Unleashing the artist within

amateur painter artist artistic christian art Ephesians 2:10 faith art Jesus jesus art painting

I don’t know about you, but all this extra time at home is unleashing some fun and unexpected bursts of creativity within me. One of those new creative bursts is painting—actual paintbrush-on-canvas painting.

Now, I’ve never been much of an artist. I can sketch decently enough that you can figure out what it’s supposed to be, and I love photography and layout, but art class used to freak me out when I was a kid. Maybe I was too buttoned-up and in need of structure, control, and routine back then, but the whole “Go wild! Draw what you wish! Play with color!” philosophy of my early art teachers made me want to run right out the door. I preferred color-by-number books, and even in preschool, the thought of getting gloppy paint all over my hands and under my nails while finger-painting sounded horrible.

The funny thing is I truly enjoy looking at art, particularly paintings and particularly Impressionism. But actually doing it myself? Nope.

But a year or so ago, I went to one of those paint-and-pour places, where the instructor gives you and everyone else the same assignment and then shows you step-by-step exactly how to do it (she even kindly sketched in pencil where the varying shades would go). Surprise: It was a blast! I went back again last fall and had even more fun—and this time I didn’t even get the pencil guides.

When the coronavirus crisis got real and our house went into lockdown, guess what was one of the first fun family activities that came to mind? Yup—painting.

We stocked up on cheap canvases, basic acrylic pants, and brushes, and I covered our breakfast table with a huge plastic garbage bag and turned it into a painting station. Now in the afternoons, after the kids’ online schoolwork is done and my own work, too, I brew some coffee and we head to the breakfast nook for a Family Paint Party. My kids were shocked… and delighted. They’re letting us paint—inside?

My first project was an Easter-themed painting. Yesterday, I branched out and painted some rocks I found in the yard with positive messages, like “You Matter” and “God Cares About You.” We plan to bring them along on our next hike and put them on the trail to encourage others.

We're “real” not artists or anything, but it’s been great to reflect and create some faith-based art as a way to stay sane, meditate on God, and make something interesting.

In his letter to the church in Ephesus, the apostle Paul reminded the people, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT).

Sometimes those “good things” are telling others about Jesus. Sometimes they are sharing food or clothing with those who do not have enough. Sometimes they are offering a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.

And sometimes, they’re using our nascent gifts and appreciation of beauty to glorify our heavenly Father with amateur painting during a period of isolation.

How about you? Are you doing something new and different in your home—alone or with others—during this new stay-at-home isolation period? Have you, like me, discovered the allure of painting? Share in the comments below!


Older Post Newer Post


  • Emily Galvan on

    Great blog! I love this idea of being open to new things! I’ve started recording videos of myself reading some of my older blogs and posting those on FB & YouTube. This seems like a whole different way of shining God’s light for me that He’s been nudging me on for a couple years now and I may not have picked it up if it weren’t for the quarantine!

  • Marcie Cramsey on

    I have to admit, I’m not doing anything new, but I am digger deeper into what God has called me to. This really resonated with me and is consistent with what God is speaking to me,

    “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT).

    Sometimes those “good things” are telling others about Jesus. Sometimes they are sharing food or clothing with those who do not have enough. Sometimes they are offering a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen."

    We were all given a calling within God’s Kingdom. We should walk in it and be grateful for what he has asked us to do. My quarantine is teaching me to focus on that one thing God has asked me to do with my life. It’s been a treasure to have the time to focus.

  • Karen Friday on

    I was exactly the same as a child and adult, about painting by numbers and having a plan…not a free-spirit. That always seemed careless to me. I’m more of a recovering perfectionist and like clean lines and things to be near perfect. So I never liked trying something new where it would stretch me, my ability, and my perspective. This sounds great!

  • Melinda Viergever Inman on

    Our new things have not been painting—which sounds so fun—but adjusting to my husband’s retirement. We’re talking long morning cardio walks followed by lingering on our patio under our red umbrella and simply talking. For forty years we didn’t have time to do either of these in the morning. These were after long workday activities. Morning walks followed by chats over coffee have been the best!

  • Ava Pennington on

    Oh, Jessica, when you described your childhood art teacher experiences and your affinity for coloring by number, you were describing me, too!
    And yes, as I’ve grown older I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone more and more often thanks to the encouragement of others!



Leave a comment