Horse Art in Polymer Clay
In Texas, horse art is everywhere. It is impossible to have lived here as long as I have, and not absorb some of the local passion for horses. It is in the very air that we breathe.
And I mean that literally! Walking through the hushed halls of the Kimbell Art Museum , I am often amused by those who disgustedly wrinkle their noses at the earthy smells of horse dung, wafting from the Will Rogers area, just a block away!
There, in enormous barns, proud owners of thoroughbreds and other more humble livestock, exhibit and trade with gusto, unaware of the contempt of the more genteel museum goers downwind.
Not surprisingly, a common ground is reached when the local artist captures the magnificence of these animals (minus their stench!) and creates wonderful horse art - or equestrian art – for the more genteel among you!
I joined the local artists in creating horse art, as a form of protest. I am ashamed to admit that it was actually a formal complaint against the Lord.
During a particularly bleak period of time, I felt ignored at the art shows. Every gallery here shows some form of equestrian art, that seems to garner a lot of admiration. Almost unconsciously, I began to protest one day, by telling Him that it appeared as if the only art that seemed to be selling was horse art!
Despite my resolve that I would only create art at His leading, I found my hands shaping a horse in relief. When I was finished, I felt a smug sense of satisfaction at finally creating a work that would be surely be popular!
It didn’t last long, because opening the Bible that day, I read, “A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save” Ps 33:17
Ouch! Here I was once again, acting outside of the parameters that I had set for myself, seeking popularity and monetary reward, separate from the my earlier stated objectives!
How grateful I am for the Lord’s gentle disciplinary hand. When I had repented of my rebellion that only He could know of, I felt the liberty of forgiveness and the freedom to create all the horse art I so desired!
Now I create with the knowledge of who really must be in charge - and a sense of wonder. I create with an awe of the God who understands me so completely. He knows my lofty aspirations and my awfully shallow motives. He knows how selfish and cheap I really am, despite my striving to be otherwise. He is a God who loves me anyway. He is one who truly seems to believe that I can be who I aspire to be, and is kind enough to help me along.
To my delight, I discovered that in the Bible, the horse seems to be frequently used as a symbol of man placing his trust in deliverance in any form, other than in God.
I was not alone – others, besides me, seemed to choose the tangible instead of the unseen! That is why the kings of Israel were cautioned against accumulating horses.
“The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, "You are not to go back that way again."” Deut 17:16
I learned a valuable lesson (one that I pray I wont have to relearn many times!) in my first rebellious making of horse art.
I was to trust God alone and refuse to assess success or failure by how others do so.
“His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”Ps 147: 10,11 NIV
Today when I create horse art, I am captivated more by the One who created the horse in all its glorious grace and form, than the creature itself.
I pray that you too will take from my lesson in submission, more than just a chuckle of amusement.
May you appreciate, instead, the relevance of the Bible, speaking to the very core of humanity’s issue of striving for independence, apart from God.
He can be trusted as your Father and provider.