While life is often full of beautiful images and cheerful occasions, it is also interrupted by sorrow and pain. Death robs us of family, friends and pets. Change forces us to sometimes leave what we love, and pain teaches us that longsuffering sometimes has to be endured before rewards are gained. Sorrow, like joy, is the common thread running through all humanity. We all suffer, we all feel pain and we all cry. Sorrow is a part of the human condition.
Art is also part of the human condition and one way in which we cope with suffering and pain is to pour all the hurt into canvas paintings. Sorrows, spilling through a paint brush, have often been the inspiration behind masterful oil paintings. While many may prefer to fill their home with paintings of nature or whimsical people, a sorrowful painting or sculpture can have a powerful effect.
Religion has often been the topic of many sorrowful paintings. The suffering of saints, although hard to witness can often server as a reminder or an encouragement. They can remind us that much that is good and right in our world is worth suffering for. They can remind us that those before us have suffered in similar ways and that knowledge can give strength and hope in the midst of the trial.
Death is the most common cause of sorrow in our world. The death of a child, the death of a parent, the death of a friend and even the death of a loved dog can send our spirit into torrents of sorrow and pain. But the hidden joy behind sorrowful paintings is that common thread…all people feel the sad sting of death. The mother who has just lost a child can feel less alone in her grief by seeing a painting of another woman mourning the loss of a child. The most powerful antidote to a grieving heart is to know that we are not alone in our suffering; to know that others before us have suffered in the same way and have come through to find a renewed hope.
Sorrow can’t be ignored…it is part of life and balances out all the happy occasions. Sorrow is a teacher and tester. We learn to value what we had taken for granted and our resolve is tested as we work through the sorrow to find hope and love again. Art that embraces sorrow shows us that all suffer but that even in suffering there is hope and beauty.