The Christian Artist | Borrowing a Page from Van Gogh

Can a Christian be an artist? Yes.

While contemporary culture suggests otherwise, artists can have faith in God. More specifically, you can be an artist and a Christian. The two are not mutually exclusive.

As part of my therapy, my counselor suggested I try taking up an artistic endeavor like drawing. Shrugging my shoulders, I chuckled. I probably haven’t drawn much of anything since 8th grade art class. I do recall having a keen interest in drawing at one point. I may have even talked to one of my uncles about it way back then. At the time, I was interested in race cars and I had sketched a few of them. If memory serves, I had mailed him copies of my work. His response seemed to be encouraging. But, I didn’t pursue it.

Artists on my mom’s side of the family include my mom, my aunt and my uncles. They all draw and paint. For years, mom worked with clay, creating unique sculptures. Me? —not so much. At least not until recently at the behest of my counselor.

I’ve also recently rekindled my love affair with photography. After high school, I took a year off. When I got ready to go to college, I chose to attend East Texas State University where I could perfect my photography craft. They had—and still do have an award-winning photography program—although nowadays the school operates as part of the Texas A&M. I had a burning desire to tell stories with pictures. However, life happened and I got distracted by my desires and addictions and photography quickly took a backseat to my extracurricular collegiate endeavors.

I am reading a book about Van Gogh. I had a Van Gogh(a print) hanging in a number of the places I drifted in and out of during the late 80s and early 90s. Something I learned from reading about Van Gogh is that faith served an important role in his life, particularly early on, and that many considered him to be very humble and focused on heavenly pursuits.

It’s impossible to discount the impact hope and suffering have had on art, including Van Gogh.

The lonely, lost, and lamenting artist on the verge of insanity is a by-product of the 19th century when the human race first contemplated its own existence apart from a transcendental support system. This naturally brought forth questions surrounding the absurdity of purposeless suffering.

I am still reading and learning how Van Gogh’s faith influenced his art and how his spiritual journey turned out, but I imagine that Van Gogh is not the lone artist to ever contemplate God. As a matter of fact, I bet the struggle with spiritual matters has impacted many artists of various artistic forms, guiding and directing their work.

What do you think? If you consider yourself to be a creative person, what role does your faith play in the work you create?

We are celebrating creativity and humility here at The Devotional Guy™ throughout the month of June. You can join me in honoring humility by writing a post about humility. Please add the hashtag #humility to your posts.

Meanwhile, I pray you stay cool in the heat. Carry a few extra cold bottles of water with you wherever you go so that you can hand one out to someone who needs it.

I pray that the Lord shines His favor upon you today.

I value your engagement, so please feel free to share your thoughts and comments. If you enjoyed reading this post click “like” if you feel the Spirit so move you. And don’t forget: #humility


The Devotional Guy™

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  1. Alan Kearns says:

    I watched a documentary on C.H.Spurgeon recently, I am sure it said something about Van Gogh being a follower of Spurgeon’s work.
    I have been creative on and off through my life, pottering around with art. I once learned how to make decorative wooden crosses using pyrography. But my most common dabble in art was with pencils in landscapes, but it was only just dabbling. Celtic beliefs play a big part in my life, thus creation is important to me. This is a lovely reflective and a challenging post brother, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed this post. I always wanted to be an artist and took art classes in school. I think I have some talent, but never perused it as a career. But I love to be creative, and I love colors. I have always loved taking photos. On all vacations I always carried around a small pocket camera. I got some great photos with my little cannon camera! Then a few years ago I upgraded a bit so I could zoom in and capture more. I love it. I’m just learning as I go. But I’m always looking for colors, blurs and little details. I just see God’s creation more closely. So that is my outlet for my creativity at the moment. I’ve made a few Shutterfly books and used my photos and my own loose interpretation of different bible verses that have helped during the past two years. I’ve given a few away. When I retire, I would love to take some art fun art classes again!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Alan. I think God is very creative and thus we have this creative gene in us. When we create, we worship. I have heard something similar about Van Gogh and Spurgeon as well. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Indeed. Thanks for reading.


  5. That sounds interesting Lisa. In addition to drawing and sketching, I’ve recently taken up photography again. Lately, I’ve just felt this need to create—to add something interesting and beautiful—and to document as well. I guess I just see too much of the harshness of reality in my daily work. Thanks for reading and sharing your own experiences. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. you&meinc says:

    Your blogs are always a blessing you wrap Biblical knowledge with layman words to ppl for them to understand the Bible for today’s generation awesome job.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I truly appreciate them. Blessings.


  8. you&meinc says:

    We all need encouragement, did you read my last 2 entries I would appreciate your input thank you I appreciate corrective criticism.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks again. I will be sure to read them this weekend as I catch up on my blog reading.


  10. you&meinc says:

    Sounds awesome have a blessed weekend

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ranier, thank you for sharing your creative journey. I never really considered myself to be much of a creative person. When I retired from teaching in 2018, a few friends encouraged me to pursue some of my interests. I had dabbled in writing, but nothing too serious. With God’s nurturing, my writing (and blogging) journey continues.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Amen. Thank the Lord for the blessing of wise, encouraging friends.

    Liked by 1 person

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