In no way, in saying Jesus can be painted but God can’t, do I mean to deny the full divinity of the Son. Jesus is God, but Jesus is not the Father. That’s just a basic part of the doctrine of the Trinity. Jesus is God Incarnate, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,” (Colossians 1:15), so certainly it is fitting for us to make images of the Image of the invisible God. But the Father of Jesus in heaven has always been “eternal, immortal, INVISIBLE” (1 Tim 1:17). Not only does it seem wrong to me then to make an image of Him, but it is unnecessary, because we can make an image of Jesus, the perfect Image of God.
“The OT prohibitions were because the Israelites lived surrounded by idolaters. Sacrifice to idols was an everyday part of life. If one were to make an image to represent the LORD, then it wouldn’t be long before that image would be worshipped as God.” -kleary
And we don’t live surrounded by idolaters? Now that, thankfully, there aren’t any more of those bad-guys around anymore, we can paint God everywhere!
Isn’t it nice and convenient to be able to look up at the Sistine Chapel and see a little, roly-poly god there, with a cute frowning brow, rather than live with fear and trembling before the Invisible Almighty?
Mystophilus posted a link to the Second Council of Nicaea, which, in response to Iconoclasm, permits veneration of images, but not necessarily of God the Father. “If anyone does not confess that Christ our God can be represented in his humanity, let him be anathema.” (Christ, the anointed one, can be represented, but not his Father, the anointer)