As an artist, I use the principles of design as tools to create my art work. My students would often ask me “what makes something art?”
Great question. This question would usually come up after seeing work by an artist like Jackson Pollock who threw paint at his canvases. Barnett Newman would paint a red line down a large canvas. “I could do that”, my students would say. Yes, they could. But, their name was not Pollock of Newman.
Students never asked me “Why is that considered art?” after seeing images of Michelangelo’s or Leonardo Vinci’s art work. These artists are without question masters because something in their work is timeless and connects with people across various cultures and backgrounds.
Great art has balance.
Balance in art occurs when the parts of the artwork are arranged to create the impression of equality in importance. For instance, the background does not appear more important than the focal point – or main object. Our eyes sense when things are in balance – it is pleasing to look at.
We also sense when things are out of balance. Something just doesn’t look “right”, even if we can’t pinpoint it.
I belive this is an important issue in human relationships as well. There must be balance in the relationship for it to be meaningful and “right”.
Notice that the definition of balance in art uses the word “equality”. For a relationship to be balanced there has to equality of value – each person in the relationship must have equal value.
This does not mean the people in the relationship have the same roles, talents, abilities, or responsibilities. Yet they have the same worth.
Galatians 3:27-29 (NLT)
27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.
See the balance Paul describes? He also tells the Roman Christians that they need to have balance in their view of themselves. Romans 12:3-5 NLT
3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
Paul warned us about thinking “you are better than you really are”. He KNEW we have a problem with that!
The solution is recognizing that our value is based on the fact that we are children of God, our heavenly father. When we see ourselves, and others, as His children, we all have equal value – we all “belong to each other!”
This truth will create balance in all our relationships if we truly believe it and live it.
Let’s pray for balance in all our relationships.
Next week we will look at harmony, another element of design.