Quality is the first norm for art, but its final norm is love and truth, the enriching of human life, the deepening of our vision.


Carter, Teresa - VM - Michael Carter

Teresa Carter: Consider
Consider The Birds of the Air
by Michael Carter
Eighteen newspaper birdhouses made from clippings that speak of the housing market hang from decaying branches while a bird keeps watch over her home. Is this two perspectives within one composition or the perspective of one living within the assurance of a God who sees and cares? ‘Consider the birds of the air,’ Jesus said. ‘They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they?’ (Matthew 6:26). Jesus' question answers one of the questions posed by God to Job centuries earlier. ‘Who prepares for the raven its nourishment, when its young cry to God and wander about without food?’ (Job 38:41).
The mottled colours of the houses and branches reflect the uncertainties the world has to offer, while the bird is framed with the colours and symbols of life and rebirth: cherry blossoms above and eggs below. Daily newspapers are ephemeral manna for the masses who seek answers to the wrong questions, solace from the ever-gnawing anxiety: what if...? Most fears never manifest themselves in visible reality. But sometimes they do. Sometimes banks foreclose and families are homeless. Sometimes vehicles are repossessed and caretakers unemployed. What happens when a fear becomes visible? Is God still God?
In Matthew 14 Simon Peter walked on water toward Jesus until ‘he noticed the strong wind.’ It is the force of the wind that determines the height of the waves, yet the wind comes from God. What-if’s can cause believers to focus on the height of the waves instead of the source of the wind.
The writer of Ecclesiastes said: ‘Look at what God has done: No one can straighten what he has bent. When life is good, enjoy it. But when life is hard, remember: God gives good times and hard times, and no one knows what tomorrow will bring’ (Ecclesiastes 7:13,14 NCV).
Consider is a visible reminder of a promise: ‘Consider the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet our heavenly father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they?’
Artist's statement: ‘Born out of personal experience this painting depicts how precarious our dependency on the world is and that if we will but put our faith in God alone, he will supply all our needs according to his riches.’
Teresa Carter: Consider, 2010, oil and mixed media on birch panel, 90 x 90 cm.
Teresa Carter attended the Atlanta College of Art in 1981-1982 and graduated from Austin Peay State University in 1989 with a BFA in Painting. She attended the Contemporary Realist Academy in 1999 and trained under the instruction of Kathryn Manzo. From 2001 to 2003 she was the art director for The Stirring, a contemporary worship service at Hope Presbyterian in Memphis, TN that incorporated art into the worship service. She was also the director of Hope Gallery, a gallery for contemporary Christian art. In 2007 she brought together a show to raise awareness about human trafficking. She received the title 'Abolitionist of the Week' from the Not For Sale Campaign organization. She receives portrait and general commissions. See:
Michael Carter has been involved in education for the last twenty years, from curriculum design and classroom teaching to speaking at national conferences. His teaching posts have ranged from kindergarten to university level. In the mid-1990's, Michael was asked to develop an art program for Westminster Academy in Memphis, TN, one of the premier classical Christian Schools in the U.S., where he taught Art, History and Latin for several years. Michael received an MFA from the University of Memphis. Currently Michael teaches art and creative writing at Trinity Christian Preparatory School in Charlotte, NC, USA. Michael's art can be seen at:
ArtWay Visual Meditation August 19, 2012