August 2009 Artists Work B.e.n.c.h.

Welcome to the e-magazine/blog for Artists' Work B.e.n.c.h., the Inland Empire's Christian fine arts organization! We hope you will find this to be a useful, enjoyable and worthwhile resource.

We have created a survey that we would like you to participate in when you have a couple of moments. We want to get a feel for how our members are already using their artistic talents in the community, and what obstacles are still out there for Christian artists. We appreciate your assistance, as we hope to use this as a tool to improve Artists' Work B.e.n.c.h. and develop more ideas for events, networking, education and other matters. The survey is at:

Here are the newest items in the Artists' Work B.e.n.c.h. blog. Just click on the titles to go to the articles:

The Cafe for August 2009

Poetry Corner: Children's Party

Christian Songwriters' Showcase Has a New Home and a New Date

Third Quarter Bookclub Selection - It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God

Fine Arts Bible Study 10

August Happenings: Artistic Events around the Inland Empire

Artist Profile: Albrecht Durer

Local Artist Profile: David Carranza, Jr.

Master Class: Photographing Water

The Inspiration of Native American Dance

So, brew a cup of coffee, herbal tea, or whatever you like, and stay a while. This page will be updated monthly with new articles and interviews. Enjoy!You are part of a growing group.

What is Artists' Work B.e.n.c.h? This is a place for Christian artists in the Inland Empire of Southern California to mix, network, relax, share, and learn. What types of Christian artists?

1. Visual arts (sculpture, painting, glass blowing, etc.)
2. Dance (performing, choreography, etc. )
3. Music (playing, writing, learning, singing, etc.)
4. Creative writing (poetry, stories, etc.)
5. Drama/theater (acting, playwriting, directing, etc.)
6. ??????

Artists Work B.e.n.c.h. is for Christian artists: simply, people who are Christians and who are also artists. Some Christian artists make art exclusively for Christians, but many use their talents in secular ways as well (writing screenplays for television, jingles, playing in a philharmonic orchestra, acting in a community theater, displaying their paintings in a gallery, etc.) All are welcome here.

Christians follow the Creator of the Universe, and therefore should be the most creative people in the world. The church has historically been the patron of great artists. Hildegard, the writer of the very first opera, was a nun. Michelangelo, Donatello, Edward Hicks, and many others made art for church and used church subjects.

But, today, Christian art is not considered "forward" or "interesting" in many circles. This reputation is well-deserved in most cases. Christian art has become a punchline. In our own little way we hope to change some of that perception.

What does Artist's Work B.e.n.c.h. stand for?

B=BUILD new Christian artists, ministries, avenues.

E=ENCOURAGE Christian artists to use their talents.

N=NETWORK with Christian artists, churches.

C=COORDINATE opportunities for Christian artists to use/exhibit their talents.

H=HELP Christian artists and help churches utilize artists.

This group is for people who fit one or more of these categories:
1.) Just starting out
2.) Being used mightily for God
3.) Frustrated
4.) Seasoned professional
5.) Curious
6.) Talented amateur
7.) Wanting to learn/improve
8.) Not sure if God can use your talent
9.) Good enough to teach others
10.) Wondering if your talent (flower arranging, calligraphy, photography, etc.) even qualifies as art.

Christian artists--unite! Let's be creative, interesting, and forward thinking enough to lead the artistic world, while still making quality pieces that reflect our worldview.

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Poetry Corner: Children's Party

Just because the Dog Days of Summer find us in a silly mood...

May I join you in the doghouse, Rover?
I wish to retire till the party's over.
Since three o'clock I've done my best
To entertain each tiny guest. My conscience now I've left behind me,
And if they want me, let them find me.
I blew their bubbles, I sailed their boats,
I kept them from each other's throats. I told them tales of magic lands,
I took them out to wash their hands.
I sorted their rubbers and tied their laces,
I wiped their noses and dried their faces. Of similarities there's lots
Twixt tiny tots and Hottentots.
I've earned repose to heal the ravages
Of these angelic-looking savages. Oh, progeny playing by itself
Is a lonely little elf,
But progeny in roistering batches
Would drive St. francis from here to Natchez. Shunned are the games a parent proposes,
They prefer to squirt each other with hoses,
Their playmates are their natural foemen
And they like to poke each other's abdomen. Their joy needs another's woes to cushion it,
Say a puddle, and someone littler to push in it.
They observe with glee the ballistic results
Of ice cream with spoons for catapults, And inform the assembly with tears and glares
That everyone's presents are better than theirs.
Oh, little women and little men,
Someday I hope to love you again, But not till after the party's over,
So give me the key to the doghouse, Rover.

by Ogden Nash

To read the master class on writing poetry, click here.

Below are previous poems we have published on this site.
To see July's Poem, click here.
To see June's Poem, click here.
To see May's Poem, click here.
To see April's Poem, click here.
To see March's Poem, click here.
To see February's poem, click here.
To see January's poem, click here.
To see the poem for December, 2008, click here.
To read a poem by Steve Turner, click here.

Book Club: It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God

Our Artists’ Work B.e.n.c.h. Book Club selection for the third quarter of 2009 is a profoundly inspirational collection of essays entitled It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God.

Edited by Ned Bustard and published by Square Halo Books, this marvelous collection discusses subjects like conveying the concepts of good and evil in art, developing a sense of community, beauty, substance, mission, truth and many other issues of importance to the Christian artist. The contributors include:

Ned Bustard, founder of the graphic arts company World’s End Images, author of children’s educational books, and artistic director for Square Halo Books;

Charlie Peacock, award-winning musician, composer, author and producer;

Sandra Bowden, founder of Christians In the Visual Arts, whose vivid artworks were featured in a recent Work B.e.n.c.h. issue;

Makato Fujimura, cross-cultural painter and founder of the International Arts Movement;

Roger Feldman, large-scale multimedia artist;

Edward Knippers, painter renowned for his compassionate but stunning depictions of the human form;

and several other artists across many disciplines. Here’s what the publisher has to say about It Was Good:

“The Christian looks at the world through the eyes of one who has a restored relationship with the Creator, and receives a new vision affecting every area of life—including the creative process. So what does it mean to be a creative individual who is a follower of the creative God? It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God seeks to answer that question through a series of essays which offer theoretical and practical insights into artmaking from a Christian perspective. The Christian worldview is foundational to the approach a believer in Christ takes to making art and artmaking inevitably raises difficult questions. This book offers aid in developing some of the internal tools needed to work through those questions, and so to glorify and enjoy God while trying to speak with a clear and relevant voice to a fallen world.”

Please note that we will be working with the 2007 expanded edition of the book, not the earlier, smaller edition. The updated edition doubles the number of essays and should be considered an essential resource for any Christian artist.

August Cafe

Here are some links to get the ideas swirling in your brain. Perhaps one of these will give you a great idea for a dance or a painting...or maybe it will just be a diversion with a few interesting links.

August birthstone- peridot

August Flower- Gladiolas

August 1- National Mustard Day
Did you know that the Napa Valley Mustard Festival sponsors an annual art contest? They give monetary prizes and also display artwork and photography for sale. Unfortunately for many Work B.e.n.c.h. members, artists have to live in Northern California. Still, it’s a good collection of marketable art that is made by contemporary artists. To view the 2009 and past winners, or to find out more about entering, click here:

And, before leaving the subject of mustard, here is a local company that makes some really good mustard. You can order it over the internet. They’re out of Grand Terrace, and they do free local delivery (within reason).

August 2 International Forgiveness Day
Forgiveness is an integral part of the Gospel message. One Buddhist I know who killed a man during the Vietnam War was quite intrigued by Jesus’ claims to wash away sin. For some other takes on Forgiveness, click here: At this site, you will find quotes and quips on forgiveness, including this Emily Dickenson poem:

All but Death, can be Adjusted—
Dynasties repaired—
Systems—settled in their Sockets—

Wastes of Lives—resown with Colors
By Succeeding Springs—
Death—unto itself—Exception—
Is exempt from Change—

August 3- National Watermelon Day
What does a watermelon have to do with art? Check out this website with many intricate and amazingly difficult carvings. Click here

August 5 Work Like a Dog Day
Maybe work like a dog day seems like it’s every day. Today, why don’t you find out about actual dogs who work. Did you know that Perris has an organization called Canine Support Teams, where they train and match service dogs to people who have disabilities other than blindness? Click here to see their website:

August 7- National Lighthouse Day
Want to see a lighthouse up close? Pigeon Point Lighthouse, which is just north of Santa Cruz, has a hostel connected to it. You can stay in a dorm room for $23, or reserve a private room for you and your family for around $100. Click here for information

August 9 Book Lover's Day
Tom Bendtsen, a Canadian artist, has made some pretty amazing large-scale sculptures out of books. Check it out at:

August 10 National S'mores Day
Check out this link for creative ways to get that s’mores taste, such as a s’mores sundae, or s’mores fudge.

August 11 Presidential Joke Day
On August 11, 1984, just before his regular Saturday radio address, President Ronald Reagan was doing a voice test with the microphone. He thought the microphone and the feed was not live. He joked into the microphone: "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes." To his surprise, he was speaking to a live feed!

August 13 Left Hander's Day
Below is a video of Romanian Luthier Gliga’s mastery of making left handed violins, cellos, and other stringed instruments. If you are interested in finding out how to purchase one of these beautiful instruments, which start at only $538 click here

August- 14/15 V-J Day –
On August 14, Hirohito, Emperor of Japan during World War II surrendered. News spread throughout the United States and the world. Today, the date passes mostly without significance, except the occasional reference at the end of the nightly news, but it’s significance lives on in history. You probably know someone, a grandfather perhaps, who fought in World War II. Why don’t you call this person up and talk to him/her about the war experience. For more information on VJ Day and World War II in general, click here

August 17 National Thriftshop Day
Who can resist listening to a song with lyrics like this:
Everyday when I go to school people say I look like a fool
They don’t like the way I dress
Hey! I don’t wear pants made by Guess.
Plaid pants aren’t too funny, I bought these with yesterday’s lunch money.
They only cost $1.92.

I don’t care, I’ll be back there tomorrow, I won’t drown in your sorrow.
Maybe I’ll have enough for two, maybe I’ll buy a pair for you!
Go ahead and laugh, I won’t get mad. This shirt used to be your dad’s.

The ska-punk band Voodoo Glow Skulls out of Riverside, CA recorded this song. Listen to it here:

August 18 Bad Poetry Day
Here’s your chance to get back at your high school English teacher. Relish bad poetry and recite it until your heart’s content! Put a short bad poem in your kids’ lunch boxes so they can read it at school and horrify their teachers. Send an e-mail to all of your friends with a bad poem in it. Go to a restaurant and tip a waiter an extra amount to have him read a bad poem to your significant other. If you can’t write bad poetry of your own, click here and borrow one of these:

To read last month’s master class about how to write better poetry, click here (not today, though, because today is Bad Poetry Day).

August 20- Qi Xi- Chinese Valentine's Day.

This day is arranged by the Lunar calendar, so it falls on a different day in the summer each year. Click here to learn about traditions, stories, and ideas for how to celebrate this day. Below is how to write, "I Love You" in Mandarine (Chinese).

August 23- Ride the Wind Day

How do you ride the wind? Take a motorcycle ride, fly in an airplane or glider, fly a kite, ride in a sailboat, drive a convertible with the top down, or just take a walk in the cooler evening breeze. Celebrate the waning days of summer by just enjoying the weather. For artistic inspiration, you will find 30 works of art that pertain to the sky, wind, or air. Click here:

August 24- Vesuvius Day

On August 24 in the year 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted and destroyed two Roman cities: Pompeii and Herculaneum. Click here for an excellent website that shows some of the excavation and finds, as well as the history these two cities.

August 30- Toasted Marshmallow Day

The following video is a Dave Tremko claymation of a bear wood carving toasting a marshmallow. Confused? Just watch the video. It's short. Then, you try to describe it.

August Happenings

Christian Concert

August 2 - The Rave

The Rave, with a live band, DJ Steve, Cafe', prizes, and more. 6-8:30pm at New Hope Christian Fellowship, 13333 Ramona Ave., Chino. Contact(909) 702-3736, or for more information.

Photography Exhibit

Now through August 29- Sight Unseen: International Photography by blind artists.

at: UCR/California Museum of Photography. General admission $3- seniors, students and children are free. Muesum open Tuesdays-Saturdays, 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M, located at . 3824 Main st. Riverside, CA 92501

Sight Unseen presents work by twelve of the most accomplished blind photographers in the world. It is the first major museum exhibition on a subject full of paradox and revelation. This poetic and inherently conceptual work proposes a surprising central thesis—unhindered by the constraints of outward sight, blind photographers possess the clearest vision on the planet.

This installation has been in Time Magazine (click here), on NPR (click here), and reviewed in the L.A. Times (click here).

Fashion Show featuring student works

August 6- Down4Earth Recycled Fashion Show

Rubidoux youth summer fashion workshop exhibition. All one-of-a-kind pieces are made from recycled elements. Proceeds from all sales go to benefit the programs at the Youth Opportunity Center in Riverside. This project is hosted by Small Wonder in partnership with California Family Life Centers. It involves youth, ages 14 to 21, employed to design and fabricate unique fashion. Tickets are free as part of August Downtown Artswalk. Begins at 7:00 P.M. at Riverside Community Arts Association, 3870 Lemon Street Riverside, CA 92501.

Jazz Concert

August 7- Diana Krall

At Agua Caliente, 32-250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage. Some music is intended to paint a romantic scene – a candlelit dinner, a walk along a moonlit beach. Quiet Nights – Diana Krall’s twelfth album – ain’t about that. Using Brazil as a musical point of reference, the award-winning pianist and singer is not suggesting a night out; she means to stay in. Tickets $45-$100. Call 760-202-2111 for more information. Buy tickets here:

Family Art Day

August 7- Family Day at the Art Depot in Fontana featuring Joshua Valencia.

Join the Art Depot Gallery for fun entertainment, artist demonstrations, art activities and more in the quarterly Family Art Day. Admission: Free. 6-9 P.M. at Art Depot 16822 Spring Street Fontana, CA 92235.

Cartooning Workshop

August 7- Cartooning Workshop at the Museum of History and Art in Riverside.

Join artist Darlene Douthit as she leads a cartooning workshop inspired by the Peanuts characters and Snoopy. Along with learning cartooning techniques, Ms. Douthit will share how Charles Schulz was the first professional she met at the age of eighteen and how he inspired her and offered career advice as a young artist. Workshop begins at 4:00 P.M. at 225 South Euclid Avenue Ontario, CA 91762.

August 8-Southern/Country Gospel Concert

featuring Tradesmen, June Wade & Tomes Brothers. 6pm, Trinity Full Gospel, 235 N Lena Rd., San Bernardino, free. Call (760) 949-4670 for more info.

Jam Session

August 12- Hot Night, Sweet Jam in Joshua Tree

The Hot Night, Sweet Jam event is a multi-faceted fully produced open jam session for musicians. Open to any musician who would like to get on-stage and play with other musicians. Bar – Snacks, wine and beverages available for purchase located in the theatre foyer. Event tickets presale are $5 or $10 at the door. Call 760-684-9093 for more information or to purchase tickets. Time 7-11 P.M. High Dessert Playhouse and Cultural Arts Center, 61231 29 Palms Hwy. Joshua Tree, CA 92252.


August 15-September 20- Lifehouse Theater presents Little House on the Prairie

Tickets $10-$16. For more information and to purchase tickets in advance, click here: or call (909) 335-3037

Follow the adventures of a young pioneer family and a wagon load of friends from Walnut Grove. Ma and Pa Ingalls, Laura, Mary and Carrie, the lovable Mr. Edwards, bratty Nelly Olsen and all the familiar favorites from the beloved series by Laura Ingalls Wilder share the challenges and rewards of life on the Prairie. 1135 N Church St, Redlands.

AUG 14-16 Harvest Crusade with Greg Laurie

Performances by Third Day, Chris Tomlin, Skillet, Relient K and more. Fri-Sat. 7pm & Sun. 6pm, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, free. For more information call 1-800-CRUSADE, or click here.

Christian Concert

August 15- Christian Songwriters’ Showcase

Come out and hear Daniel Medina, Justin Reid, Jeremiah Johns, and Chris Ryan share their music in a casual setting. Free. 4:30-6:30 at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at 528 Orange Street in Redlands (in the Vons/Trader Joes shopping center). Along with coffee and goodies from the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, there is a frozen yogurt shop and several other eateries within close walking distance.


August 15-23- Disney’s Aladdin presented by Christian Arts and Theater in Corona.

Disney’s Aladdin will hit the stage with all your favorite characters from the lovely Jasmine and the evil Jafar, comical Iago and Abu and, of course, Aladdin and the Genie. Naturally, all the wonderful Disney music will be included too, like “Never Had a Friend like Me” and “A Whole New World”. CAT’s youth shows are always wildly successful “sell outs” and it is expected that Aladdin will be no different. This is a great show to introduce your children to live theater: all the colorful costumes, amazing dancing and familiar music will captivate them! Presald tickets $11-$13, at the door $13-15. Call 951-279-2258.

Christian Concert

August 21- Leeland in concert

7pm, Rancho Community Church, 31300 Rancho Community Way, Temecula, $15-20. Sponsored by Thessalonika Family Services. Call (951) 302-7609 for more information.

Christian Concert

August 22- G.M.D. Summer Celebration Concert 2009

Featuring Little Willie G, Dennis Massawe & more. 5:30-9pm, Temecula Community Recreation Center, 30785 Rancho Vista Rd., Temecula. Tickets are $5. Call (951) 252-7885 for more information.

Christian Dancing

August 29- Riverside Dance Party (includes lessons).

For ages 19 to 91. 7:30-11:30pm. Cowtown, 15950 Van Buren Blvd. $15 prepaid, $20 at door. Call (714) 210-3337, or go to for more information.


August 29-30-16th annual Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines

10 A.M. to 6 P.M. Two incredible days of great jazz, wonderful food and art in the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains on the campus of the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Produced by the Associates of Idyllwild Arts Foundation to raise scholarship funds for Idyllwild Arts Academy and the Summer Program and to promote the American Art Form – Jazz. Tickets- $20-$235. Call 951-313-3361 for more information. Location: Idyllwild Arts Campus, 52500 Temecula Drive Idyllwild, CA 92549.

Artist Profile: Albrecht Durer

In a world of celebrity pastors, it’s easy for people who aren’t called to be pastors to feel either marginalized or off-the-hook, depending on how much they desire to serve God. Feelings like, “I don’t make the rules around here, I’m just the drummer for the worship team,” have been heard too often in the halls of the church. Many pastors who think they are being forward or modern will allow an artist or a dancer to create something for a service, but only if it’s short and doesn’t cut into the sermon time.

Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) lived during the height of the Northern Renaissance, and he saw art as necessary for the church and important in helping people worship and understand the teachings of the Bible. He was born into a family with a talented goldsmith father, an immigrant to Germany from Hungary, who was happy to see his young son interested in the arts. Out of eighteen children born to his mother and father, only three survived to adulthood. Durer’s godfather was a printer who owned twenty-four printing presses and published the Nuremburg Chronicle, which contained 1,809 woodcut illustrations. Growing up with such influences on his life, young Albrecht was destined to become an artist, and it is no wonder that some of his most famous works are woodcuts.

As a young man, Durer worked in his father’s goldsmith shop and was apprenticed at fifteen years old to Michael Wohlgemut, a painter who was sought after for book cover design. Wohlgemut taught Durer how to do masterful woodcuts, and the apprentice’s skill at the art is apparent; even now, 500 years later, good impressions can still be made from Durer’s original woodcuts. He used a burin, a steel cutting tool for engraving, to make his woodcuts.

Durer married Agnes Frey in 1494 in an arranged marriage that seemed like a business deal between their respective fathers. Shortly after his marriage, Durer traveled to Venice to learn from Italian Renaissance artists. He studied proportion and perspective, topics that would become some of his life’s passion in art.

But, they weren’t his only passions in life. In 1495, he returned to Nuremburg and worked on a series of large prints called “The Apocalypse.” It became a series of fifteen woodcuts in which Durer illustrated the events described in the book of Revelation (a few are shown below).

It seemed that much of Europe was stricken with “End of the World fever,” since the year 1500 was fast approaching. Every report of a flood, earthquake, or even a military leader was met with dread that the Antichrist might be within the world’s midst. However, many of the citizens were still illiterate and, with the Catholic masses spoken in Latin, a language unintelligible to the run-of-the-mill European, Durer wanted to create works that taught the world what the Bible actually said about the subject of the Apocalypse. His blocks were made of hardwood and large; they took up a full-sized piece of paper when printed. On the reverse side, Durer had the pertinent Bible verses printed. Europeans were so ready to “hear” Durer’s message that this project brought him widespread fame.

He followed the Apocalypse with a series on the life of Mary and another on the Passion of Christ. Both of these series were meant to be used by Bible teachers and clergy as they taught the public about the Bible.

Not all of his works were sacred in nature. He painted many pictures and made woodblocks of nature scenes. His woodcut of a rhinoceros, though not very true-to-life as it was based upon someone else’s report, was still being used in publications two centuries after Durer created it. He also made a number of portraits, which tended to bring in the bulk of an artist’s income as wealthy patrons wanted good artists to memorialize them.

In 1508, a wealthy merchant commissioned Durer to paint a new triptych altarpiece for a church in Frankfurt. The piece was later destroyed by fire, but copies exist that were made by art students in the 1600’s before the fire. A copy of the reproduction is below. Notice the circle (added by me) on the left panel of the triptych.

Now, look at Durer’s famous Praying Hands of an Apostle (below), a study he made for this particular altarpiece.

These hands have been reproduced in sculptures, tattoos, religious medallions, and today are one of the most recognized Christian symbols, next to the cross. While the actual painting on the altarpiece was destroyed and we only know it through students’ copies, the commonly seen sketches of the praying hands are Durer originals.

Durer was on friendly terms with some of the most powerful people in Germany, such as Frederick the Wise and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, who commissioned Durer to paint a portrait. The emperor eventually gave Durer an annual pension so that he could continue to create great art. Durer’s posthumous portrait of Maximilian I is below. The inscription at the top is in Latin, and a translation reads, “"The most powerful, the greatest, and most invincible Emperor Maximilian, who surpassed all the kings and princes of his time in justice, wisdom, magnanimity, [and] generosity, but especially in martial glory and strength of courage. He was born in the year of human salvation 1459, on the day of March 9. He lived 59 years and 9 months, 25 days. He died, however, in the year 1519, in the month of January, on the 12th day. Whom God the Best and Greatest may wish to restore to the number of the living.”

In addition to these religious images and portraits, Durer sometimes worked on art with social themes, such as his woodcut Allegory of Justice, and he printed world maps and star charts which were based on Ptolemy’s catalog. Some of the symbols on his maps below are inaccurate because the knowledge of the globe was evolving. Remember that Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, so Durer and Columbus were contemporaries. Durer was also fascinated with mathematics and both studied and taught it. He once wrote, “And since geometry is the right foundation of all painting, I have decided to teach its rudiments and principles to all youngsters eager for art.” His abilities in math have been celebrated, and scientists actually named a crater on the planet Mercury after Durer.

Still, it was the Bible that gave Durer his inspiration for many of his pieces. Below is a study of hands resting on a Bible, a well-loved book of Durer’s. Martin Luther was another contemporary of Durer, and their geographic proximity made it easy for Frederick the Wise to send Durer one of Luther’s books in 1520. There is no evidence the two ever met, but Durer once said that he would like to meet Luther and engrave a portrait “as a lasting memorial of the man who has helped me out of great anxiety.” Later, when Durer heard of Martin Luther’s kidnapping, he wrote a prayer that said, “… if we have lost this man, who has written more clearly than any that has lived for 140 years, and to whom Thou hast given such a spirit of the Gospel, we pray Thee, O Heavenly Father, that Thou wouldst again give Thy Holy Spirit to another . . . O God, if Luther is dead, who will henceforth deliver the Holy Gospel to us with such clearness?” Durer did not know when he wrote this prayer that Luther was completely safe and had been kidnapped by his supporters to protect him from papal forces.

Hand Study with Bible

Adam and Eve

Samson killing the lion

Durer knew his gift was from God and was for God’s people. He used his art not only to help people understand Biblical stories, but to convey the emotion behind the stories. He knew where he stood within the Body of Christ. He understood what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 14:26, “What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.”

In fact, Durer was fascinated with bodies and even wrote four books on the subject of human body proportions, which weren’t published until after his death. He got his data from measuring scores of people from one point on the body to another (elbow to wrist, for example) and averaging the measurements. He made detailed grids of the human body, including both the proportions of men and women, as well as fat people and lanky people.

Albrecht Durer seemed to understand physically and spiritually the important things about a body. He knew his place in the Body of Christ and was able to use his tremendous gifts to build up the Body.

1 Corinthians 12:14-26 (The Message)

I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn't just a single part blown up into something huge. It's all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, "I'm not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don't belong to this body," would that make it so? If Ear said, "I'm not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don't deserve a place on the head," would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.
19-24But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn't be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, "Get lost; I don't need you"? Or, Head telling Foot, "You're fired; your job has been phased out"? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the "lower" the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it's a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn't you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?
25-26The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don't, the parts we see and the parts we don't. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.

(Note: for the detail-oriented of you out there, we know that there should be an umlaut over the “u” in Durer’s surname. We have omitted the umlaut for the simple reason that, despite amazing advances in internet technology, not every computer can properly translate every character in every font. We did not want people wondering who in the world “D&,nbsp^rer” was just because their browser couldn’t handle the umlaut.)

Here are links to our prior artist profiles:

Rev. Howard Finster
Sam Maloof
Thomas Blackshear
Dr. He Qi
Sandra Bowden
Laura Kramer (Psalm 23 Jewelry)
Chris Schlarb John Newton
Vincent van Gogh