The glory belongs to God

In my personal scripture study I've been reading lately about the importance of humility and the dangers of pride.  I think I probably haven't done the best job in the world of giving God more praise for what He has done for me.  When people give me compliments about my work, as they sometimes do - I usually just say "Thanks very much". I never deflect any of the praise to God, or even bring him up.   Even though the truth is, He has helped me in so many ways. 

Aside from the fact that He created me and the rest of the world, (which was kind of a big deal) he also blessed me with an artistic talent.  It's true that I have worked for years to improve on that talent.  I've studied and learned about art materials and how to use them.  I've practiced and practiced to get better.   But the talent was there from the beginning, and this I've always accepted.  In addition, He's blessed me with the ability to practice, and many opportunities to learn and improve myself.  I'm not sure I've completely taken advantage of all those opportunities.

I'm not sure I've ever even asked the question why?  I've just enjoyed it. This question leads me to ponder my purpose as an artist - or what my purpose should be.  I think perhaps, in addition to creating this beautiful and wonderful natural world, God wanted some people who would not only appreciate that beauty but also who could have the ability to try to capture a little of it, and show it to others as a reminder of His gifts and blessings to them.  I think that this is what I'm trying to do with my landscapes & river paintings especially.  When I'm out in nature, I'm often struck by the sheer beauty of what I'm seeing and experiencing - and I want to capture it and show it to others.  

I find that beauty in the small and large scale.  I am awed as much by contemplating the small details of nature, as much as the overall larger picture.  From the microscopic to the macroscopic, it's all working together in a majestic balance.  Truly, as one of our church hymns relates, "There is beauty all around".  

To get back to my main point though - I just wanted to say thanks Father, for helping me to create whatever I might have done well.  I would say that anything I've done that is beautiful can be traced back to God, and his gifts.