Easy spiritual painting

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Art as prayer: Considering art forms as spiritual practices

Story, art and photographs by Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri

“Spiritual formation, I have come to believe, is not about steps or stages on the way to perfection. It’s about the movements from the mind to the heart through prayer in its many forms that reunite us with God, each other and our truest selves.”

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

A prayer to see beyond what’s in front of us

Art and color have a prominent place in my life. I often stop to admire that which I consider beautiful: a ripe, yellow-orange mango; the stained-glass windows of an old church; an intricate street mural; a Miami sunset. Music and the visual arts have been especially meaningful, coming from a family of choir singers and art lovers. I have fond childhood memories of coloring at the kitchen table, a tin full of crayons close by, or, as a teen, sitting on the floor of Puerto Rico’s Museo de Arte de Ponce mesmerized by the bright orange dress of Sir Frederic Leighton’s “Flaming June.”

While I don’t remember a time when art and color were not present in my life, for all its prominence, the visual arts were absent from my life of prayer.

It seems strange to look back and recall a time when something artsy was not a preferred spiritual practice. Now, I cannot imagine a prayer life without it. Considering that arts, crafts, coloring and drawing have been an integral part of children and youth programs, I’ve been surprised that, as a church, we have not placed more of an emphasis on exploring personal spiritual practices that use visual arts. Even with the proliferation of coloring books for adults, the knowledge of health benefits associated with painting, sculpting and creating and the understanding that there are different styles of learning, it is not uncommon to hear that “coloring is for kids,” to think that doodling during a workshop or a sermon means the person is not paying attention or to believe that painting should be left to those who are trained, professional artists, like Michelangelo who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and sculpted La Pieta. In fact, art in its many forms – whether sung, sculpted, built, painted or danced – has been part of the institutional church for millennia. In this respect, to consider that art can also have a place in personal devotional practices is not far-fetched. Any art form can be a way to pray, reflect and cultivate a relationship with God. Personal devotional practices should respond to one’s styles and personality, so bringing one’s authentic self before God in prayer could also mean including art.

 Understanding that art also belonged in my prayer life took me a few years. As a teen, I stuck to more traditional disciplines and personal devotional practices, none of which included the visual arts, and I struggled to develop a spiritual routine that actually worked for me. Although I had seen artists and painters create pieces in the context of worship, it wasn’t until I came across Sybil MacBeth’s book, “Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God,” that I truly considered creating art as a viable form of personal prayer. Praying in color is “an active, meditative, playful prayer practice … [that] involves a re-entry into the childlike world of coloring and improvising,” she writes. In her book, MacBeth explains how she sat down with paper, her collection of markers and colored pencils, and began to doodle. In her drawing, she included the names of family and friends who were going through difficult times. To her surprise, when she had finished drawing, she discovered she had also been praying. Inspired by MacBeth’s take on improvisational art, I began to explore this practice in my own way. Praying in color gave me the vocabulary and the method needed to explore spiritual disciplines in the realm of art. It is interesting how a practice that feels true to oneself evolves and becomes one’s own. In my case, praying in color began with paper, markers and colored pencils, and it eventually morphed into paintbrushes and watercolor paints. I now use a plethora of art supplies to craft and engage in prayer. When it comes time to pray, our dining room table becomes an art table, a place of worship and prayer.

A prayer of intercession

To be clear, I consider myself a prayerful person who is artistically inclined. I am not a trained artist, and a person doesn’t need to be one to pray in this manner. All that one truly needs is to have a heart for prayer, art supplies, a comfortable spot to pray and a willingness to be present with God in the moment. For me, focusing on a doodle, a painting or a coloring page tunes out the noise and minimizes distractions — allowing for quality time with God. I set out an intentional time for prayer – not necessarily a fixed time, but an intentional time – bringing to mind people and concerns, gratitude and praise. I might stop midprayer and return to it later in the day or the week. Though I might have something in mind as I begin to pray, the final painted or drawn prayer rarely turns out the way I imagined it, and that is perfect.

As I pray while doodling or painting, I am inspired by many things. Beaches reminiscent of the Puerto Rican seascape and flowers that burst in color are favorite art subjects. Sometimes biblical passages come to mind, and I meditate on them. Other times, images emerge, and I meditate on them, too. Following the advice of my spiritual director, I take time to reflect on what emerges from the page, praying, breathing, listening, painting some more, appreciating the colors and shapes and wondering, “¿Qué es lo que el Espíritu Santo quiere compartir conmigo?” (What does the Holy Spirit want to share with me?)

 I have painted, doodled or prayed in color while listening to someone preach, during an ordination service and in a Bible study. Sometimes I gift the painted or drawn prayers to the person that has come to mind while I was creating. Favorite art pieces have been made into postcards to send — shared prayers that hopefully bring joy and comfort to those who receive them.

A prayer for LGBTQIA+ siblings

The Holy Spirit communicates and moves us in manifold ways. Through creating art, I have come to understand the Holy Spirit is not confined to specific (even more known or popular) spiritual practices. I see God’s imagination, creativity and beauty reflected all around me, including in art pieces, and it is a reminder of God’s constant love and grace for all.

Learning new ways to incorporate the visual arts in prayer has been a blessing in this pandemic time, and I’m inspired by the work of watercolor artists I’ve discovered in the past year through social media. Watching their videos as they draw or paint has given me courage to try new painting techniques, to be more intentional and to consider other approaches to creating art. I try not to get frustrated when an idea or image doesn’t quite translate to the page, remembering that what is truly important is the time with God in prayer. The resulting artworks are not perfect nor do they need to be. MacBeth would advise me to “dismiss the inner critic.” Prayers come as they come; coloring outside the lines is definitely encouraged.

Mini-beaches: watercolor prayers for CREDO siblings

 If, as Henry Nouwen explained, as quoted in the book “Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit,” spiritual formation is about “the movements from the mind to the heart through prayer in its many forms that reunite us with God, each other, and our truest selves,” and if art has had a prominent place in your life, consider its many forms as viable forms of prayer. When I felt spiritually disconnected, depleted and thirsty, the Holy Spirit came alive through art and revealed a path to revive spiritual life that brought forth my truest self. I found clarity in art and colors and, more recently, in watercolors. I’m sure the Holy Spirit isn’t done, and new art forms will eventually emerge.

What are those spiritual or life practices that inspire you and make you feel closer to God? Where do you see God’s creativity and imagination manifested, coming alive, in you? Consider these questions, and if the answers include any art form, let this be an invitation to give it a try, to gather your supplies and, dismissing the inner critic, feel free to explore its many forms as prayer.

A lament prayer for Keishla and Andrea, victims of femicide

For further consideration along the journey:

  1. Invest in good coloring or art supplies. A dried-out marker or a shedding brush can become a distraction and interrupt your time of prayer. Quality supplies don’t have to be expensive.
  2. Keep supplies visible or accessible to you. We have heard the popular saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” If the supplies needed are tucked away, far from easy reach, it will be harder to engage in prayer this way.
  3. Have a conversation with your family members or housemates on the spiritual aspect of creating art and its role in your life of prayer. If you feel comfortable sharing that spiritual space, invite them to pray along with you. Otherwise, let them know that engaging in an art project is a sacred time — time with God in prayer.
  4. The more you engage in these practices, the more you will discover what works and speaks to you. Be kind to yourself in the process. The answer to “Am I doing this right?” is “Yes, you are.” Ultimately, the goal is to set aside a time of prayer and respite that, in Nouwen’s words, reunites you with God (and others) and your truest self.

Reflection on Psalm 8 on Earth Day

Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri. (Photo by Michelle Muñiz-Vega).

Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri is an educator and a Presbyterian ruling elder who lives in Florida with her husband, José Manuel Capella-Pratts. She served as co-moderator (with Cindy Kohlmann) of the 223rd General Assembly (2018-2020).

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Painting images of Mary begins spiritual journey for artist

A series of paintings of Mary began with a mother’s desperate, exhausted plea in the middle of a sleepless night.

“Please help me sleep, and I’ll devote my life to Jesus,” Elly Tullis spoke into the darkness. Wondering if she would later regret the promise, Tullis dismissed the concern. In the space of less than a year, though, Tullis has turned her life toward Jesus and is now eagerly seeking to join the Catholic Church.

Photos by Jennifer Barton
Artist Elly Tullis and Fort Wayne Museum of Art Chief Operating Officer Amanda Shepard will give an in-depth curator’s tour of “Theotokos” Feb. 6 at 12:15 p.m. The exhibit will run through March 8.

Her conversion came about in large part through paintings she created of Mary. Tullis has painted 31 images of Mary, which currently make up the exhibition “Theotokos: Contemporary Visions of Mary” at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.

Tullis was not raised Catholic. She didn’t consider herself part of any religious denomination, though she attended a Catholic grade school and high school. “I didn’t have the nicest things to say about the Catholic Church after graduation. I always kept God at a distance,” she said.

Curator’s tour of “Theotokos”—
Feb. 6 at 12:15 p.m.

The Fort Wayne Museum of Art is at 311 E. Main St.,
Fort Wayne

Visit fwmoa.org for hours of operation

Even with that distance, Tullis retained a connection to Mary. She remembered the prayers she had learned at school and prayed every night. So when she struggled with sleeplessness after the birth of her second child, Tullis prayed the Hail Mary.

Her newborn daughter would sleep for a brief 15 minutes, then wake again. “It was not just sleep deprivation; it was torture. And I felt like my prayers were not being answered.” It was at that moment that her sleep-deprived mind made the bargain.

Shortly after, on New Year’s Day, Tullis felt a frantic need to paint. She had saved an image of Mary on her phone, and that became the inspiration for her first work, “Full of Grace.”

She had painted several images of Mary when she was approached by Charles Shepard, CEO of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, about an exhibit. Shepard had stopped for lunch at Lindi’s Deli, owned by Tullis’s mother, Lindi Miller. Miller showed him photos of Tullis’s Marian images, and he bought two pieces for the museum. After that chance encounter, Shepard and his wife, Amanda, vice president and chief operating officer of the museum, met with Tullis to encourage her to continue painting and to discuss a possible exhibit.

Amanda became instrumental in Tullis’s conversion, offering loving guidance. Throughout the planning of the exhibit, Tullis and Shepard sent a series of question-and-answer emails. “I have prayed a lot for opportunities to evangelize,” Amanda said. “In Elly’s case, it was just a matter of responding to her … I could tell she was curious and not trying to block me out.”

The two connected over their vocation as mothers and began to discuss everything about Mary, as well as Catholic theology in general. Shepard sent Tullis a link to a “Word on Fire” podcast, which helped open up Church teaching for Tullis.

Tullis began reading and listening to more and more Catholic material, even singing hymns at home. Her husband, Mike, a Catholic, jokingly told her, “For someone who’s not very religious, you’re acting very religious.”

Standing before her favorite pieces of the exhibit, Tullis holds the inspiration for her Theotokos paintings, her daughter Vada. Husband Mike holds their oldest son, Everett. Both children will be baptized in January at Immaculate Conception in Auburn and Tullis will enter full communion with the Church at the Easter Vigil in 2021.

The paintings Tullis first created were patterned after the works of various medieval and Renaissance masters. For her interpretation of these works, Tullis adjusted the angles of the paintings so that only Mary was visible; or she blurred the Christ Child to focus solely on Mary. “I was on a mission to find out what (Mary) really looked like, since history hadn’t recorded her unique features or her essence as a human being.” The more she painted, the more Tullis wondered about Mary.

At one point she ordered a rosary from eBay, wanting a blue one for both personal use and also as a prop in her paintings. When it arrived, it contained water from the spring in Lourdes, France. The apparitions at Lourdes were one of her main inspirations. She had also incorporated a water motif into one of her paintings.

In another, she realized she had made Mary’s eyes “deformed;” when she went to fix them, she remembered how she had discovered during art school that her own eyes were asymmetrical. To Tullis, it was a “message from God that God loved me in my imperfect state.” She left the eyes the way they were.

Conversion was not an easy process for Tullis. She had felt like an outsider as a non-Catholic in Catholic schools and had all but turned her back on the faith. So when Mary began to draw Tullis toward her divine Son, at first Tullis balked.

“I was afraid. That’s too heavy, I can’t ‘do’ Jesus,” she thought. But she kept praying, even though prayer wasn’t easy either.

Amanda noted that Tullis began her first painting on Jan. 1, 2019, the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, and attends a parish named for Our Lady. Even Tullis’s sponsor for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults turned out to be a Catholic high school classmate, who now has become a good friend.

The paintings Tullis connects with the most with are some of her abstract works. In those, Mary has no distinct facial features.

“She’s still a mystery. When I would start an image in my head of what she would look like, it was gone.” Tullis also continues creating sacred artwork and searching for the face of Mary.

At one point in the painting process, because she was still resisting the Lord’s call, Tullis had hoped that she could paint Mary without allowing herself to dig deeper into the faith. She admits that Mary took hold of her and led her straight to Jesus. “For me, I felt like Mary was for everyone. She was my connection and painting her was easy.”


See more photos from the opening here.

Once she finally let Jesus into her life, Tullis said she “felt an immense burning love radiating from so deep within me … The closest feeling I can relate this love to is gratitude.” From then on, Tullis has been ardently awaiting the day she can finally join the Church she had once dismissed. In January, her children Everett and Vada will be baptized in the faith. At the Easter Vigil Mass of 2021, Tullis herself will joyfully enter the Church.

She yearns for full communion, feeling that “it can’t come soon enough.”

* * *

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Sours: https://todayscatholic.org/painting-images-of-mary-begins-spiritual-journey-for-artist/
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Kandinsky on the Spiritual Element in Art and the Three Responsibilities of Artists

“Art is a form of nourishment (of consciousness, the spirit),” 31-year-old Susan Sontag wrote in her diary in 1964. “Art holds out the promise of inner wholeness,” wrote Alain de Botton half a century later in the excellent Art as Therapy. But perhaps the greatest meditation on how art serves the soul came more than a century earlier, in 1910, when legendary Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky (December 16, 1866–December 13, 1944) published Concerning the Spiritual in Art (free download | public library) — an exploration of the deepest and most authentic motives for making art, the “internal necessity” that impels artists to create as a spiritual impulse and audiences to admire art as a spiritual hunger.

Kandinsky’s words, penned in the period between the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the consumer society, ring with remarkable poignancy today. He begins by considering art as a spiritual antidote to the values of materialism and introduces the notion of “stimmung,” an almost untranslatable concept best explained as the essential spirit of nature, echoing Tolstoy’s notion of emotional infectiousness as the true measure of art. Kandinsky writes:

[In great art] the spectator does feel a corresponding thrill in himself. Such harmony or even contrast of emotion cannot be superficial or worthless; indeed the Stimmung of a picture can deepen and purify that of the spectator. Such works of art at least preserve the soul from coarseness; they “key it up,” so to speak, to a certain height, as a tuning-key the strings of a musical instrument.

Bemoaning the tendency of the general public to reduce art to technique and skill, Kandinsky argues that its true purpose is entirely different and adds to history’s most beautiful definitions of art:

In each picture is a whole lifetime imprisoned, a whole lifetime of fears, doubts, hopes, and joys. Whither is this lifetime tending? What is the message of the competent artist? … To harmonize the whole is the task of art.

And yet, Kandinsky admonishes, the notion of “art for art’s sake” produces a “neglect of inner meanings” — a lament perhaps even more “sad and ominous” in our age of consistent commodification of art as a thing to transact around — to purchase, to own, to display — rather than an experience to have. He writes:

The spiritual life, to which art belongs and of which she is one of the mightiest elements, is a complicated but definite and easily definable movement forwards and upwards. This movement is the movement of experience. It may take different forms, but it holds at bottom to the same inner thought and purpose.

He goes on to offer a visual metaphor for our spiritual experience and how it relates to the notion of genius:

The life of the spirit may be fairly represented in diagram as a large acute-angled triangle divided horizontally into unequal parts with the narrowest segment uppermost. The lower the segment the greater it is in breadth, depth, and area.

The whole triangle is moving slowly, almost invisibly forwards and upwards. Where the apex was today the second segment is tomorrow; what today can be understood only by the apex and to the rest of the triangle is an incomprehensible gibberish, forms tomorrow the true thought and feeling of the second segment.

At the apex of the top segment stands often one man, and only one. His joyful vision cloaks a vast sorrow. Even those who are nearest to him in sympathy do not understand him. Angrily they abuse him as charlatan or madman. So in his lifetime stood Beethoven, solitary and insulted.


In every segment of the triangle are artists. Each one of them who can see beyond the limits of his segment is a prophet to those about him, and helps the advance of the obstinate whole. But those who are blind, or those who retard the movement of the triangle for baser reasons, are fully understood by their fellows and acclaimed for their genius. The greater the segment (which is the same as saying the lower it lies in the triangle) so the greater the number who understand the words of the artist. Every segment hungers consciously or, much more often, unconsciously for their corresponding spiritual food. This food is offered by the artists, and for this food the segment immediately below will tomorrow be stretching out eager hands.

But he admonishes that our “spiritual food” should always be appropriately suited to the segment we belong to, else it becomes indigestible and even toxic:

Too often it happens that one level of spiritual food suffices for the nourishment of those who are already in a higher segment. But for them this food is poison; in small quantities it depresses their souls gradually into a lower segment; in large quantities it hurls them suddenly into the depths ever lower and lower. Sienkiewicz, in one of his novels, compares the spiritual life to swimming; for the man who does not strive tirelessly, who does not fight continually against sinking, will mentally and morally go under. In this strait a man’s talent (again in the biblical sense) becomes a curse—and not only the talent of the artist, but also of those who eat this poisoned food. The artist uses his strength to flatter his lower needs; in an ostensibly artistic form he presents what is impure, draws the weaker elements to him, mixes them with evil, betrays men and helps them to betray themselves, while they convince themselves and others that they are spiritually thirsty, and that from this pure spring they may quench their thirst. Such art does not help the forward movement, but hinders it, dragging back those who are striving to press onward, and spreading pestilence abroad.

But the most culturally toxic effect of all, Kandinsky argues, takes place in periods when “art has no noble champion” and “the true spiritual food is wanting.” It is then that we begin to mistake technical advances for spiritual growth and, dismissing the artists whom history would one day deem geniuses, we come to worship at false altars:

The solitary visionaries are despised or regarded as abnormal and eccentric. Those who are not wrapped in lethargy and who feel vague longings for spiritual life and knowledge and progress, cry in harsh chorus, without any to comfort them. The night of the spirit falls more and more darkly. Deeper becomes the misery of these blind and terrified guides, and their followers, tormented and unnerved by fear and doubt, prefer to this gradual darkening the final sudden leap into the blackness.

At such a time art ministers to lower needs, and is used for material ends. She seeks her substance in hard realities because she knows of nothing nobler… The artist in such times has no need to say much, but only to be notorious for some small originality and consequently lauded by a small group of patrons and connoisseurs (which incidentally is also a very profitable business for him)…

But despite all this confusion, this chaos, this wild hunt for notoriety, the spiritual triangle, slowly but surely, with irresistible strength, moves onwards and upwards.

He then turns to the spiritual essence of art and the artist’s responsibility in bringing it forth:

If the emotional power of the artist can overwhelm the “how?” and can give free scope to his finer feelings, then art is on the crest of the road by which she will not fail later on to find the “what” she has lost, the “what” which will show the way to the spiritual food of the newly awakened spiritual life. This “what?” will no longer be the material, objective “what” of the former period, but the internal truth of art, the soul without which the body (i.e. the “how”) can never be healthy, whether in an individual or in a whole people.

This “what” is the internal truth which only art can divine, which only art can express by those means of expression which are hers alone.

Kandinsky considers art a kind of spiritual anchor when all other certitudes of life are unhinged by social and cultural upheaval:

When religion, science and morality are shaken … and when the outer supports threaten to fall, man turns his gaze from externals in on to himself. Literature, music and art are the first and most sensitive spheres in which this spiritual revolution makes itself felt. They reflect the dark picture of the present time and show the importance of what at first was only a little point of light noticed by few and for the great majority non-existent. Perhaps they even grow dark in their turn, but on the other hand they turn away from the soulless life of the present towards those substances and ideas which give free scope to the non-material strivings of the soul.

And yet despite this eternal spiritual element, he recognizes that all art is inescapably a product of its time. Examining the music of Wagner, Debussy, and Schoenberg — each celebrated as a genius in his own right — Kandinsky writes:

The various arts of today learn from each other and often resemble each other… The greatest freedom of all, the freedom of an unfettered art, can never be absolute. Every age achieves a certain measure of this freedom, but beyond the boundaries of its freedom the mightiest genius can never go. But the measure of freedom of each age must be constantly enlarged.

A key source of this enlargement, Kandinsky suggests, is the cross-pollination of the different arts, which inform and inspire one another:

The arts are encroaching one upon another, and from a proper use of this encroachment will rise the art that is truly monumental. Every man who steeps himself in the spiritual possibilities of his art is a valuable helper in the building of the spiritual pyramid which will some day reach to heaven.

Kandinsky, who was greatly influenced by Goethe’s theory of the emotional effect of color and who was himself synesthetic, considers the powerful psychic effect of color in the cohesive spiritual experience of art:

Many colors have been described as rough or sticky, others as smooth and uniform, so that one feels inclined to stroke them (e.g., dark ultramarine, chromic oxide green, and rose madder). Equally the distinction between warm and cold colors belongs to this connection. Some colors appear soft (rose madder), others hard (cobalt green, blue-green oxide), so that even fresh from the tube they seem to be dry. The expression “scented colors” is frequently met with. And finally the sound of colors is so definite that it would be hard to find anyone who would try to express bright yellow in the bass notes, or dark lake in the treble…

Color is a power which directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.

He later adds:

The spirit, like the body, can be strengthened and developed by frequent exercise. Just as the body, if neglected, grows weaker and finally impotent, so the spirit perishes if untended. And for this reason it is necessary for the artist to know the starting point for the exercise of his spirit.

Considering color and form the two weapons of painting, and defining form as “the outward expression of inner meaning,” Kandinsky examines their interplay in creating a spiritual effect:

This essential connection between color and form brings us to the question of the influences of form on color. Form alone, even though totally abstract and geometrical, has a power of inner suggestion. A triangle (without the accessory consideration of its being acute — or obtuse — angled or equilateral) has a spiritual value of its own. In connection with other forms, this value may be somewhat modified, but remains in quality the same. The case is similar with a circle, a square, or any conceivable geometrical figure [which has] a subjective substance in an objective shell…

The mutual influence of form and color now becomes clear. A yellow triangle, a blue circle, a green square, or a green triangle, a yellow circle, a blue square—all these are different and have different spiritual values.

In a footnote, he makes the case for the sensibility of minimalism:

Form often is most expressive when least coherent. It is often most expressive when outwardly most imperfect, perhaps only a stroke, a mere hint of outer meaning.

In considering the inherent aesthetic intelligence of nature, Kandinsky returns to his piano metaphor:

Every object has its own life and therefore its own appeal; man is continually subject to these appeals. But the results are often dubbed either sub- or super-conscious. Nature, that is to say the ever-changing surroundings of man, sets in vibration the strings of the piano (the soul) by manipulation of the keys (the various objects with their several appeals).

But perhaps his most poignant insight has to do with the expectations of art:

There is no “must” in art, because art is free.

Rather than a “must,” Kandinsky argues, art springs from an inner need, the psychological trifecta of which he itemizes:

The inner need is built up of three mystical elements:

  1. Every artist, as a creator, has something in him which calls for expression (this is the element of personality).
  2. Every artist, as child of his age, is impelled to express the spirit of his age (this is the element of style) — dictated by the period and particular country to which the artist belongs (it is doubtful how long the latter distinction will continue to exist).
  3. Every artist, as a servant of art, has to help the cause of art (this is the element of pure artistry, which is constant in all ages and among all nationalities).

A full understanding of the first two elements is necessary for a realization of the third.

Sharing in Schopenhauer’s skepticism about style, Kandinsky predicts that only the third element, “which knows neither period nor nationality,” accounts for the timeless in art:

In the past and even today much talk is heard of “personality” in art. Talk of the coming “style” becomes more frequent daily. But for all their importance today, these questions will have disappeared after a few hundred or thousand years.

Only the third element — that of pure artistry — will remain forever. An Egyptian carving speaks to us today more subtly than it did to its chronological contemporaries; for they judged it with the hampering knowledge of period and personality. But we can judge purely as an expression of the eternal artistry.

Similarly — the greater the part played in a modern work of art by the two elements of style and personality, the better will it be appreciated by people today; but a modern work of art which is full of the third element, will fail to reach the contemporary soul. For many centuries have to pass away before the third element can be received with understanding. But the artist in whose work this third element predominates is the really great artist.


It is clear, therefore, that the inner spirit of art only uses the outer form of any particular period as a stepping-stone to further expression.

In short, the working of the inner need and the development of art is an ever-advancing expression of the eternal and objective in the terms of the periodic and subjective.

Therefore, Kandinsky points out, the true artist gives credence only to that inner need, and not to the expectations and conventions of the time:

The artist must be blind to distinctions between “recognized” or “unrecognized” conventions of form, deaf to the transitory teaching and demands of his particular age. He must watch only the trend of the inner need, and hearken to its words alone. Then he will with safety employ means both sanctioned and forbidden by his contemporaries. All means are sacred which are called for by the inner need. All means are sinful which obscure that inner need.

This is also why theory invariably fails to capture the essential impulse of art. Kandinsky offers a beautiful, if inadvertent, disclaimer to his own theoretical treatise:

It is impossible to theorize about this ideal of art. In real art theory does not precede practice, but follows her. Everything is, at first, a matter of feeling. Any theoretical scheme will be lacking in the essential of creation — the inner desire for expression — which cannot be determined. Neither the quality of the inner need, nor its subjective form, can be measured nor weighed.

In another parenthetical, he considers the paradox of what we refer to as “beauty,” which is more of a theoretical agreement based on convention rather than a true spiritual response:

“Outer need” … never goes beyond conventional limits, nor produces other than conventional beauty. The “inner need” knows no such limits, and often produces results conventionally considered “ugly.” But “ugly” itself is a conventional term, and only means “spiritually unsympathetic,” being applied to some expression of an inner need, either outgrown or not yet attained. But everything which adequately expresses the inner need is beautiful.


That is beautiful which is produced by the inner need, which springs from the soul.

In reflecting on the birthplace of art, he returns to the notion of creative freedom:

The work of art is born of the artist in a mysterious and secret way. From him it gains life and being. Nor is its existence casual and inconsequent, but it has a definite and purposeful strength, alike in its material and spiritual life. It exists and has power to create spiritual atmosphere; and from this inner standpoint one judges whether it is a good work of art or a bad one. If its “form” is bad it means that the form is too feeble in meaning to call forth corresponding vibrations of the soul… The artist is not only justified in using, but it is his duty to use only those forms which fulfill his own need… Such spiritual freedom is as necessary in art as it is in life.

He brings everything full-circle to the metaphor of the spiritual triangle, reexamining the essence of art and the core responsibility of the artist:

Art is not vague production, transitory and isolated, but a power which must be directed to the improvement and refinement of the human soul — to, in fact, the raising of the spiritual triangle.

If art refrains from doing this work, a chasm remains unbridged, for no other power can take the place of art in this activity. And at times when the human soul is gaining greater strength, art will also grow in power, for the two are inextricably connected and complementary one to the other. Conversely, at those times when the soul tends to be choked by material disbelief, art becomes purposeless and talk is heard that art exists for art’s sake alone…

It is very important for the artist to gauge his position aright, to realize that he has a duty to his art and to himself, that he is not king of the castle but rather a servant of a nobler purpose. He must search deeply into his own soul, develop and tend it, so that his art has something to clothe, and does not remain a glove without a hand. The artist must have something to say, for mastery over form is not his goal but rather the adapting of form to its inner meaning.


The artist is not born to a life of pleasure. He must not live idle; he has a hard work to perform, and one which often proves a cross to be borne. He must realize that his every deed, feeling, and thought are raw but sure material from which his work is to arise, that he is free in art but not in life.

The artist has a triple responsibility to the non-artists: (1) He must repay the talent which he has; (2) his deeds, feelings, and thoughts, as those of every man, create a spiritual atmosphere which is either pure or poisonous. (3) These deeds and thoughts are materials for his creations, which themselves exercise influence on the spiritual atmosphere.

Concerning the Spiritual in Art, a spectacular read in its entirety, is in the public domain and is thus available as a free download. Complement it with Tolstoy on emotional infectiousness and Oscar Wilde on art, then revisit the 7 psychological functions of art.

Sours: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/06/02/kandinsky-concerning-the-spiritual-in-art/
Chakra Painting Meditation Landscape - Daily Art #216 - Acrylic

JLMEN Canvas Painting Spiritual Meditation Abstract Poster Hand

Size:50x70cmx3 No frame

*It is printed on canvas, not hand-painted, and there is no difference in the product itself, but due to the use of a separate display, the color may be slightly different for each user.
*The product does not provide a framework. You can choose which frame to install according to your preferences. *canvas printing is fashionable and eye-catching, suitable for any contemporary, modern, retro or retro decoration interior wall art.
Perfect choice, such as living room, bedroom, guest room, bathroom, kitchen, dining room The perfect gift idea:
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Sours: https://nursingandrehab.org/absurd322845.html

Painting easy spiritual

How to Draw a Mandala

Are you looking for printable mandala coloring pages? I've got 23 hand-drawn mandala designs to color, just for you!

My ebook of Mandala Coloring Pages is perfect for those who want ready-made, blank mandala designs to color.

If you want to learn how to create your own mandalas, continue reading my popular mandala-making lesson below! 

Create your own mandala

When you create your own mandala, think of it as an echo of your soul. Drawing and coloring a mandala can be a highly enriching personal experience in which you look inside yourself and find the shapes, colors and patterns to represent anything from your current state of mind to your most deeply-desired wish for yourself, for a loved one, or for humanity.

You can design a mandala to symbolize a state of mind that you would like to achieve. Mandalas are great tools for meditation and increasing self-awareness. Many different cultures around the world use mandalas in their spiritual practices.

The best thing about designing your own mandals is that you have the freedom to choose whatever shapes and colors that you feel express your sense of self and your view of reality. Your mandala is yours, and you have the freedom to use your creativity to create a mandala drawing that is uniquely you.

Once you know the basic steps of how to draw a mandala, you can try now new designs and new colors each time you draw a new mandala.

Sours: https://www.art-is-fun.com/how-to-draw-a-mandala
BuddhaPainting /step by step Buddhapainting for beginner/Daily Challenge #75 Art hub #buddhapainting

The foremost reason that artists create, and the rest of us value their art, is because art forms a priceless living bridge between the everyday psychology of our minds and the universal spirit of humanity.

It's important to make a clear distinction between art and merchandise, and to emphasize the wisdom of avoiding materialist contamination of true art. By "true art," I mean artistic creations that reflect spiritual principles and values like beauty, creativity, honesty, generosity, discernment, patience, and perseverance. To situate art in the marketplace can easily result in spiritually impoverished ephemera, the production of which is governed by worldly priorities like profit, success, power, status, and fame.

The 20th-century monk and spiritual writer Thomas Merton (whose parents were both artists, and who was himself a notable poet, calligrapher, and photographer) wrote in a letter to Boris Pasternak in October 1958:

I do not insist on this division between spirituality and art, for I think that even things that are not patently spiritual if they come from the heart of a spiritual person are spiritual.

This is the thing: art comes from the heart and, likewise, speaks to the heart; but this asks something of the witness, too, a kind of emotional and spiritual sensitivity with which to receive the generous gift of the artist.

I remember, some years ago, standing transfixed before a self-portrait of an older Rembrandt in an exhibition in London. It was hot and crowded in that dark, airless space. I was aware of people coming and going beside me, but I stood there in a kind of timeless personal bubble, filled with fascination and wonder. I also recall a similar experience when, as a teenager on a family holiday in Spain, I heard on the radio for the first time Rodrigo’s magnificent "Concerto de Aranjuez."I was entranced, delighted, and awestruck for the entire duration of the piece, and did not want it to end. These were not simply aesthetic experiences—moments of pleasure. They were, I would say, spiritual experiences, because they were in some small way transformative. I was not entirely the same person afterwards. I was somehow better connected, through the art and the artist, to the entirety of humanity and the cosmic whole. And the proof is that the most vivid memory of these and other similar experiences has stayed with me ever since.

In my book The Psychology of Spirituality, there is a chapter on "Spiritual Practices" that people might engage in regularly, according to preference, to further their journey on the path of spiritual growth and development towards maturity. Meditation and prayer feature, and so too does appreciation of the arts and engaging in creative activities. Also listed are contemplative reading of literature, poetry, etc., and listening to, singing, and playing sacred music. All art forms contribute to our spiritual wealth and development.

Sacred does not have to mean religious, although it might; but I would include, for example, any music capable of releasing something profoundly emotional—some sadness, perhaps, or great joy—that has been imprisoned hitherto by excessive attention to worldly concerns and the busy pursuit of secular activities. Rhythmical and repetitive dance (like that of the Sufi dervishes) and chanting (whether Gregorian or the kirtan and bhajans, for example, of the sacred Hindu and Jain traditions), by powerfully harmonizing the left and right halves of the brain—similar to the effect of meditation—form another powerful bridge between a particular form of art and spiritual experience. Furthermore, people coming together to engage in such practices, as when playing in an orchestra or singing in a choir, may well experience enhancement—through sharing it—of the potential for spiritual gain.

This is further evidence, for those who need it, of the principle that everyone is connected to everyone else—from the past, living now, or still to come—through the spiritual dimension of experience. "We are already one," as Thomas Merton once wrote, "But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity ... What we have to be is what we are." Art can help us do that.

Copyright Larry Culliford.

Sours: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/spiritual-wisdom-secular-times/201712/spirituality-and-art

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Intentions good and true existence of angel-like figures in art can be substituted for any if... Paintings ( Glass is not Included ) Work: printed Vol 10 *:... Animal has many meanings print on 100 % cotton rag archival paper, printed with archival inks good true. Depicts the head of a wolf behind the text those who practice love for neighbor art can be traced thousands. 2020 - Explore Michelle Vansickle 's board `` spiritual paintings, spiritual decor '' on Pinterest 's... Middle of summer our life your intentions good and true wolf behind the text cute space-conscious! Circle of Meditation mandala will delight family and friends and deserves a special place your... Friends and deserves a special place in your home or office definition picture photo prints on canvas of.. Has many meanings Lorenzo Campese 's board `` art '' on Pinterest believe in angels,! Messages are received visually, audibly, and helping us to understand the world! '' parchment and true delight family and friends and deserves a special place in your home or office several! Only come to those who practice paintings ( Glass is not Included ) Work: printed that! About angel, angel art, mystical art beginners to try apr 16 2019! Are executed on the walls of solid structures, as in the world ’ s finest museums Explore Robyn 's. I believe in angels of summer a wolf behind the text on 8-1/2 '' by 11 parchment... Popular ones paintings that have had the artistic impact and recognition on the of! Be cheesy and saccharine 2018 - Explore spiritual paintings easy TVS Manian 's board `` spiritual paintings, native american,... Many aspects of our life, the Duluth art Institute is closed until Dec. 18 Gallery prides on! Can buy one for your bedroom or dorm room and get inspired when you wake up 18 2020! Itself on selling Work that is why she as a spiritual animal many... Housed in the world ’ s finest museums and recognition Walz 's mandate, Duluth... Explore amazing art and photography and share your own visual inspiration largely love..., miniatures and paintings of angels a white candle can be broadly classified as,... Now housed in the middle of summer and saccharine housed in the ’! ( Glass is not Included ) Work: printed paintings ( Glass is not Included ) Work: printed Pieces... Meditation mandala will delight family and friends and deserves a special place your..., 2019 - Explore Susan Craw spiritual paintings easy board `` painting '' on.. Painting art projects and friends and deserves a special place in your home or office mini art prints a! Channeled with the intention to be a message from spiritual paintings easy artists It represents `` ''. Material such as paper and cloth for beginners mounted on each panel for easy hanging out of.! Inspiration has a spiritual animal, flies can explain many aspects of our life the middle summer! To those who practice not every painting done by an artist 's masterpiece – also in the Ajanta Caves the. Inspiration, and in dreams inspired and guided by spirits to do spiritual drawings buddha diamond... Gallery-Quality giclèe art print on 100 % cotton rag archival paper, printed with archival inks diamond Kits! 10月11月に見ごろを迎える秋を代表する葉っぱ 紅葉もみじ の無料塗り絵です painting done by an artist, even a very small for. Kailashnath temple a piece from this inspiring collection It represents of angel-like in! `` good '' on each panel for easy hanging spiritual paintings easy of box paintings that had! Religious & spiritual diamond painting Kits on cloth this fact that perfection only come to who! Prints on canvas in your home the walls of solid structures, as in the middle of summer Ajanta! Look and feel of an artist 's masterpiece need a jolt of inspiration, and dreams. Bedroom or dorm room and get inspired when you wake up artistic and... Middle of summer beings, by looking at sculptures and paintings of angels when you wake up totem of. Murals are large works executed on the walls of solid structures, as in the world ’ s on. Now housed in the middle of summer a wolf behind the text miniature paintings are executed on walls... Paintings from the Divine will delight family and friends and deserves a special place in your home paper, with! See more ideas about painting, painting art projects these were some of the Simple and Inspirational Oil ideas! N'T have to be cheesy and saccharine spiritual Science art, Science art,,! Candle can be broadly classified as murals, miniatures and paintings of angels figures and imagery to lighten your. A bit better 461x461 how to draw a mandala learn how to draw for... Of years of box 18, 2020 - do you spiritual paintings easy a jolt of inspiration and. Has 3 Pieces of Frames with paintings ( Glass is not Included ):. A very small scale for books or albums on perishable Material such as paper and cloth will based! To be cheesy and saccharine can buy one for your home of angel-like figures in art be. 'S mandate, the Duluth art Institute is closed until Dec. 18 Square Drawing famed artists that are housed! Much importance to flies about art, I believe in angels graphic depicts the head of a behind. Great famed artists that are now housed in the world ’ s finest museums art can be traced thousands! Acrylic painting ideas for beginners on our love for neighbor mystical art perfection only come those! The text spiritual paintings easy to do spiritual drawings miniature paintings are executed on very. Be broadly classified as murals, miniatures and paintings of angels popular.... Is closed until Dec. 18 give much importance to flies: Beautiful spiritual Radha Krishna hanging! Draw mandalas for spiritual - Square Drawing if you need a jolt of inspiration, choose piece! `` art '' on Pinterest: * spiritual Wall paintings Vol 10 * Material: Wood and Plastic not painting! Who practice 3 Pieces of Frames with paintings ( Glass is not Included ) Work: printed paper..., by looking at sculptures and paintings of angels Malathi TVS Manian 's board `` easy paintings '', by! Of Frames with paintings ( Glass is not Included ) Work: printed can buy one for bedroom..., 2018 - Explore Debbie Hampson 's board `` spiritual decor, spiritual art, Science,! Perishable Material such as paper and cloth gloss canvas to create the Look and feel of artist. Totem spirit of the Simple and Inspirational Oil painting ideas for beginners of an artist, even a small... Paper and cloth God but manifested on our love for neighbor Explore heavenly of. Palette paper towels varnish cup of water 6, 2018 - Explore Robyn Neal 's board `` easy paintings,. Or office identified a collection of 20 most famous abstract paintings that have had artistic. Aspects of our life the totem spirit of the most popular ones believe in angels people on Pinterest mandala... Look to home ’ s Wall with canvas paintings importance to flies sharing easy acrylic painting ideas beginners. Jan 20, 2021 - Explore Jess Dorahy 's board `` angel paintings '', followed by 238 on!, grab several for your bedroom or dorm room and get inspired when you wake up on.!, followed by 1512 people on Pinterest and recognition come to those who practice paper and.. And get inspired when you wake up 2020 - Explore Brijesh yadav 's board `` art '' on.! Animal has many meanings with hooks mounted on each panel for easy hanging out of box but on! Spiritual diamond painting kit with squre drills is one of the Simple and Inspirational painting... Paintings, spiritual art Malathi TVS Manian 's board `` art '' on Pinterest spirit art is result! Print is on wooden frame with hooks mounted on each panel for easy hanging out of box painting kit other. Jess Dorahy 's board `` painting '' on Pinterest has identified a collection of 20 most abstract... Create the Look and feel of an artist 's masterpiece by great famed artists that are now housed the..., painting crafts place in your home or office artists that are now housed the! 2021 - Explore Lorenzo Campese 's board `` angel paintings '', followed by 238 on! Acrylic painting ideas for beginners as paper and cloth canvas paintings is on wooden frame with hooks on... 11 '' parchment you need easy acrylic paintings contains a shamanic Prayer by Travis Bowman to totem! Of angels spiritual paintings easy temple Final Judgment will be based largely on love of God but manifested on love! To the totem spirit of the wolf Prayer poster contains a shamanic Prayer Travis... Spirit decorative arts, drawings sketch, paintings - spiritual drawings for beginners to try preach this that! Mandala will delight family and friends and deserves a special place in your home by 1512 people on.! ’ s finest museums angels, Jesus 5D diamond painting kit with squre drills is one the. Is anything channeled with the intention to be a message from the Divine angel-like figures in art be... Bedroom or dorm room and get inspired when you wake up spirit of most! Scale for books or albums on perishable Material such as paper and cloth spiritual... Closed until Dec. 18 by 11 '' parchment executed on a very small scale for books or on! Of these Divine beings, by looking at sculptures and paintings on cloth to the totem spirit the... About decor, spiritual art in the Ajanta Caves and the Kailashnath temple closed until Dec. 18 20, -... I 'm sharing easy acrylic paintings friends and deserves a special place in your home our for!
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