Are you so inspired by God’s word or His creation that you want to paint or draw the amazing emotions you feel inside? Maybe you have been inspired to compose a poem or write a song. Yet, when you go to draw or begin writing, everything that comes forth falls short of the magnificence you wanted to share?
If you have ever felt inspired by God to paint, draw, write, or do anything artistically but were disappointed by the expression of your heart on paper, be encouraged! God will help you, you only need to ask Him.
Today, I want to share the stories of three beautiful women, who were in the same situation as you are now, but now are artists for God’s Kingdom in hopes of encouraging you to do the same.
Who are these women who had their artistic skills honed by God? Their names are Paige Schafer of Schafer Art Studio, Veronica Lake of Impressions by Veronica, and Sharla Tinsen, a business woman by day but an artist in her free time.
Let me tell you a little bit about Paige Schafer:
Paige had only been painting for a few months when her family was struck with the realization that her teen daughter wanted to commit suicide. Grief-stricken, Paige turned to the Lord for comfort and wisdom where she discovered a few things about God:
“He will carry you when you feel that you can no longer walk. He will give you rest and hold you tight. He will fill you with joy and peace in the midst of the darkest days. He will comfort you when you can’t cry any more tears. He will give you peace when you hear terrible things and then give you time to grieve alone. He will surround you with loving, Christian people to comfort, hold, pray, care for you and cry with you. He will bless you and surround your day with little miracles. Your eyes and your heart will be open and aware of His presence.”
During this hard time for her family, God led Paige to verses about Him being Yahweh Roi: The Lord is our Shepherd. Her heart rested on Isaiah 40:11, “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”
Through this verse, Paige felt the Lord speak to her about being a mother: “This is for all of us Mom’s out there: He guides us, He gently leads those of us who have young. I have realized through this trial that I can do nothing on my own. I need the Savior to guide me in raising my children. My children are in God’s hands, not mine.”
In the midst of this challenging season, Paige took refuge in painting as a form of worship. She wanted to express the verse in Isaiah 40 artistically, but because she had only been painting for a few months, she lacked the skill.
Paige asked God to help her. She found another artist’s painting she liked and using it as an outline, she talked to God about it. He lead her to paint her own canvas upside down!
When I asked to share her story and her painting (to the right), Paige had this to say about the process: “This painting was only accomplished because of the Holy Spirit’s guidance. I wanted to paint this picture to bring Him the glory. All I did was ask and He gave me the gift of this painting. The creator of the universe, the maker of the heavens and earth call us friend. Like a loving friend, He knows your heart’s desires, ask Him and He will do this for you too!”
What an inspiring story! I love how Paige trusted the Holy Spirit’s leading and painted this beautiful piece upside down! Are ready to hear another amazing story? Let me introduce you to Veronica Lake.
Veronica started her painting journey shortly after her first child was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a high-functioning form of autism. She had to stay home to care for him but also needed to earn an income. As painting can be profitable as well as therapeutic, it seemed like a natural fit for her.
As a professional artist, Veronica vowed never to refuse a commission (unless unethical or a wrong fit for her family situation) and had to ask the Lord to hone her skills to match the jobs He sent her way. She has even painted a mural where she had to be supported by scaffolding like Michelangelo!
Considering her vow, Veronica says: “My saying ‘yes’ has meant that I have run art camps for over 35 children for the last 8 years, taught adult classes for the last 5 years, and painted other very challenging commissions that I thought I couldn’t do.
With the Lord’s help, I was able to finish a series of Psalm paintings and have had them circulated at a number of churches. One of the paintings has sold numerous prints; yet again, it was one of those challenges.
I still remember the Lord and I having a conversation over painting Psalm 139, ‘You knit me in my mother’s womb, I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ I knew I had to paint that one, but I really needed an image.
Of course, the Lord provided just the right image, and it has become one of my favorite pieces. It amazes me that I am still shocked when God comes through.”
God is faithful and He is good, He wants us to be willing to believe Him for supernatural things. Just like Veronica’s painting depicts, God knit you together, He knows you intimately, and He wants the chance to prove it to you, but you have to let Him! Just ask!
Veronica has this to say about being an artist: “When I consider my experiences as an artist, I cannot separate my walk with the Lord and all that God has taught me in my art. Every time I take a brush to the canvas or paper, I am in a dialogue with the Lord about how to proceed. It is a wonderful thing to spend time with the best artist ever and learn to listen!”
Imagine, a whole life dedicated to art by faith! How amazing! Yes, these two women are now professional artists, but don’t let that deter you from pursuing faith art or Bible journaling for yourself; you don’t have to become a professional. You can take it up as a hobby, like the last woman I have to introduce, Sharla Tinsen.
Sharla’s painting journey began later in her life. She didn’t come to know Jesus until she was 47 years old. She had always loved to paint but never possessed a talent for it. That all changed when she met a Godly artist who took Sharla under her wing and showed her what God could do through her.
Being inspired by God’s creation, Sharla loves to paint birds and flowers. This painting titled, “Dove Orchid”, was inspired by Matthew 3:16-17 when the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove.
She admits, “For me, a painting cannot be rushed and sometimes I have to put it down for a while and just walk away. God even uses my mistakes to His advantage, teaching me failure is okay. I learn from the mistakes and He gives me confidence to do better the next time.”
While Sharla is modest about her painting abilities, the Holy Spirit is not. He often challenges her when she sees a beautiful landscape and tells her, “You can paint that.”
All of these women have relied on the Lord to grow their artistic skills and God has done it. They have also used other paintings or people as models, they usually don’t paint without a reference.
This is much like my own story that I shared a month or two ago in the article, “Can You Suddenly Learn to Draw Better with God’s Help?” Click here if you would like to read it now!
Like Sharla, God knows what He has put in you, He knows what potential you possess. Your artistic ability is like a singing seed that has not found its voice yet. God has planted it in you, you only need to water it in faith. I once read that to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow, this is very much the same.
I want to leave you with three things:
1. Just like these women, if you want to grow artistically with God, all you need to do is ask. Ask God to fulfill the artistic desires of your heart and believe He is faithful to work them within you.
2. Join the Free Bible Journaling eCourse Challenge that begins January first, and give God a chance to sprout that singing seed in you. Click here to sign up.
3. Sharla’s blessing: “With God, both you and I can do all things. Like a new canvas, I pray He blesses you, to stretch you in all areas of your life. Love, Sharla”
Oh, you want to know something super cute? These three ladies are very close friends and encourage one another in their pursuit of Jesus and art.