First inklings

Updated: Jan 21

Pablo Picasso said that "in drawing, nothing is better than the first attempt."

The first drawing I actually remember doing was when our teacher asked if anyone could help her draw a rose on the blackboard and my classmates volunteered me! I did a lot of drawing in high school but binned most of it. It was 13 years before I picked up a pencil to draw again in 1989. I was intrigued to discover recently that my great-grandfather had helped illustrate one of Norway's first travel guides with his sketches some 100 years before I sketched there in 1997. Here are some of my first inklings:

C.S. Lewis - author of The Chronicles of Narnia and intellectual giant of the twentieth century - describes Nature as God's 'first sketch' and, contrary to Picasso, argues that God's 'first sketch' will pale by comparison with the work he still has in progress. This not only gives me great hope and assurance for the future but also reminds me that, whatever I do artistically, I'm only ever sketching "the first sketch".

If you're interested, here's what C.S.Lewis actually wrote: 'We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words — to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it...if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously...we believe that God will one day…cause us to put on the splendour of the sun...At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in. When human souls have become as perfect in voluntary obedience as the inanimate creation is in its lifeless obedience, then they will put on its glory, or rather that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch.”


And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! (2 Corinthians 3:11)

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