WITH THE HELP of Bob Ross, this is my first Oil painting completed after Christmas in December 1997. It hardly seems like a quarter century since Marj gave me that Bob Ross Oil Painting set with book, video, paint, and brushes.

Since retirement fifteen years ago I have had more time to spend with Art in Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor and Ink with Pen and Brush.


Art As Service

MY ATTENTION WAS captured last week by one of Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations: ‘Art as Service’. He said,“Few of us feel called to be formal or fine artists, but all of us are called to be creators. Each of us is called to bring creativity, purpose, and passion to our vocation, no matter what it is. Artist and author Julia Cameron reminds us that we will know what ours is ‘to do’ when we are open to the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit in service to others. She writes:

‘In centuries past, art was made for the honor and glory of God. Viewed in this light, a career in the arts was a career of service, not egotism. There is a cue there for us. The dedication of our work to a higher cause than our own self-promotion frees the work from preciousness. It becomes not about how good we are but about how good we can be in selfless service to something larger than ourselves…

‘When we make our art in a spirit of service, it lightens the burden of our ego. It makes for clarity of focus, purity of intent, and follows a spiritual law that might be simply stated as “Form follows function.” When the “form” of our work is open to higher consciousness, its function is raised as well.’”

I might ask where is the creative, artistic spark God has placed in you shining into your world? I thought sharing answers to questions, sometimes ask of me, might be helpful for you and for your influence on someone else. Here they are:

Q:  When did you, or someone else, first realize you had art talent?

SOMETIME IN THE second grade the picture of a white bird on the wall at my aunt’s house caught my attention.  I ‘drew’ it and the adults said it looked like the one on the wall.

Q: How did you train to develop your art ability?

  • In high school I purchased a copy of How To Be A Chalk Artist, by George Sweeting.   I built an easel, used black light, ordered supplies, and created a few public chalk presentations for Church Youth events.
  • Not long after Marj and I were married I responded to an ad from the Famous Artists Schools in Westport, Connecticut, and enrolled in a three-year correspondence art course.  Despite a very busy life, I finished and received my “Certificate of Recognition” August 14, 1964. 
  • Fourteen years after we began ministry in Minnesota, Marj gave me a Bob Ross Oil Painting Master Paint Set  for Christmas, with an instruction book and video.  I completed my first Oil painting (the one shown above) that December 1997.
  • For my birthday in 2007, one of our sons and his wife gave me a copy of the classic book, Rendering in Pen and Ink, by Arthur L. Guptill.  From time to time over the years I have subscribed to Art magazines.

Q:  Who are your favorite Artists:

FOUR OF MY MORE contemporary favorites are: Terry Redlin, Thomas Kinkade, G. Harvey, and Andrew Tischler.  Dozens of other have been a great inspiration.

JULIA CAMERON CONTINUED… “We disenfranchised ourselves from our birthright as creators and we lost the understanding that art was an act of the soul and not of the ego. Whenever we take art back to the realm of the sacred, whenever we make it an act of service in any form . . . we again experience the ease of creative flow and the lessening of our creative doubts.”

Q:  How can you encourage yourself  and others in the development of art skills?

IF YOU EVER feel the urge to draw, don’t hesitate!  Don’t talk yourself out of it because you think it won’t be any good.  You will be exercising a part of yourself created in the image of God (the creator of all creation) to create! Just take pencil to paper and do it! Encourage children and other adults to do the same!

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:17

4 thoughts on “Artists

    1. Dave, as you suggested, there is also a lifetime of stuff I don’t know about you as well! If it is really that important perhaps we will get caught up in our great future! Always good to hear from you. Trust all is going well. Our son, Jim, is moving back to Lincoln, NE this month. That will make them in driving distance. Have a great weekend!


  1. Hi Dad! Another great post. I have to agree with Dave, I don’t think I knew about the story of the bird on the wall or the correspondence course! Your post is particularly interesting to me in light of one I’m posting tomorrow called “Imagine!” Love You!


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