The Maintenance Man

One of the things I absolutely love about art is that sometimes things appear on the page that you didn't even realise were part of you...the blank paper sometimes teaches you more about your beliefs and who you actually are than any self-help seminar ever could.

Holy Maintenance Man Parts 1, 2 and 3. Original A5 sized watercolour and pen.

Holy Maintenance Man Parts 1, 2 and 3. Original A5 sized watercolour and pen.

Sometimes it takes me months or years later to look back on a piece of art and understand what it meant and what it was truly about (and I am the one who created it! Good luck everyone else lol).

This post is a reflection on one of those characters that started appearing in my artwork about three years ago. I just drew stuff and somehow kept drawing this little maintenance man on a ladder who was always just....there. Always with a can of paint and he was always adding finishing touches to the background of the drawing. The drawings were about my life, as usual, and never centered around this little guy but nevertheless there he kept appearing, through no planning of mine. It took me awhile to catch on to who I kept depicting but eventually (after maybe 2 years) I worked it out. 

I need to pre empt this by saying I am a Christian and believe in Jesus and naturally, like all parts of me, my faith filters through into my artwork.

The little maintenance man is my unconscious (well, now it's not- now I'm aware) depiction of the Holy Spirit- The part of God that is always there, always working, always part of my every experience.

I realise now this whole time I have been drawing out the character of God as I experience him in my life.

'The Mask Is Gently Put In The Bin'  This artwork is about my unrelenting habit of wearing a mask to appear more brave, better, or acceptable to people. The Maintenance Man keeps gently reminding me that it's unnecessary, I don't need it, I should throw it out.

'The Mask Is Gently Put In The Bin' 

This artwork is about my unrelenting habit of wearing a mask to appear more brave, better, or acceptable to people. The Maintenance Man keeps gently reminding me that it's unnecessary, I don't need it, I should throw it out.

He is unassuming- He never demands attention for being there. He continually paints the backdrop of my life- colouring in the parts I've left blank and am not equipped to colour in myself. He works hard. He alters the scenery from turbulent to calm. He paints peace with every brushstroke in the story of my life. Even when the artwork, and the life, is chaos...He is still there, patiently on his ladder, part of it all. I think it's rad that without me even deliberately doing it- God reveals himself to me through my own artwork. That's so...meta. 

Jesus said a cool thing: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26).

 

The point I suppose is this- Maybe he's doing the same for you- somewhere in your life- and you haven't realised it yet either. To me, he's a maintenance man. Maybe he's known by a different name in your life. 

'Two Worlds' 2013 original. This drawing was at a time in my life when I felt very much stuck in the middle of two worlds- childhood and adulthood. The left door is the playground of freedom I imaged the land of childhood to be. The door on the right is the land of adulthood I perceived- worries about money- tall buildings in a world where I had to compromise who I was. This really, although I didn't know it- was my prayer out loud to God. And his answer back to me.

'Two Worlds' 2013 original. This drawing was at a time in my life when I felt very much stuck in the middle of two worlds- childhood and adulthood. The left door is the playground of freedom I imaged the land of childhood to be. The door on the right is the land of adulthood I perceived- worries about money- tall buildings in a world where I had to compromise who I was. This really, although I didn't know it- was my prayer out loud to God. And his answer back to me.