In her rich work, Walking on Water, Madeleine L’Engle states, “But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.” We are holistic beings–heart, mind, soul, and body. Unfortunately, we compartmentalize and deny ourselves the rich spiritual experience that God can give us through the arts.
It may be that we feel that we are not qualified to “do art.” Yet, we are made in the image of a creative God! Engle says, “In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own.”
The six-week class offers lessons on the following topics:
|Introduction to Art and Spirituality
|History of Christian Art
|Elements of Design
|Living an Artful Life
Each week will offer a different exercise in these seven areas:
|Visio Divina/Art Appreciation
|Visual Journal exercise
The exercises will take approximately 30-60 minutes to complete. Some exercises may be combined, such as walks and photography.
- Mixed media journal (a spiral bound journal with 90, 98 or 100 lb. weight papers such as Strathmore’s or Canson’s Bristol or Mixed Media journals)
- Colored pencils or markers
- 3 or 4 light colored crayons
- Watercolor paint (child’s set is fine) and brushes
- Camera (using your cell phone is fine)
- Access to a library, art museum, or internet
Garden catalogs and/or gardening magazines
Access to a printer and copier
A very useful website to explore is: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/home
- Any art supplies you would like to use
Susan Ernst will lead us in exploring the beauty and impact of the arts in this course. Each week will consist of a lesson on a topic related to Art and Spirituality. Every day each week there will be Spiritual Art Practices focusing on different expressive art disciplines. We will work in a visual journal throughout the course. You can read her bio on the team page here.
Note: You are welcome to sign up for this single class or join us for the year’s Contemplative journey of six classes. You can begin with any class. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.