Wednesday, July 07, 2010


I recently finished reading the play Red. Focusing on the artistic process and personality of Mark Rothko, Red won the Tony Award for Best New Play in 2010. Similar to Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George, it is a piece of art about the process of making art. The story of artists looking for meaning and longevity.

Why am I reading this and writing blog posts about it? Because I'm a firm believer that all who hope to improve their communication skills should read such books. If you are a preacher and do not incorporate good fiction and literature into your reading diet, you should. But I'll hold myself back and save that soapbox for another blog post. For now...I'm just seeing Red.

The play focused on the process, the conversations, and the relationships that are critical to the creative process. I should probably write an entire series of posts from my gleanings of this script, but I'll try to simply bullet point some thoughts as they relate to communication in ministry.
  • Art is never created in a vacuum. Neither are great sermons.
  • One of the most important challenges we face in both art and ministry is to accurately honor the past while aggressively creating the future.
  • We must pursue the calling-- not the consumer. I'll post more on that one later.
  • We have to reproduce ourselves through others. But we have to learn how to leave our imprint while also freeing them to create something new.
  • Cross-pollinating is a catalyst to the creative process.
I loved this statement: "Most of painting is thinking. Didn't they teach you that? Ten percent is putting paint onto the canvas. The rest is waiting." I've found that to be true of sermon prep. We've got to spend lots of time in prayer and listening and waiting. Only ten percent is actually writing and outlining and organizing.

There are many more thoughts swimming around chaotically in my brain right now. Perhaps I will post more later.


At 11:59 AM, Blogger macymiamom said...

This is SUCH good stuff.... I think I will have to quote you on these statements!

At 5:38 AM, Blogger paint_pants said...

Rothko is Ian's favorite painter. I love that "art is not created in a vacuum" made it into your take-aways. That was one of the most interesting and controversial ideas of the Modern movement!


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