Continuing to Explore Drawing as a Spiritual Practice

In an earlier post this year titled Pondering Art as a Spiritual Practice, I contemplated communing with God through art. Since then, I have taken up drawing, primarily with graphite and colored pencil.

There is a sense of freedom I experience in creating something, particularly when I am drawing. To be clear, I am no expert on drawing. It is a new venture for me; a new habit I am trying to incorporate into my daily life.

I am still learning to draw. My sketches are still very primitive, almost child-like. My mom, a life-long artist, encourages me, saying “it’s good to have your own style.” She naturally does this with a blend of German-English and a slow Texas drawl.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Matthew 22:37 (English Standard Version)

I am trying to carve out time each day to devote to my new found art. That’s why they call it a practice after all. It’s something you do routinely every day. I try to invite God into the situation. I say “try” because sometimes I just sit down and begin to draw, unpacking my heart, mind, and soul.

Drawing helps me release myself from the tensions of the day. It distracts my mind from the noise of the world. Drawing helps me process things weighing on my heart as well as grappling with burdens weighing on my soul. Drawing provides me with a freedom of expression. But, as a beginner, I am still learning the language much like a baby forming its first words or a toddler taking its first steps. So my expressions may appear crude and primitive to you. They do to me, too.

Work in Progress
“En Bateau”
Rainer Bantau
©2022

I am grateful for the encouragement I receive from my bride, Terri and from my Mom, Karin who has been a long-time East Texas artist. Having other people’s support when you are pursuing a new practice is pivotal, I believe, to continuing to pursue it. It helps me feel free to grow in this creative endeavor as I pursue a new way for me to worship God.

The other night, Terri and I watched an intriguing documentary on the life of Bob Ross. I swear I know his son Steven from somewhere (other than TV). The documentary titled “Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed,” is enlightening and disturbing. I recommend watching it, especially if you were a fan of Bob Ross or watched his long-running PBS program, “The Joy of Painting.”

The documentary left me with the impression that Bob Ross primarily wanted to bring some beauty into the world and share it with others. Life, as we all know, is difficult and wrought with challenges. It certainly isn’t always pretty. I think for Bob Ross painting helped him face the hardships of life with a more positive perspective.

I mentioned earlier that for me drawing is a practice that helps me express my thoughts and frees me from the bondages of stress and tensions of everyday life. In my role at work I see God work in beautiful, miraculous ways each day. But, I also see the impact of sin, the hopelessness of street life, and a lot of plain ugliness.

With a pencil in my hand and a blank drawing pad on the table in front of me, I find that I can connect with God and give Him a chance to heal my aches and pains. Drawing helps me grapple with the side effects of secondary trauma. I can seek refuge and comfort in Jesus through exercising the spiritual practice of drawing.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 34:8 (ESV)

Do you have a creative spiritual practice that helps you maintain your sanity in an increasingly insane world?

Thank you for taking time to read my post. If you like what you read, please be sure to FOLLOW my blog so that you can get notified when I publish new content. Feel free to hit the “Like” button, too. It helps me know what resonates with you, the reader.

I pray that you find solace somehow, somewhere this week. May the peace of God be with you. Remember, as they teach in the halls of recovery, you can start the day over anytime and as often as necessary. That’s freedom. This too shall pass.

Peace,

The Devotional Guy™

#bgbg2 #BibleGateway
#freedom
#thistooshallpass

15 Comments

  1. It is my understanding that when God gives us a gift (whatever it is) we have to use it or lose it. So draw away !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your new practice sounds so peaceful. I like this idea. I am not very creative. The only artistic thing I do at times is crocheting. The simple motion is soothing. And I can easily pray while crocheting. But I confess that I often let it go for months and years at a time. I should pick it back up. Thanks for the nudge!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Agreed. I believe we are given these gifts as a means of worship and helping others worship as well. Thank you for reading and for your encouragement.

    Like

  4. I believe you are likely more creative than you realize, Bridget. At least that’s something I am discovering about myself through this process.
    Drawing is a peaceful endeavor although I am finding it helps me deal with non-peaceful experiences. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate the encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alan Kearns says:

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on your first steps in drawing, I must admit I never thought of drawing as a spiritual exercise but why not…I can recognise the value of art as a form of worship/prayer. I used to draw years ago and your post is making me itchy for it again. Thank you for your encouragement brother, God bless you and Terri today.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Give it a go, Alan. Who knows what you might discover. I pray that of you do it would be a worshipful blessing to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You set a good example, Rainer, about how to have a well-rounded life. I need a consistent hobby, brother! As always, I enjoyed your song selection. You are a great DJ! Blessings, brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks David. Maybe I need to focus more on the music for my posts!
    I am grateful for your encouragement and faithfulness in reading my posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I heard it said that everybody can draw, but when you get told often enough that it isn’t good enough, you give up. it was said by an artist sad for others who gave up with their art

    but, you’re right – that encouragement is so needed, whether we’re starting something new, or carrying on something we know well

    Andy B

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Amen, brother. Amen. I think we are all artists in our own way. But certainly the creative engine in us needs to be fueled by encouragement. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. absolutely.

    recreating, on canvas, a perfect rendering of a bowl of fruit doesn’t make us an artist. just one type of an artist.

    makes you think of the bible doesn’t it – that we’re all members of one body, with different skillsets and talents to bear, each one of us made in His own image…

    and God really is a most spectacular artist!!

    Andy B

    Liked by 1 person

  12. For sure. God is the ultimate creative. Yes, I ruminate on that passage quite often.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. you and me both

    Andy B

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ranier, thank you for sharing your continuing spiritual practice with drawing. May this gift continue to grow and mature, just as your faith does. As for me, my time with pen and paper brings me much peace. Blessings to you, Terri, and Karin.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you! I appreciate your encouragement and prayers.

    Like

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