Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Prophetic Art - A Few Tips

At the beginning of this month, a friend was wanting to get back into art and didn't know if the Lord would use her that way, so I typed up some tips--things I've learned--as I've been on this journey with the Lord in life and in art. I pray you're blessed! If they help, great! If they don't, great! Because it's between you and the Lord above all! (^_^)


A couple quick "art" tips to help you maybe get started ---

1) As you know, it comes out of the secret place with Him. However, sometimes you put the pencil/brush/pen/whatever to the canvas/paper/wood/whatever before you know what you're going to do. It is different for everyone. That's rule #1. I've read different things by different prophetic artists, and I don't think anyone's described it the way that I've experienced it. Just like none of us completely hears God the same, so I think this can be difficult if we approach it the way someone else experiences it.

2) Winston Churchill apparently used to paint. There's this story of him setting up his canvas on an easel and then pondering with his brush what to paint. He apparently stood there staring at the blank canvas for a long, long, long time. A lady who was watching finally went up to him and grabbed the brush out of his hand and made some big splotches on the canvas! After that, he was able to paint. I think you understand. (^_^)

3) Experiment -- it will be different from the art you have done before. But just like babies learn to crawl before they take steps, so I think it's often the same with this. But not aways. Just usually. (^_^) It's a new experience. Maybe don't approach it the way you approached art before. Or, it's possible God might use it the way you did it before. Experiment.

4) Try small pads, etc., if you don't have time to start something bigger. They can be easier to carry around. Sketching can be good, too. I miss working big, though. (^_^) In His time! And also, when I sit down to make time! (Lord, help me!)

5) Sometimes it helps if you write a prayer or a verse on the paper first, and then draw/paint/whatever on top of it. Many people listen to worship music while doing this. Many other do it during worship services.

6) Ask Him, above all! Everything in His timing. And if He wants to speak, He'll give you something to speak. However, that is not the only avenue...

7) Not all art need be "prophetic" (messages from Him to us). Art can be (and should be!) worship as well, from you to Him. You can make art that simply adores His beauty. You can make 'thank You' art. You can make art that you pray will touch His heart. Or others'. Here's a question that my friend RK always asks: What do you want to do? God isn't always against our wishes. Take a Psalm 131 minute to "wean your soul" in stillness, and in that stillness look inside of you and see what you want to do. He's created a new spirit in you, a spirit born from above, born of His Spirit. That spirit in you is you, and your greatest joy is to worship and "love on" Him. See what you (the spirit in you) want to do. (It may not be "art", but that's okay...)

8) Gwen Meharg told me something good: Don't bring God into your art, but bring art into your time with God. As you're worshiping God, loving on Him, reading Scripture, praying, whatever! As you're doing that, keep your sketchpad nearby. The focus is on being with Him; just bring art into your time with Him.


P.S. I don't know how you did art before, but for me, there were a few hang-ups that prevented me from getting back into it: depression, ego, and lack of subject/idea.

I seemed to do the best stuff when I was depressed or by accident. Finally I decided not to risk my inner sanity for the sake of art. I hated being that disgusted and unhappy, so I chose to put art down. The truth was my soul needed some healing inside. And not only that, but it was a lie from the enemy that I could only do "good stuff" while depressed or unhappy. Later, after He gave me art back, I had to reject that lie in Jesus' name.

Secondly, most artists struggle with ego & praise. I don't know how exactly to describe this, but it was there in me. Basically I think it grew from experiencing rejection -- and it's resulting seeking of affirmation from others. And even when that affirmation came, I would feel ashamed that I got it and still crave more but not being satisfied when it came. You get the idea. That needed to be smashed.

There is this great little C.S. Lewis book called "The Great Divorce" (which has nothing to do with "divorce" at all). In the book there's a scene in heaven where one character (a saved person) talks to a condemned person who is visiting heaven from hell. The condemned person is an artist and is upset because he didn't bring his materials to paint what he sees in heaven. The saved person tries to tell him that he needn't paint, but enjoy seeing. The condemned artist can only think about painting... he can't enjoy seeing. That helped me. I needed to tell my ego that God's going to get all the glory in the end anyways, hehe.

Lastly, subject. I was always stuck for subjects. In class when the subject was a person (figure drawing), it was great & fun & easy. I loved figure drawing class! But later I would always get stuck trying to think of some deep or grand idea. Part of that was ego, but part of it was also a longing for something deeper, and a longing to say & do & make something that really mattered, that had real substance. I wouldn't know that until I knew Jesus. And even then, not until later when He gave me back the gift after seeing some prophetic artists online like Gwen Meharg. And then He took me through getting rid of this junk above.

Hi Ramone ...

Love this pair of articles on prophetic art.

I've recently had a run of creativity, and with it a new longing to let it flow in the prophetic.

If I sense God saying anything to me through this, it's simply "Focus on me, not on the art. Love me more than your art."

Gwen's comment is spot on, as are many of your own reflections.

Have you heard the wonderful song on Sinead O'Connor's recent album "Theology" where she sings

I want to make
Something beautiful
For you and from you
To show you
How much I adore you

So I think for me it's time to put down the paintbrush (or mouse) and just draw near to his presence again.

Thanks for inspiring me in this direction!

P.S. I've printed off these two posts for my own prayer journey with God - am on retreat at the moment.

Also, I've felt led to create some new images relating to intimacy, partly inspired by Song of Solomon, but really asking bigger questions of intimacy - what is it to know and be known, to have intimacy, to have our soul searched and search the soul of another?

The two images so far are



Richard, thank you. Your comments are a word from the Lord to me.

He asks us to "seek His face"... and does He ask us to seek that which cannot be found?

No. Thank You, God!
Hi, my name is Haleigh, i found your blog by googling "prophetic art" and i found it very helpful. im going to start a worship "class" of sorts, and i was wondering if i could glean every bit of information you have on the subject. i want to teach teenagers how to worship through art. my e-mail is fall_children3@yahoo.com. feel free to visit my blog first if you dont like e-mailing strangers :)
go Ramone, its time let go of it all and let Him drive....crawl into the backseat and say okay lets go....The heavens are open its time....all the blessing, power and authority will be in your hands if you submit...just crawl in His lap and say okay Pappa show me something new....
Nathan Brown
El Puente Honduras
and your painter friend

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