C.cada: The Gathering March 2013

C.cada breakfast

C.cada breakfast

Our artist days apart always begin with breakfast and a challenge. This month our artist challenge concerned inspiration.

Me talking about inspiration

Me talking about inspiration

I started by asking God’s artists to give me a definition of inspiration:

“The free flowing manifestation of inner creativity”- Garrick Brewer100_1569

“That which brings out the best in us.”– Ken Knowlton



John Ortberg ,who is not a part of C.cada 🙂 writes “We were made to respond to inspiration. Everybody wears an unseen sign that reads: ‘ Inspire me. Remind me that my life matters; call me to be my best self; appeal to whatever in me is most noble and honorable. Don’t let me go down the path of least resistance. Challenge me to make my life about something more that the acquisition of money or success.”

Inspiration comes from lots of places: prayer, Bible study, church, friends, never settling for the status quo, and life experience both the good and the bad. Inspiration comes from who we are in connection with our world.

Watchmen Nee reminds us that we cannot preach what we have not walked. I would go on to say, we cannot paint, sing, play or write what we have not walked. There has to be something of ourselves in our artwork; That is the spark. There should be something of us and God in our artwork; That is the divine spark.

Sometimes as artists we shy away from including too much of ourselves in our work because that makes us vulnerable. I had a conversation with a writer the other day who has been asked to give a speech. She was stuck on the topic. We got to talking about inspiration in her life and the conversation turned to her what she had been through.

I looked at her and said “It sounds like you know what you have to speak about.”

She began to cry, not because she was happy for having discovered her topic but because she was afraid.

She replied, “I know that is what I have to speak about but I don’t like it. It makes me vulnerable.”

Art is all about vulnerability. Inspiration and vulnerability go together because the topics that inspire us are dear to our hearts. Opening up those areas to possible criticism is hard but that is where the best work lies.



This is the still life for March. I asked all of our artist’s to begin their day by writing a Tanka about the piece to jump-start their creativity. It’s what we do when we get together.

What do you do to get  your creativity juices flowing?



17 thoughts on “C.cada: The Gathering March 2013

  1. “Art is all about vulnerability. Inspiration and vulnerability go together because the topics that inspire us are dear to our hearts. Opening up those areas to possible criticism is hard but that is where the best work lies.” This has really stayed with me since Saturday and the more I meditate on it the more God is speaking to me. I have started to write a new poem. Thank you, Pastor J, C.cada has been such a blessing to me! I love the fellowship with the other artists and God is and has used them for inspiration for me.

  2. The vulnerability issue is a tough one. Once when I asked a church member what she thought of the fabric art piece I consider my testimony she said, “I prefer traditional quilts.” That she got so caught up in the idea that it “wasn’t a quilt” that she missed the message hurt.

    For a creativity boost I like to participate in challenges where a theme and sometimes size, color, materials are specified and a deadline set. Once in awhile I actually enter the work, most of the time I just do it to challenge myself.

    • I think it is good to challenge ourselves by working for shows with definite themes. It hones our skills. I have found as an artist that there are always critics. I have learned to disregard anything that is not constructive or that deals with issues of taste rather than possible improvements I can make. I am sorry that happened to you. NEver give up!

  3. Awesome write-up. Being vulnerable is tough when it’s up for criticism. But artists do learn to be flexible with their process at some level while always protecting a “core.” That’s quite a fine balancing at b

  4. The first thing I have to do is erase the word challenge from my mind. I freeze when I hear that word…you know fear of failure and all that. Then I daydream and walk and talk to you know Who. And chocolate donuts help.

  5. It seems like CCADA had just begun when I left…and somehow I miss it….the whole community of it. The free flowing thoughts and ideas and learning together, as the Lord inspires us all to greater service. Keep going each and every one of you….Keep growing, guiding, showing, tellling and teaching….It is a glorious work the Lord is doing in and through all of you.

  6. >> What do you do to get your creativity juices flowing?
    I have to put to death the “I can’t do that!” attitude.
    If this is something God calls me to do, I know *I* can’t do it, but He in me can – and will!

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