Wednesday, June 28, 2006


The subject of talent has often come up by people that visit me at my studio. Occasionally they tell me how talented I am. "What God given talent you have", they say. It's like going into someones home and telling a mother how well God raised her children and give no credit at all to the mother. When I bring up this fact, I get a response similar to what you sometimes get when you say you are against the war. Many instantly believe you are anti-American, unpatriotic, aiding the enemy by stating such a thing, etc. In the same way when take some credit for all the work I've created (probably 10,000 plus paintings, drawings, and sketches) I am branded as being anti-God.
I've come to the conclusion that it's not the business for anyone to assign credit to you or to God. Appreciate the work and leave it at that. They should keep silent on the matter of allocating credit. I'll give credit to God to whom I believe and love but don't come into my home and imply that all this hard work wasn't really hard work and dedication at all but that it is all a gift. It isn't. It requires decades of dedication and hard labor. If I have any gift from God (which I have many) it is a gift to not quit.


Zheila said...

To refer to God is the easiest way for many people to believe that things are send to you and not acheived by you.

Zheila, Sweden

Anonymous said...

Talent is a gift from God, but we have a choice of devcloping that gift or letting it waste. The hard work is in the development phase. Would you agree? I often wonder how God must feel after creating a magnificent universe for us to live in...and then to have his creatures attribute it all to an accident...How do you suppose we would feel as artists if, after we poured our soul into a painting, someone critequing it said, "So when did the explosion in the paintbox happen?" Now THAT'S insulting! Cheers

Anonymous said...

I often think people will say that as a way to console themselves...they are secretly saying "It's ok that am too lazy to develop any skills". I have played wind instruments for many years, and I agree that God gave me an ear and "a gift not to quit" as you put it, but if I hadn't made the decision to work hard, I wouldn't know how to play those instruments. It's like the old saying goes "God helps those who help themselves." I wish God would bless me with the ability to bench-press 250..... and eat cake all day without getting fat. There is definitely some work required on our parts. -Lyssa

Susan said...

Love it...Great comments here! ... and yes I like how you put it, "God gave me the ability not to quit!"

I am thankful to be a Christian and thank God for his grace and mercy, but I know that he doesn't just plop down a big gift of talent such as yours. While He may have given you an ability to see the world in a unique and beautiful way... you most certainly did the work to accomplish becoming an amazing artist.

I just found your blog and i am like a sponge learing from your experience as an artist! I have mostly worked with pastels, but I just started with acrylics because of your inspiration.