Wednesday, January 12, 2011


As believers, we are called to live our lives in Christ. So if our living, breathing and being is in Christ, then our art will be in Him also.

This means that the artwork we create does not have to be directly based on an explicitly religious topic to be “about” God and His redemptive work. It can depict a landscape or the human form. It can be representational or abstract. It can be a painting, an installation or any other media. As long as we have our being in Christ, the Spirit of Christ will manifest in our art—which means we can touch the viewer with the message of the gospel and thereby change a life.

This is one reason I believe it is important to pray before we start working. We want to remain open for God to inspire us, to drop a vision into us for our next work. This time of seeking divine inspiration is essential for the Christian artist. Sometimes, it only takes a nanosecond for us to get a completely clear vision of what we should do next. Other times, we may get a powerful but vague feeling that only becomes clear over a long period of time. But we do our best to seek—trusting in the promise that we will find.

I often walk around for weeks with several ideas for new projects forming in my spirit. If I am working on a project already, I have to push other new ideas more to the background to be called on when I feel am ready to execute them with God's blessing. But when I have finished a project and I’m ready for the next one, I walk around "gathering" for a while. I keep my eyes and spirit open to any and all input that might possibly be helpful to my next project. It might just be a certain color or shape. It might be an existing work of art by someone else. It may be some mood or idea that I'd like to convey. I might cut out a picture from a magazine or print out an article from the web.

This is also the time when I think about what physical materials would work best and where could I get them. I may start to buy and collect what I think I’m going to need for the project—even if I’m not entirely sure exactly what the project will be yet.

If this is a group project, this is the time to share with the group. By discussing the vision, everyone can start getting more inspired and make decisions about what they should do. Discussion also allow you to uncover any weak points in the vision or the work plan.

Often, the ideas that God gives us are a surprise. He will give us something to do that we could never have thought of ourselves, something completely unexpected. So, as Christian artists, we should always be prepared to gather inspirations for projects that God wants to birth in us by His Holy Spirit.


  1. Yes to Gathering!
    I witness more and more of coming out of Christian artists.

    Some works may be indirect, ok, I see them as preparatory to the truth of the gospel.
    Like salt in a beautiful shaker, first it is shown, than somebody picks it up, holds it in their hand, looks at it from various angles, sniffs at it(that would be me), then finally shakes the salt onto the food.

    In this view, Christian art is evangelistic piece-work on foreign territory, missionary work, actually. Always directed towards, and made complete in the message of the Gospel of Christ.

  2. if it was something unknown, yes.

  3. Very concise and insightful comments on the process of art making for the Christian. It demystifies some of the convoluted discussions that go on regarding the topic. I've been looking for other artists that have clarity and focus in their art making as Christians. I've done installations based on years of gathering too. A wonderful process.

  4. Thank you Debbie for gathering as well. Your driftwood piece is so beautiful.

  5. So happy to find your blog. Sometimes feel like a lone Christian island in the sea of Art. Will keep reading and being inspired. Thank you for being open about your relationship with Christ.