Tim Mooney

Tim Mooney’s Artist Statement


Painting is the poetry of the visual world.  It is seen, and is a way of seeing; it reveals, and is a path of revelation; it is a knowing, and a being known.  Painting is communication between artist and subject, a dialogue of courage and playfulness, attention and forgetfulness, freedom and discipline, willfulness and surrender; a dialogue in which the distinction between artist and subject becomes blurred.  I am always surprised by this conversation, by what I say and what is said or even only hinted at.  Each finished painting reverberates with the echoes of the banter and silence that created it.


Painting is a way of attending to the Creator and a way of being created, a spiritual practice personal and communal.  Painting is an experience of joy, what C. S. Lewis described as “an insatiable desire that is more desirable than all other satisfactions.”  Color and texture, line and form signify and mean beyond all naming and intention, pointing within and beyond to the mystery of God and the Self.  Painting captures something of life’s essence and simultaneously sets it free.  Painting captures and sets me free.


I paint from and with my imagination; inside-out, and hope others in reflection go from outside-within.  My painting is an invitation to explore the soul’s landscape, to attract and repulse the internal portrait, to feel abstraction, to simplify.


For the most part, I am self-taught.  Yet experiment and failure, enlightenment and disillusionment - happening constantly - continue to be my most faithful teachers and companions.  I have learned to trust them.


I’d like to say Acrylic is my medium of conscience.  But it is so only after the hard fact of chance.  My car was drawn into a Sonoma County flea market and the plentiful supply of cheap Acrylic turned into a long-term relationship to which I have yet to be unfaithful.


I am a Presbyterian Pastor (MDiv., Princeton Theological Seminary, 1987) serving half-time in the Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church in Clayton CA, a Spiritual Director (Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction, San Francisco Theological Seminary, 1999) serving the Bread of Life Center in Davis CA, a national retreat speaker (National Pastors Convention), a facilitator and instructor in the area of spiritual formation, and a writer working on a screenplay.