- Ayyam-i-Ha is a Baha’i festival that is joyously celebrated in countries and territories all over the world. It is a time of hospitality, generosity, and caring for the needy. This year Ayyam-i-Ha runs from February 26-29.
Lawrence Heggie is a talented artist who works in a diversity of media. In this images post, we’re excited to share some of his works of Baha’i Holy Places and buildings at the Baha’i World Centre (if you’re curious why the Baha’i World Centre is located in Haifa, Israel, you may wish to check out this Baha’i Blog article). We’ll begin with a sampling of his work and then share a few of his words about his artistic process.
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Lawrence Heggie and I am an Australian landscape artist. I have loved art and design ever since childhood; in Baha’i Children’s Classes, I seldom finished the colouring-in exercises due to how long it took to make sure no crayon went outside the lines. Having grown up surrounded by bushland, my art always features some element of nature. I finished my studies in graphic design a few years ago and so now I spend my spare time with a paintbrush or pen in my hand, and the hope of bringing joy to others, in my heart.
Baha’i Blog: What inspired you?
My parents and art teachers in high school were very encouraging of my interest in creativity. One of my favourite memories of my early painting days was my father helping me make a large wooden easel out of scrap timber from around the house. As well as the school art projects, I was inspired to pursue landscape painting after watching videos of other artists speaking about and filming their techniques. Since then, I have been hooked. It’s exciting practising a craft knowing that, as it is near impossible to reach perfection in art, each day is a chance to continue improving and striving for excellence.
Baha’i Blog: What is your creative process like?
Especially as a landscape artist, it’s wonderfully convenient in this day and age to have access to a phone-shaped camera in my pocket. Whenever I pass by a beautiful sunset, tree, or cloud formation, I can take a quick photo and paint it on a rainy day at home. I find that unless I go out regularly and explore nature, choosing what to paint can be quite a challenge. I generally tend to lean towards realism in my art and so I prefer having a reference image or two next to me to ensure at least the proportions are accurate; colours can then be expressed more freely. After having visited the Holy Land, I have also begun to learn about ink sketches of the Baha’i Shrines, Holy Places, and gardens. When creating artwork of this kind, it’s easy to remember Abdu’l-Baha’s words, that “All art is a gift of the Holy Spirit…. These gifts are fulfilling their highest purpose when showing forth the praise of God.”
Baha’i Blog: What are some words of encouragement you might give to someone interested in pursuing the arts?
Art, of any kind, when done in the right spirit has the power to elevate the hearts of the viewer or listener. This power is what I encourage other aspiring artists, that ask for advice, to remember as they start their creative journeys. Painting is a humbling experience, and an exercise that demands patience, perseverance and love.
Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much, Lawrence! It’s been a pleasure hearing from you!
You can follow Lawrence on Instagram (@lawrenceheggie_art) or check out his website: www.lawrenceheggieart.com
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