His story from here

Art offerings: Where I am meant to be

“The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes.” –Martin Luther.

You know when you feel so deeply that you are where you were meant to be? That’s how I felt when I switched my major twice before discovering that my first love – art – was where God wanted me to be. Graduating with a degree in Art/Secondary Education, I was able to use this gift that God gave me to teach high school students. I feel privileged to be able to teach in a Christian school where I can share my wonder of the world around me and of the ultimate Creator with my students.

As an artist I enjoy the ability to allow the viewer to see what I see, to stop and take a moment to view a different perspective. My main subject of choice at this point in my career is the beautiful landscape of Vancouver Island where I live with my family. In order to fully research this subject area I try to explore beaches, go on many hikes and visit parks as much as possible. I have been stopped in my tracks at the beauty God has created on this island. I am awestruck at what a brilliant artist our God is. In the quiet of my studio, with no outside distractions, I am able to reflect on God’s creation and to paint. I don’t try to replicate what I see. I don’t feel I could even begin to give his awesome creation justice. I use my photos and memories from my hikes and explorations to paint not just what I see but also the feel of the area and the wonder of it. In order to do this I play with the colour, the lines and the movement. In this painting titled “Mountaintop Dance,” I tried to not only depict this curvy and colourful arbutus tree found at the top of the mountain but I also worked to make the trees and the grasses move as if dancing, celebrating,and praising our Creator God.

I believe it gives God glory to use and explore our gifts. In class I talk to my students about what it means to be a Christian artist creating Christian art. This doesn’t mean that every work of art needs to have a cross or other obvious representation of God or religious symbols. It means that everything we do, we do to glorify our heavenly Father. The way we live, the thoughts we think, the way we relate to the people around us, the art we create: these are all offerings to God.

  • Jen Slofstra-Tinsley has a degree in Art/Secondary Education and attended both Calvin College and Dordt College. She has lived and taught art in the U.S., Ukraine and Canada. Currently, she lives with her husband and three children in Duncan, B.C., where she works as an artist and as a part-time high school art teacher at Duncan Christian School. Her work can be found in shops and galleries across Vancouver Island and also on her website, Jen Tinsley Design (jentinsleyart.com).

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