LeAnne Martin
Christians in the Arts

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Beverly Key, Part 2: Evangelist for Beauty

Today I’m concluding my interview with visual artist Beverly Key (beverlykeymakesart@yahoo.com).

LeAnne: What is your favorite form or method of painting or creating art and why?

Recently I’ve begun to do large abstract oils. In addition, for many years now I have been painting large abstract landscapes on paper with watercolor, where I pour paint through paper filters using dried beans and peas and string for design elements. I enjoy it because it is a wonderful mix of spontaneity and control. You can sort of set up a design with the papers and textures but then you pour and you have no idea how it will turn out when you take off the filters. It is like opening a present to see what happens as a result of the paint filtering through the paper. Originally, when I first began to do them it was a way to loosen up and move toward abstraction.

I also do collage. I collect bits of found paper all the time. When I walk I am always searching the ground for interesting discarded paper, etc. Again, when I started doing collage work it was an effort to move toward abstraction and have a more direct way of getting at the piece I wanted to create. I love working with bits of papers and forming sort of a stream of consciousness piece of art.

LM: Some of your work very boldly proclaims your faith. Have you found resistance to that by nonChristians?

I have never encountered resistance to my subject matter. In fact, it is everything to me that the people who live with these paintings love them and continue to gain energy from them day by day. I am saved by beauty in my own life. When I am discouraged and feel a lack of hope for the future, beauty, whether it is being outdoors, seeing a color or a bird, is such an encouragement to me. That is what I hope my work does for others. I guess you could say I am an evangelist for Beauty. After all, God created all this for us to enjoy. He must have thought it was important. “And God saw that it was good.”

LM: What would you say to encourage young artists who want to blend their art and their faith?

I would say “trust yourself.” You are the only person who will see the world the way you see it. Take confidence in that and draw from your own experiences. Keep working some every day. Most work gets recognized because the artist just kept at it.

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