’re grilling him.
The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.
31We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.
32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
The once blind man only knew one thing about Jesus; once he’d had an encounter with him, he was never the same. His eyes were opened, and he began to see. Nothing else mattered in that moment but the healing and enlightenment that came from Jesus’ touch. The Pharisees were too caught up in the why and the how to experience the true gift of the presence of Jesus in that moment.
I think we could all stand to learn a thing or two from the man whose sight had been restored – once you’ve experienced Jesus’ healing, nothing else really matters. All we need to know is that it happened!
May we choose not to be like the religious leaders, not to get caught up in all of the details and specifics of how, when, where, and why Jesus can come and do his healing work, and simply curl up at his feet and let him do the healing that he came into this world to do!
Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.