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!