Beauty for Ashes

"Beauty for Ashes" June 15 - July 28, 2002

An exhibition at the Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery, 151 Winslow Way E., Bainbridge Island, WA (206-842-3132)

The title for this show "Beauty for Ashes" came to me quite recently. A friend expressed the comfort she felt as she viewed my paintings. As I thought about her comments, I remembered, in stark contrast, my trip to New York City and Ground Zero just weeks after 9 11. It was indescribable. I can only say that for this country and perhaps the world a sense of collective grief was embedded in our souls. And it has gone on and on.

Why would these simple paintings of natural things be a comfort to anyone? For me my work is an act of worship to God who I love and serve, an offering of my time and purpose. I am persuaded God is able to take these simple things and use them for good.

For many, it has been a time of exceptional loss and grief, a time of personal tragedy that goes beyond anything previously experienced, yet possibly the beginning of a search for hope and healing, the comfort my friend experienced.

The title for this exhibition comes from a passage in the book of Isaiah 61:1-3:

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me: because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Beauty, and the invisible things from creation, contain a clear message of hope. We are able to see and appreciate and feel the power in it. We understand it on a level beyond culture or religion. It is God's own subliminal message. And it is one of hope and healing. It is not the end but the beginning, a road sign to the heart of God.

Claudia McKinstry

Beauty For Ashes - Featured Art:

"Awakening" (30 X 22 - Watercolor) - shown above

"Double Delight" (12 X 12 - Watercolor)

"God's Sundial" (48 X 36 - Oil)

"Lily Screen" (83 1/4 X 66 - Oil - Top Panels of Large, Freestanding Screen)

"Many The Whole" (84 X 40 - Oil)

"May I have This Dance" (39 X 18 - Watercolor)

"Moveable Garden" (Four Pieces, Each 18 X 18 - Oil)

"Paradise" (25 X 18 - Watercolor)

"Small Wonder" (12 1/8 X 135/8 - Watercolor)

"Summer's Last Light" (53 X 17 1/2 - Watercolor)

"Sunbathing" (39 X 14 1/2 - Watercolor)

"Sunflower Feast" (15 1/4 X 15 - Watercolor)

"Sunrise Song" (40 X 25 - Watercolor)

© All images are copyrighted. They cannot be used in any form, for any reason, without specific permission from Claudia McKinstry. Any use of these images outside the guidelines set by the Fair Use Laws for Copyrights of the United States of America is strictly forbidden. All use permission must be obtained in writing from Claudia McKinstry.