What Started as a Hobby Continues as a Bridge
By Charles Kelley
PHILOMATH, Oregon – Ten years ago this month I painted my first painting. This little video shows the process. I got hooked on painting that day and have since tried to make a new painting every week. I haven’t always succeeded, but I have done almost 400. Special thanks to Aleksejs Naumovs, Rector of the Latvian Academy of Art. He was my first teacher. We have since painted together many times.
And I must extend special thanks to Kaspars Zarins, also my mentor and friend for many years.
When in 2004, I decided to learn to paint, it was for personal joy and expression. I had no idea how my new hobby would be used by God to build relationships, engage in profound conversations and expand BBI’s network and influence in several countries.
BBI especially enjoys inviting artists to come together for purposes higher than their art. The imagiNATIONS festival in Estonia this past summer is a prime example. We are hoping to organize Prayer Days for Artists in the spring. It will be deep and beautiful.
A few days ago I received the invitation to speak at the Latvian National Prayer Breakfast on the theme of art, faith, creativity and the Creator. That theme was chosen because Riga has been designated as the Cultural Capital of Europe this year, a great honor for the city. More than 200 national and cultural leaders will be there. It will take place on Nov. 7th at the Latvian Academy of the Arts.
May all of us celebrate the creativity that God is using to awaken our souls!