Art as Prayer


#1

Do you believe that the creation of art can be a process of prayer?

I am very familiar with such thing as Icons, and how they are specifically created and used for, but in this post I am referring more to more ‘spontaneous’ art, such as just whipping out a sketchpad and setting to drawing.

I ask this question to see what everyones opinion is. I personally have a very hard time sitting down at a set time and prayer, and keeping a schedule in anything, including daily prayer, occasionally seems beyond my grasp. Yet, when i set to drawing, I find myself drifting off into a meditation like state, and I especially feel as if drawing could be prayer, especially when I am working on pieces based on my faith. I find it easier to do this than doing something like praying the rosary daily (though I would really love to do that!!). Eventually perhaps I would like to do some of this drawing everyday, and add something such as saying one rosary either at the beginning or end of the creation process.

So, I would love to hear what you guys think, personal experiences, advice, etc.!! :smiley:


#2

Prayer is simply being in the Presence of God and whatever moves one to this or is condusive to it is a plus! Prayer is a journey and where I am today (and you are today) in all probability will not be ‘where we are tomorrow’.

My ex director (a nun and ex novice mistress in her Order) used to say “pray as you can, not as you cannot”. We are all unique and led in unique ways often … I fell across another maxim I like somewhere or other “be yourself, because everyone else is taken”. Too often I think spirituality can be made to be a quite ‘violent’ sort of matter with constant prodding and pushing to change the self…rather often the Holy Spirit will lead gently out of the self into the new in imperceptible ways. It is only looking back we can see how we have changed.

I think to use art as a means of directing the mind and heart is a wonderful means of prayer and praying…a creative way!:thumbsup:
Art and artists I think are about pushing boundaries…striving to go beyond. Prayer too is about breaking down boundaries between the person and God…of going beyond and out of ourselves to rediscover ourself in God.

Barb:)


#3

It is wonderful to see someone else have the same feelings and thoughts in relation to their artwork as I do. I used to angst quite a lot over what I was trying to achieve through my work. I don’t sweat it so much now - I simply enjoy the creative process. My children are often heard to comment - ‘she’s in the zone’ - meaning quite amply just that. It is indeed a wonderful place and space to meditate on the Lord, I often have conversations with Him! It must have to do with shutting down the left side of the brain, allowing the right to flourish in it’s intuition, meanderings and creativity. Oh, I just feel like going back into my studio to paint now! Yes indeed, it certainly can be a place to be with the Lord - I often feel far more receptive to listening with my heart! God bless and enjoy!

Oh, and Barbara Therese - ditto!!!


#4

Hi Mary Therese :wave: I’m interested in art, too… as you describe; Make of everything, a prayer and offering to the Lord. In this way… we humbly remember that our talents are gifts from Him.

“From all the gifts that you receive, and from the best parts, you are to consecrate to the Lord your own full contribution.” (Numbers 18:29)

How wonderful, that you are able to give back to Our dear Lord, of the beautiful gift He has granted to you. God bless.


#5

yes definitely, for an artist who is dedicated to transmitting truth through his art, and who invokes the Holy Spirit in his creative endeavors (I am not restricting my comment to the visual arts, but to all artistic expression, writing, poetry, cinema, acting, music, dance etc).

I also believe contemplation of great art, especially, but not excluding that with specific religious content, can be an aid to prayer.


#6

This is a good question! To answer the question, I think I need to back up a bit, though.

For each of us, our life has an interior dimension and an exterior dimension. Our exterior dimension expresses our interior dimension - its beauty and its ugliness, its spiritual splendor and its spiritual poverty. So I would say art - one’s exterior self-expression - is not the same as, but does manifest, one’s interior prayer-relation with God, whatever is the quality of that interior prayer-relation.

This culture - so materialistic, so “consumeristic” if that is a word, so excessively exterior and so nearly bankrupt interiorly - this culture needs good and true art! Why? because we are starving for the good fruit of true interior conversation with the One who is Good, True and Beautiful.


#7

One of those images that sticks in my mind is visiting Carmel one day and rounding the bend of the driveway and through the trees seeing one of the extern sisters in full brown Carmelite habit sitting on the lawn at her easel with a brush and painting. It was just a particularly beautiful image of great peace and serenity as well as a gentle connectedness to the world - an awareness of what was going on around her and in the world in a very gentle almost fragile and vulnerable manner with no desire to protect self from it…why? I dont know, it just struck me that way.

Happy Christmas all…Christmas Eve here and I went to 7pm Mass which was absolutely beautiful - especially the little darling who midst shepherds and angels, Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus and all the granduer was very happy to play a lone sheep on all fours with a lambswool down covering her coming down the long isle on all fours. And when Father asked her later why she was the sheep, she replied (she must have been about 5yrs old I think and as tiny and sweet as they come!) “Because I like sheep”. Little Darling!

Father had thanked everyone … angels, shepherds, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus and all the organizers and then someone shouted out from the crowded pews “The Sheep! The Sheep!:” and Father helped our little sheep to her feet as we all burst into thunderous applause.

Barb:)


closed #8

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