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January 25, 2007

Comments

Jared

Absolutely incredible. Well, now I feel like a slacker.

Thanks, Jimmy.

Ann Margaret Lewis

Interesting that she describes God as "strong and masculine" - wonder how many feminists that's going to upset. (Me...I'm laughing! God, God!)
--Ann

Ann Margaret Lewis

Sorry, that should read "Go, God!" not "God, God."
Sheesh.

Henry Karlson

I would be careful with this -- she could be honest and accurate, or she could be deluded as well and just a child prodigy. Or influenced by things which are not God.

She described God as a giant white ball, I wonder what that says to Trinitarians? See something New Agey more than Christian about this (and I am a person who supports inter-religious dialogue and all, but we must also be careful in looking to the claims of others).

So while amazing, not all things amazing come directly from God (though all that is good, true and beautiful do, sometimes the wrong access to them perverts them...)

Henry Karlson

Ok, I rewatched it; I remembered her comments from when I saw the video yesterday. She doesn't say white ball, but "ball of light." And she is talking about "other ways" which can be valid or... could be something else. It's again why I say be careful here.

LarryD

Henry - remember she's only 12 - she is still rather innocent, an innocence that is revealed in her paintings' beauty. And yet, despite her innocence, I detected a depth and complexity to her art that blew me away. She hadn't been exposed to theology in her life - remember that her Mom was atheist - so while you're right that we ought to "test all things", as you infer, we can still thank God for the gifts she has and is still developing. Because we know that all good things come from God. Very inspiring. Thanks Jimmy!

I've sometimes wondered what her artistic subjects would look like if she was Catholic.

Barbara

My name disappeared again.

Tim J.

I have seen her before, and she is remarkable. I was nowhere NEAR that far along artistically at the age of twelve.

I think the thing is to wait and see how she matures. I hope she continues to develop, both in her faith and in her art. I will be very interested to follow her career.

To be honest, had I seen her work without knowing she was twelve, it would have been of little interest. Had these images been painted by a mature adult, they would not stand out as being especially good, or especially deep.

For a twelve-year-old, though, they are remarkable. She has been given a great gift, and I am gratified to see her sharing it with the world. You never know... there may be people who come to faith in God through her testimony. This may open the door for some who, though their ears are closed to the voice of the Church, will listen to a little girl with a miraculous talent.

And it IS miraculous. Okay, maybe in an everyday sort of way... but truthfully, the gifts she has are something of a mystery, because the human mind is a mystery. What would be the evolutionary purpose of art? From a strictly materialist point of view, it is completely useless, but people have always made art. They have never NOT made art. It seems like humans have been haunted from the very beginning with these visions of the High Country, and that needs explaining.

Realist

And then it helps to have rich parents.

Visions of God? God is a spirit with no form or shape. And Heaven is a spirit state again with no form or shape. Vivid dreams, no doubt induced by too much chocolate. Mine are induced by too much beer.

Are some of those paintings based on other works? "Me thinks" I have seen similar paintings.

A.Williams

I agree with Tim J., art has always had the potential for expressing holiness. And art is one of the great witnesses to the depth and wisdom of the Catholic Faith---the sublimity of the art found in our churches, statuary and religious paintings.

The problem is that modern 'progressive' Catholics tend to favor art that lacks depth and sophistication. Most modern religious art more resembles a cartoon than a masterpiece. And although there might be some masterpiece cartoons out there,(Simpsons?) religious art can't even rate in this genre..ie. It's still TACKY.

And even as this girl is now expressing herself with sacred compositions on the piano, as an expression of her refined religious sentiment...so too, modern sacred music often follows the non-descript, vague, infantile and cartoonish religious art, to the depths of banality and tackiness.

What Jimmy posted a few weeks back, when he discussed the definition of literature etc.., he mentioned that Literature needed to highlight, expose or illuminate various aspects of the human condition. If it is religious literature, we must assume that it must reveal something of the human 'spiritual' condition. Now relating this to art, we can judge the art by the same general requirements. Does the art shed light on some particular aspect of the spiritual sentiments of man?

Clearly, Catholic or not, this girl can express the spiritual sentiments of love and devotion in her paintings. The sad thing is, that most Catholic art, these days, does a very poor job of this. And most don't even attempt! Rather, I think, the artists are working only for money, or worse yet, to obscure, or 'dumb-down' the faith. I kind of feel the artists areashamed of truly spiritual expressions, such as this girl depicts, and rather, prefer to hide theri light under a bushel, as Jesus mentioned. When devoutly inspired art is not in demand, because the people are 'shallow', the religious artists turn to the styles that do sell! It's the same trend that is happening in hollywood! We only get guns, sex and rock n roll, these days because the producers are too afraid to lose their money on un proven inspiration. "Money is the root of all evil" comes to mind here very clearly!

Just go to a large city and enter an older church. If you make an analysis of the degrees of devotion, love and spirituality expressed by the art, you will notice that the Catholic art these days is nothing in comparison to the great statuary, paintings and stained glass of a hundred years ago!

SDG

Hey, Realist, it's nice to see you at least interacting with a post, sort of.

Visions of God? God is a spirit with no form or shape.

So... it's your position that God is, what, incapable or unwilling to represent spiritual truths in sensible (i.e., sense-related) ways?

Granted of course that you don't believe in, say, God's appearance to Isaiah in Isaiah 6 (way back before they had chocolate), do you disbelieve in it because you believe the evidence doesn't support it, or because you believe God is incapable of such a thing?

And Heaven is a spirit state again with no form or shape.

And you know this how? When did critical scholarship establish that? Was it in a Jesus Seminar decree that I missed? Or are you simply creating your own reality by fiat?

Those of us who believe in the resurrection believe that glorified bodies have to have a place to go.

Tim J.

I'm sure you're right, Realist, the girl is obviously working some angle.

She's probably in the employ of some art supply company.

If her inner life is the result of an excess of chocolate, and yours of an excess of beer, then that is the strongest endorsement for chocolate I have ever seen.

Monica

Realist, even if her visions were purely chocolate induced, do you not admit that there is a teensy bit of talant there that is perhaps unusual for one her age? You do have an inclination to suck the mystery out of life don't you?

bill912

Her art is an obvious attempt to support the false and discredited doctrine of Limbo. Anyone who is not a complete fool can see that. She even paints pictures of Christ's Body, Which, as we Anointed all know, was probably eaten by wild dogs. (Atleast she painted a picture of one of the dogs).

SDG

If her inner life is the result of an excess of chocolate, and yours of an excess of beer, then that is the strongest endorsement for chocolate I have ever seen.

Zing!

Of course, one must distinguish God and chocolate in order to properly appreciate both.

God and chocolate is better than just God. - Teresa of Avila

I have been told of a very small and very devout boy who was heard murmuring to himself on Easter morning a poem of his own composition which began 'Chocolate eggs and Jesus risen'. This seems to me, for his age, both admirable poetry and admirable piety. But of course the time will soon come when such a child can no longer effortlessly and spontaneously enjoy that unity. He will become able to distinguish the spiritual from the ritual and festal aspect of Easter; chocolate eggs will no longer be sacramental. And once he has distinguished he must put one or the other first. If he puts the spiritual first he can still taste something of Easter in the chocolate eggs; if he puts the eggs first they will soon be no more than any other sweetmeat." C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms, pp. 48-49

Sailorette

Delightful.

I gotta disagree with the person that said the paintings wouldn't stand out from an adult-- if I saw them in a mall, I'd stop and enjoy them. The only other modern paintings that give me the same sort of feeling are a couple of Kinkade's.

Realist-- yes, God won't convey Himself and Heaven in a way a little girl can easily understand, that would be too easy. I'm sure he'd just make it so it's utterly impossible to get your mind around. Isn't that the best way to bring your children back to you? Not even try to make it so they understand? /sarcasim

I wonder if there are any prints of her stuff floating around that I could afford. She looks like a pretty normal, sweet kid, and the feeling in my gut from a few of those is like walking into Saint Pat's in my mom's home town. (Just a church, not a Cathedral, but that didn't stop them from trying.)

Henry Karlson

Oh, come on -- I do agree art -- the beautiful-- comes from God and is inspired from God. So is knowledge and wisdom. It is there I said she has talent, and there should be all recognition of that fact.

The problem is when that talent then is used to explain the spiritual realities we live in. Yes, she is not a theologian; but we must remember, many Saints who had visions were not and yet their expression and truth was authentic and compatible with the faith. God would not lead people to error in visions and locutions.

It is there we have some concern, and her statement reads like some condemned position held by the Origenists about the soul and God (that the sphere is the perfect shape, the soul would be spherical, and God would be because the soul is in the image of God). It does read more like she experienced something, but I would be careful in saying it is divine. Her ability can easily be manipulated and corrupted as well, Satan can come in the form of an angel of light.

Caution always needs to be had -- extreme, skeptical caution--for any claims of visions and locutions. Questioning them should be the natural reaction -- one who does not quesiton their own is one who automatically is to be doubted, as per the message of St John of the Cross.

SDG

I gotta disagree with the person that said the paintings wouldn't stand out from an adult-- if I saw them in a mall, I'd stop and enjoy them. The only other modern paintings that give me the same sort of feeling are a couple of Kinkade's.

Um. Sailorette, meet Tim J. (You won't find his art in a mall, but.)

Sailorette

*grin* Thanks, SDG, but I have seen his site before, and know they're out of my reach. ;^)
Some of them-- like Brass & Hyacinths -- I do like, but the thing is I like them because I can see the loving skill involved; the ones from the kid hit me in the metaphorical gut, before I can start to admire the skill.

And the mall is the only place I generally get to see non-anti-Christian artwork. Twisp and the Methow Valley have an art gallery and many art communes, but their art tends to be either a) senseless and kinda ugly or b) making a statement, generally one I disagree with most violently.

Realist

"You all" need to start painting visions for your own "You Tubing." I am sure there is some hidden talent somewhere in this crowd.

Monica

TWISP? I was there once when I was a kid. You mean they have a mall there now? :)

Tim J.

Have patience with me, Sailorette! Believe me when I say I'm just learning to paint, and I hope to be an artist, one day.

You are right that skill isn't everything. Some start with skill and work their way (hopefully) to profound meaning, some start with meaning and have to develop the skill to carry it off.

Most do both. I can see Akiane's potential for being a great artist, as well as an inspiration. However, there is also the possibility that she will stagnate, that she will not be pushed to improve her skills, or that she will be driven (like some musical artists) to continually replicate the style and themes she used when she first became well known.

She might also become something like a cult figure. If her visions lead people closer to the Church (if not into it) then I have no problem with them. If her visions begin to be held up as some kind of New Revelation, or if they conflict with Church teaching, then there is a problem. It could easily spin off into some kind of new-age cotton candy. That's why I hope her faith develops and matures. There can be no Christ without the cross.

Sailorette

*chuckles* Nah, Monica, that's on our trips to big places-- like Wenatchee. Twisp is probably about like you remember, but with more Old Hippie vibes.

I think you're good, Tim J. Your stuff is what I would choose if I wanted a room for people to come and talk in, get to know each other-- it's not so bold that it's the focus, but it's comforting, and nice enough to look at without seeming like you're ignoring someone. I suppose that folks that create are always learning, though.

I rather hope you're right about her maturing, but I think we need more light. I play a game called World of Warcraft, which just introduced a playable race that are basically the Holy escapees of a race that became demons. Many folks are saying that they are "too good to be real" or "no-one is that nice." These same folks have no problem with the three or four (depending on how you count) races that are very, very evil. (Invading demons, Undead
Scourge, Power-At-Any-Cost Blood Elves and the Undead Forsaken.)
Folks seem to have an easier time believing in evil than in good, right now. I think beauty-- that doesn't hide a poison core-- might help fix that.

Henry Karlson

Sailorette,

You are correct -- beauty is a necessary characteristic for any true spiritual renewal. It is a category which is often ignored, and without it, morality becomes stagnant legalism, truth becomes ugly sterile facts. Beauty is necessary to give life, for beauty stems from the Spirit of Life -- the Holy Spirit.

Puzzled

Like unto Bezalel and Oholiab! Wow.

She isn't Catholic? Interesting, for all of her paintings of Mary. Did you notice?


Pray that she not be corrupted by all of the attention this will bring.

Tim J.

Hey, Sailorette, I actually have a WOW character named Daneron - eighth level dwarf paladin!

My son is nuts about the game and insisted on my playing. I dabbled in it over Christmas break.

It's like D&D without all the tedious socializing and making friends. ;-)

Esau

I agree with Tim J., art has always had the potential for expressing holiness. And art is one of the great witnesses to the depth and wisdom of the Catholic Faith---the sublimity of the art found in our churches, statuary and religious paintings

Actually, wasn't there somebody who converted to Catholicism just because of the majesty of the Sistine Chapel that simply rendered him awe-struck when he had ultimately visited Rome?

Suzanne

Esau, It wouldn't surprise me. The body of Catholic art was initially the strongest attraction leading me home to the Church; I figured anything that had fostered all that beauty couldn't be all bad.

Esau

You're telling me, Suzanne!

I just wished I knew who exactly was it who converted to Catholicism simply because of his visit to the Sistine Chapel.

From vague recollection, I believe it was actually somebody famous.

Beau

I was an art student "back in the day" and my wife graduated from a prestigious art program, so I've seen my share of paintings. Tim said (paraphrasing) that the paintings were not remarkable if the artist were an adult. I agree with this - they're not bad, but it ain't the Sistine Chapel either.

After looking at her web site, what struck me about her talent was not the quality of her paintings as a 12 year old, but the quality of her drawings when she was 4 or 5. I have a 4 year old daughter - she loves to draw, but the quality of her artwork is pretty much in line with what you'd expect from a 4 year old (even though I love them ;). This girl has a talent that really only needs time and perhaps some formal instruction (self taught wasn't she?) to blossom into something truly great.

Tim J.

Considering her gifts, if I were in charge of her art education, I would limit it at first to;

A) lots of trips to art museums, favoring those with a collection weighted heavily toward pre-twentieth century, and

B) lots and lots of drawing and painting from life, not photographs.

So much of what I have learned about painting has come from just looking at great art - closely. Formal training and workshops can be of some use, but I would take it all with a grain of salt. There are a hundred ways to apply paint. A lot of the most useful information is about how to avoid common mistakes.

Similar to what they say about writing, the best way to learn to paint well is to paint badly for a long time.

Stu

I'm with Henry on this. Beautiful art, but it is wise to discern the source. What are the fruits of her gifts and ministry? Her mother's conversion is too close to home to be a strong indicator.

Esau

Ezekiel 28:17 And thy heart was lifted up with thy beauty: thou hast lost thy wisdom in thy beauty, I have cast thee to the ground: I have set thee before the face of kings, that they might behold thee.

Brian Murphy

People keep on saying that she is not Catholic. How do you know that? What faith tradition does she call home?

Wow, that's amazing. I especially like her paintings of Eve and of our Blessed Mother. She may or may not be Catholic, but on her site she did speak of Mary very respectively. I mean this just doesn't sound very Protestant to me, but maybe that's me.

"I painted Mary in a silky blue robe surrounded by a background palette of cerulean, cobalt and Persian blue. This is how I interpreted the vision of baby Jesus and his beautiful young mother. The robe connects both of them as if there were one.

Mary is the symbol of love, warmth, affection, tenderness and devotion. Her story is the story of love and faith. What other mother can call her son her heavenly father? Hers is the most unusual life: to protect and raise the Savior.

Mary with her tender love embraced Jesus at birth, embraced him on the Cross and embraced him on his resurrection.

That is why the lower hand in a shadow is her witnessing the crucifixion, and the upper hand in light is her witnessing both the birth and the resurrection."

Chris

I note the voice is that of Glenn Beck...former Catholic converted to Mormon. I've listened to him enough to know he is a person of deep faith and a huge respect for the Catholic Church. He left the faith because he didn't want to be a Cafeteria Catholic.

bill912

I've heard Beck make anti-Catholic remarks, which is why I stopped listening to him.

Sailorette

Tim J-- bah, you don't have a good guild, that's all! Mine is like an extended family-- I get on just to talk, some times, and it lets me keep in touch with my fiance while he's in Japan. (and keeps me sane when he's at sea.)

Go to the Night Elf city, you'll love the looks, I think. (My first character was a Paladin, too. They get fun around level 30-35.)

I did notice a lot of Mary theme-- also a lot of mother themes, too, which is kinda odd. Her mom doesn't seem very... mom-ish.

Karen

I did notice a lot of Mary theme-- also a lot of mother themes, too, which is kinda odd. Her mom doesn't seem very... mom-ish.

I looked at her over and over again to try to see where you're coming from, and I just don't see why not. She looks like a lot of moms over here in Europe where I live.

Sailorette

I don't mean her looks, I mean something about how she talks and relates to her kid. The family photo looks a bit more normal, but she seems more like the girl's publicist than the woman who gave birth to a kid who is doing amazing stuff and apparently converted her from atheism.

Esau

I don't mean her looks, I mean something about how she talks and relates to her kid.

Sailorette,
Do you visit any Evangelical Christian websites???

I heard the same thing there on a 2005 post.

Sailorette

*looks curious* No, can't say that I do-- I find questions about "have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior?" to be rather intrusive and often rude.

I'm not the best at reading people, but I'm not utterly horrible at it, and if they hadn't introduced the lady as the girl's mother, I wouldn't have guessed.

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

Man, I wish I had dreams like that after eating too much chocolate! Never worked for me, somehow....

In Jesu et Maria,

Brian

wow. I am not sure if they come from God or not, but at least it's respectfully towards Him. Most of the art now a days is blasphemous so I'll take what I can.

James

Let's all pray that she becomes Catholic and becomes trained in the more traditional arts of the Church. With a bit more maturity and proper training, she could do really great work for the Lord.

materfamilias

Regarding the power of beauty: The story I heard was that in the 10th century King Vladimir of Kiev was traveling about the world and found the church of Hagia Sophia so beautiful that he converted to Christianity and had everyone in his kingdom baptized. Of course, the evangelization of Saints Cyril and Methodius in the 9th century might also have been an influence. : )

Fr.Benoit

The girl has an official website.

JV

An official website?!?!? Well, naturally. ;)

I noticed her picture of the Blessed Mother. Classic "Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue" stuff. I hope to see her work develop, though amazing for her age it is still "Kinkade-ish".

May the Lord bless her richly and keep her from error and sin!

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