Art for me is an act of worship. It is a gift from God. The artistic process is meditation; the final product represents the manifestation of the gift which can be shared with humanity. The path of an artist is a journey, a pilgrimage. Each stroke of the brush is an act of faith: evidence in something believed but not yet seen.
Pastor Marcus D. Cosby, spoke about presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice unto the Lord. I am humbled by the life of Pastor Emeritus, Reverend William A. Lawson and the fruit his obedience to God continues to bear as a result of his lifetime of presenting himself as a living sacrifice. My life’s journey has been about seeking after the Lord, meditating in His temple and discovering the vast love He has for me. I was encouraged by a dear friend to come to Wheeler after the passing of my mother. Over the years the sermons at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church have been an inspiration and a light beyond some of life’s darkest moments.
My father would tell people that I was drawing on the walls as a child and my mother always reminded me that my “gifts would make room.” The selections from my life’s work represent my journey as a Christian woman seeking after God. Many of the pieces were inspired by God’s word. I have come to understand that “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” allows us move through the difficult spaces in life. In the natural there are many challenges that should have destroyed me, and yet God in His infinite mercy has consistently met me at each moment and sustained me. Through brush strokes and creamy paint God ushers in peace. For me, art is that resting place in the Lord, that conversation peace in which He speaks to my heart and brings the calm.
Art allows me to remain anchored in the midst of the storms of life. Psalm 104 talks about God being “on the wings of the wind.” The rainbow colored swirls in my work represent the spirit of God and His covenant with humanity to preserve our souls. Rainbows come after rainstorms. For the believer this is the anchor of the soul, a universal symbol echoing the light of Christ, the presence of the Holy Spirit and our hope for the future. It is the essence of life propelling us forward. It is evidence that we must allow ourselves the space to dream. The blues represent the heavens, the expansive nature of the sky, the possibility of dreams, the baptism. The butterflies have always been symbolic of the change and transformation that are inevitable in our lives. They speak to the presence of angels sent to help us become our best selves. Butterflies are a gentle reminder of the fragility of our existence and the fleeting moments that represent a lifetime.
I see the circus as a metaphor for life: that life is filled to the brim with challenges and excitement, that God orchestrates the events in our lives to bring us to himself and to evolve humanity. I had an opportunity to see the Universoul Circus many years ago with my whole family. I was struck by the ringmaster, Casual Cal and his confident declarations of God’s power. The circus continues to be his ministry as he uses the platform
of the circus to reinforce faith, family and fun. The owners represent the flowering of the spirit. In Psalm 1, the bible talks about us being “planted by the rivers of water.” When we are anchored in the Lord our roots go down deep. We are able to weather the storms of life because we are grounded in God’s love.
I pay tribute to my mother, Mary Daniel Watson through the representation of the spider lilies and flowers. I pay tribute to the life, legacy and strength of “Mother” Audrey H. Lawson and those women who plant the seeds peace in our lives which carry us into our destiny.
Presented by The Visual Arts Ministry of WABC
Meditating In His Temple
The Art of Maya Imani Watson
The World’s Coolest Traveling Art Museum
is on view at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church
3826 Wheeler Avenue Houston, TX 77004
through April 27, 2016