5 Early Lessons in Artistic/Prayer

If you’ve been around the last few weeks, you’ll have noticed that I’ve talking a lot more about art.

I’ve always been a creative sort of person and much of what I have done qualities as “art” rather than “crafting.” However, as I’m leaning into a more deliberate artistic/prayer practice, I’m recognize a few flaws in my thinking and I’m learning to embrace the lessons that this early leg of the journey is teaching me.

1. An Artist should be able to Draw

It may just be my own wonky thinking but an artist should be able to draw. Right? Well, apparently not in my case. Sure, I’m not terrible and I’m improving with practice but for some warped reason, I expected to step into this artistic/prayer practice and it would just come.

It didn’t.

Yeah, go ahead laugh. πŸ™‚ Even as I typed it I realize the ridiculousness of that thinking.

However, nothing is wasted. The abstract practice of years past surfaces often. The landscapes I’ve re-created lend influence. And perhaps, most importantly, the artistic practice (like drawing) outside of my prayer time is preparation for what I may need in my future artistic/prayer times.

2. Product vs. Prayer

Over the years, I’ve sold art work, lamps, and other handmade items. I’ve even made a lamp that was in a movie!

While I would never call myself a successful creator (I never marketed or made enough money for that), I’ve wired my brain to think “product.”

This new process has forced me to slow down, be more mindful, and re-consider why I’m doing what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.

I won’t lie — it’s been painful because my brain thinks “How will this look as a posting?” instead of “What does God want that person to see?”

3. It’s going to take time

As with most people, I’m not very good at waiting. But wait I must.

After all, my brain needs to be rewired (see #2)!

In the meantime, before I get to a place where artistic/prayer feels more natural, I have to keep focused on prayer. It’s important that I don’t lose focus of what really matters — God and His heart toward people.

4. Relax! Don’t overthink

I know! I know! I’m the only one who does this.

This is especially difficult when I’m beginning the process each day. I think about what I want to pray for rather than what God wants, I think about the technique or process I want to try, I think about the person I’m creating for, I think about the social media caption for the post and how it will “sound” to the rest of the world, I think…..

You get the idea. However, I’m learning to take captive those thoughts and focus on the True Creator. Worship becomes the priority. If nothing is put on paper, the most important thing was still done — worship.

5. Listen to the gentle thoughts

God has rarely spoken to me over all the noise of life and He’s certainly never showed up in burning bush. For me, it’s quieter, more gentle, and requires me to pay attention.

As I practice, I find that it’s okay to not create some dynamic piece if what I end up creating represents the feeling of peace.

I’m becoming more aware of what God is doing in me and what He’s asking me to pray for. That doesn’t always translate into an artistic practice but sometimes it does.

For example, just yesterday, after a time of worship and prayer, I wasn’t feeling much inspiration. I decided just to practice so I began a dark sky and a few hills. But even as the hills were forming, I was sense “sea.”

I adjusted and out of this came a declaration “He’s not afraid of your storm.”

I’m learning to embrace those “feelings” and follow them. It’s not always easy to follow but I’m learning to be okay with that and just listen.

This artistic/prayer journey is new for me. It’ll have it obstacles and it’s successes. I’ll continue to share more as the journey continues. Thanks for stopping by!!


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