ArtMar 13 2013 · Firestarters
Painter’s Perspective: Interview with Bethany Danielson
Q: What inspires you as a painter in worship?
A: “I am inspired by a variety of things. It could be what people are singing lyrically during worship or a scripture someone reads. For example, Sophie was singing out of Psalm 93 one Sunday night, and it talks about the mighty waves of the Lord Almighty. So, I painted a wave.
“Also, Peter wrote that song from Isaiah 61 about how we are ‘trees of righteousness,’ which interestingly the Lord at the same time spoke to me about the same thing thus inspiring my painting about the tree with Scriptures in the background.
“Sometimes, I read a scripture and the Holy Spirit gives a deeper meaning. Other times, I’ll have a vision during worship which is how I was inspired to do the angel painting. I don’t have visions very often so when I do, I take it to heart and usually I feel like it needs to be painted. I also love painting objects from creation like flowers and people simply because I have an appreciation for beauty, form, and color.”
Q: Have you ever felt uninspired and how did you work through that?
A: “Yes. Sometimes, I reach a place where I know the Lord will not release more ideas until I finish other pieces. Wendell, my husband, helps remind me that I have to be disciplined and force myself to finish. Looking at other people’s art often helps me to work through it.
“I’m a perfectionist so sometimes people look at it and think it is complete, but for me there is a part that still needs revision. Ultimately I must be satisfied with the work. It’s great to have a community where people encourage you in your gifts. That’s what’s great about the artist collective. If I don’t have ideas, I spend time with the Lord, reading the Word, look at others around me and He’s always faithful to bring inspiration.”
Q: What else would you like people to know about painting in worship?
A: “It’s important to practice and pursue excellence. But that shouldn’t be something that holds people back or feeds their insecurity. It’s easy for artists to get intimidated when it comes to painting in worship. But we have to break through this because ultimately it is worship unto the Lord.
“On a side note, it’s important for people to pursue their own style. I do mostly realistic painting, but I also use other styles of art that are expressive and can touch people with different tastes. Don’t get stuck in one genre. Explore and create new and interesting things. Francis Schaeffer said, ‘To be Christian art, it first has to be art.'”
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