These are the words of Reverend Howard Finster--self-proclaimed "Man of Visions" and "Stranger from Another World." I want you to think about that last sentence. OK, don't just think about it. Go and write it down in your journal or put it on a sticky note and hang it in your studio. Why? Because those are words to live by, to create by, and to be inspired by.
I've been a huge fan of outsider art for many years, but I never had the chance to view Finster's work in person until this exhibit. I took my watercolor Moleskine with me, and filled a number of pages with images from some of his paintings along with bits of text and quotes. Howard numbered each piece of art he made, so I included the number in my sketchbook as well.
One of the reasons I'm so drawn to Howard's work is because almost every piece is covered in text. I don't think Howard stopped to worry about whether his art was good enough, or important enough, or whether the words were spelled correctly. He was, after all, just doing what God told him to do.
If you like folk art, outsider art, religious art, art with text, or just need a big dose of inspiration, I strongly encourage you to visit this or any other exhibit of Howard Finster's art whenever or wherever you have the opportunity. Sometimes it's not just the art, but the story behind the art that can move us, touch us, or have a profound effect on us. Thank you Howard for reminding me that I don't have to be a perfect artist to work in art. From now on I'm going to think of you as my "garding" angel.