Edge of Faith May 2017 - Page 54

The artist is always — has to follow the firefly.” toys were just wonderful and these two, they live in my cabinet down- stairs and I set them up one day and they have a conversation that they’ve continued I guess a century now. Somehow, just the way they form themselves in the studio that way, they looked as if they were convers- ing. So, anyway, the one is asking, “excuse me,” or “pardon me.” So that is what that one is about. The other one I think really has to with our vulner- ability and our begging for grace and help; that we can’t make it on our own. Now, another thing I want to say. I spent a little time with Wayne Thiebaud when I ran that gallery and he said, “The artist always has to fol- low the firefly.” I think it was he that said that. When I start a painting, I don’t necessarily know what it means or where it is going to end up, but as it evolves, or even sometimes later, I look back and think, “Oh my good- ness, that’s what that is about!” So, I didn’t know — I had a fish I put in a glass and was painting it and I didn’t know where I was going with it. But, I’d like to think that’s what it is about ultimately. That’s why eventually,I put the cloud above it because how in the world is this little fish going to survive if he doesn’t get water from somewhere. I wasn’t thinking that when I was painting — it unfolded. It’s also Anne Truitt; she was a sculp- tor in Washington, D.C. I read her art journal. This was several years ago. In there she said, “I don’t know where I am going but I sure as hell know how to get there.” I think that’s true of serious paintings. You don’t always know where you’re going but you just follow the firefly. Edward Knippers AOF: Ed thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us. You’re part of The Faces of Mercy exhibit. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? I’m a painter, I’ve been painting since the early ‘80s full-time. I did my first oil painting when I was eleven. I hasten to say that painting is not my identity. My identity is in Christ, and he’s called me to do this work, and made it possible for me to do it. So, that’s why I continue to make these things. I’ve been able to study abroad a number of times with S. W. Hayter at Atelier17 and with Zao Wou-Ki, who was a Chinese-French abstract expressionist. These are probably the two most prominent influences. Also Otto Eglau, from Berlin, and so forth. I have an MFA from the University of Tennessee, as well. Tell us about your pieces in the exhibit. They chose three pieces for the exhibit, but I had to replace one with Lame Man Leaping, because the other had been sold. All the paint- ings came together at a period when I had just come through an illness, and so they were dealing with heal- ing and God’s ability to heal. I expe- rienced that, of course, as a child. I had five major surgeries before I was six or seven. I was cut with a power lawnmower. Christ and the Lame Man 54 • The Art of Faith Magazine • www.aofmag.com The Art of Faith Magazine • www.aofmag.com • 55