About the Art



In the Creator's great design of man, he gave him senses to be aware of the creation around him, and through those senses to see the majesty of the work of the Creator. The greatest of these senses is the sense of sight. We take sight for granted and yet it is an amazing design. The energy of light from the sun travels though space, is absorbed or reflected by objects around us, is transmitted to our eye, focused on our retinas, sensed by the the rods and cones, converted to chemical and electrical signals, conducted to the brain and reconstructed there as a visual image. The image is briefly retained or transmitted to the memory to be brought up again at a later time.

There was a time when the only way to retain a visual record beyond memory was through art. We have  a visual view of history through drawings and paintings in various mediums. Until the advent of photography, this was the only method of visual history and was refined through the use of perspective, discovery of better mediums, etc. With photography, we had a proliferation of visual records but only in monochrome images.  This gave us a somewhat distorted view of the past. I remember when I visited Israel, the surprise I had of the beauty of the landscape, as my view of it from photos was primarily black and white. The same is true of my view of World War II which appeared to have been waged in black and white. The introduction of colour film, and more recently digital images, has made an accurate visual record easy to capture and share.

The question may be asked "Is there any longer a need or purpose for sketching or painting pictures?" The answer seems to be yes and I think that the reason is more aesthetic than practical - more about the emotion than reason. God's creation is not only practical but full of beauty and delight. The sound of a robin singing on a spring morning, the smell of mayflowers in a woodland clearing, the softening of the scene by the mist on a lake just before sunrise on a spring morning, may all have scientific explanations and practical purposes but I think they are primarily there to bring us pleasure. In one of the gardening shows that I watched recently, in all of the advice on plantings and composition, the host sat down on a bench in the middle of his garden with a cup of tea and said: "Don't forget to sit down and enjoy it"

That, I think, is the task of the artist. To see the beauty of places, people, events; to capture this in a way that says: "Sit down and enjoy it for a moment." As you will see from my art, much of what I paint is to capture a moment of pleasure, whether it is trying to show the way light illuminates objects giving a composition that is pleasing to the eyes (Grapes), or whether it is to capture a moment of pleasurable fellowship such as enjoying a shore lunch together with my brothers while swapping stories of the morning on the lake (Shore Lunch) or the excitement of seeing the lobster trap dark with lobsters as it comes over the side of the boat (Lobster Fishing Emma Maria). As I sat on the steps of the mission house where I was staying in Koumra, Chad, the morning sun would filter down through the trees and illuminate the brightly dressed ladies who walked regally to the market up the street, carrying their possessions on their heads, and their babies on their backs. Although I can't show you the feeling of the warm sun on my face, let you hear the sounds of the roosters and donkeys waking up the village, or let you smell the smoke from the morning charcoal fires, I can show you a little of the beauty of the bright colours contrasted against the browns of mud bricks and the sand of the road in "Heading to Market".

As you look at the art, take a moment to stop and enjoy, and remember to see the beauty and wonder of the Creator in the creation around us - Daniel Burrill

Psa 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Psa 139:14  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Psa 8:3  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;