To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Friday, November 06, 2009


You undoubtedly heard about Sunday drivers? The ones who only drive on Sunday and hold up traffic with their slooow driving. Well, there are also Sunday painters. I consider myself as one. Not because I only paint on Sunday, or that I paint slowly. But painting on Sunday has become my niche. More than my landscapes? Absolutely.

So what is different about painting on Sunday?
On a given Sunday I stand with my easel in front of, or on a platform of a  church, while nowadays some have incorporated other  branches of art, together with the usual music.  

So what is this about?
 From whatever angle I approach this, there is no theological proof or explanation, other than that God is the Creator, and He is the One who painted the sky and the grass, and everything else He made. 
So, if he wants to be worshiped, what better way to do it with art? 

Music has been the "tool" of worship throughout history. After the Reformation they made Luther out to be the one who viewed that any visual or three dimensional image is idolatry. But this does not seem to be true. I have talked to theology students from Fuller Theological Seminary, and they told me that Luther allowed painters to be part of the worship service. I was surprised, to say the least, and I know some of you might be too.

The pic above is my first painting stint for two years at what once used to be once the performing arts center, home of the Philharmonic Orchestra in Pasadena. This pic is taken after the service.

Here I'm painting on the platform at the same time the band is playing during the first part of the church service. Very well known people like Bing Crosby, Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Arthur Rubinstein, and others have performed on this platform.

Do they tell you what to paint? They give me complete freedom to paint what I think I should paint. I take this freedom very seriously, because most people cannot remember a whole sermon, but they do remember a visual image. So, I spend "some time" in preparation.

I have had staggering comments of people having dreams that same week, or conversations with others about the painted image, or the painting providing a solution for what they were seeking. I'll tell another time about an experience I'll never forget.

 In  the next part of this story, I'll tell you how I came to do this kind of painting, and eventually I'll talk about this painting, which was a total surprise to me.

©  24 x 30, Oil, St.Germain



SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

That was a very interesting post Jeannette and would like to hear about the dreams and experiences people had.

Protege said...

What an absolutely interesting concept. I agree completely with the sentiments here. I think the inspiration when painting in such serene places must be very different as well.
I really love the painting you post here, it has a sense of tranquility about it.
Have a lovely Friday.;)

Sreddy Yen said...

How beautiful - I love your sunset/sunrise!

Your drawing of the hands are also beautiful. It feels as if they're caressing something :) Enjoy your weekend.

The Green Stone Woman said...

I read this post several times to really understand what you were saying, Jeanette. I had never heard of a painter in a church service and it boggles my mind now, but the painting you show is beautiful and I'm curious to hear the rest of the story.

Marvin said...

" ...if he wants to be worshiped, what better way to do it with art?" Amen, though I doubt you'll find art replacing hellfire and brimstone here in the Bible Belt any time soon.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love the painting Jeannette - the whole idea behind it sounds interesting too.

jeannette stgermain said...

About the dreams and experiences: interesting indeed! What people told me is that they were seeing the same thing in their dream as what I painted on canvas - and they went in great detail about it. And it happened to many times with too many paintings for it to be called coincidents.

With experiences it would take too long, but one in particular I'm going to write about one of these days.

jeannette stgermain said...

I try not to "think" about it too much, because what I do is so much with the ideas I have grown up with! What is really interesting is that since then I've heard of other places where they have started doing the same!
You might be on to something, Zuzanna, that the inspiration in a place like that may be different as well - I never thought about that :)

jeannette stgermain said...

Glad you like the paintings, Sreddy. Hope you are going to post another painting of you soon! That last one was really good- hope you'll continue!!

DUTA said...

I think art is something spiritual and therefore it goes well with church service. Since God is the ultimate painter and musician - painting and music are indeed the most suitable activities to worship Him.

jeannette stgermain said...

Oh that is a very familiar feeling, Irene: mind boggling!

That's why I waiting so long with this post!!! I don't want people to think that it's a fad, or that I'm some kind of a nut who's gone off the deep end!

Anyway, NOW I think paintings, sculpting and all branches of art should have a place in the church service, because we were all made different.

jeannette stgermain said...

I agree, the Bible belt and the South will probably take much longer.
And Europe, where I come from - I have to be very careful how and if I talk about it.
But in the other states (USA), particularly more North, you would be surprised in how many places they have started doing the same.

There's a place for both, Marvin, both hell and brimstone AND art:)

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you, dear friend. I waited for a year to explain this concept, for all the reasons I already stated to the comments above - it's kind of tricky - but too important in my life, and too much a part of me, to be kept a secret.

jeannette stgermain said...

Well put, dear friend. But the Reformation and what people made of it (!) has had such a heavy influence, that it's hard for some to put things in a different framework.
I include myself in that too.

For the past years finally a part of the church as a whole have started understanding more of what they thought was just for the Jews (like the feasts, the prophets, etc.)

Diane AZ said...

I never heard of a Sunday painter, but it sounds like a great idea. I like your painting and am curious to learn more about it.

jeannette stgermain said...

Hope you know that that is my own term for what I'm doing! Who knows the expression catches on! LOL
Thank you for your open-ness:)

Kilauea Poetry said...

Hi Jeannette.. no, I hadn't heard of such a thing. The hands are pretty interesting too. I'll be bacl tp check out your next post. Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog-

jeannette stgermain said...

thank you!Did you read the article below about the hands in the right collumn?
It's a pretty new thing - for me it started 5 years ago (it feels like 2, LOL).
Curious to see if this will catch on across the board (like everyone used to sing hymns our of a book, but now a great deal of churches sing songs, with a band up in front).

dogimo said...

Thank God that someone takes freedom very seriously. Most people, alas, take it as an excuse for laziness.

I can think of no better way to honor the Christian sabbath with "active prayer" than to paint as worship. Music is created but fades in an instant (though its touch lives in the hearts of those touched). I think the idea of painting something, creating something, a thing that persists, created out of love - an image of love - what more beautiful way to honor that we are created in God's image? We are created creators.

Gaelyn said...

What a great idea Jeannette. I love your form of worship. I'm intriqued by the painting and want to hear more about the experiences and dreams provoked by your images.

jeannette stgermain said...

What a poetic way of saying things:) maybe I should hire you to be my editor LOL
It makes my day to share things God wants to reveal, but even more to honor him with the gift he has given me in the first place! You are so right, that we are a reflection of the Creator.

jeannette stgermain said...

Have to admit that at first it was very uncomfortable, because this way of worship was so foreign to me. But I discovered that it spoke to people, in a similar way when I would do plein air painting - it's like one puts a plug into the wall socket: an instant spark of contact with God.
Also surprized to find out that people like to know about the individual stories.

rainfield61 said...

Such a unique experience from you, and is certainly interesting to know.

You supernatural turn inspires me. In fact, I have a mysterious turn along my hiking trail, which i have shared recently.

BTW, thanks for your visit.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you - I wasn't signing up for this, but we all have to walk the path that is in front of us. Not to do it, would be foolish:)

Which post are you referring to? I like your style of writing:)
BTW I was born in Indonesia, so am intrigued by that corner of the world.

knitwit said...

What a unique and inspiring way to create art! It sounds like you're getting a lot out of it, and so are those around you. I look forward to reading more about your experiences!

Angie Muresan said...

Jeannette, that is awesome! I had never heard of it before, but it sounds such a beautiful way to worship.

jeannette stgermain said...

Thank you,it's the experience that counts! (on my blog that is, and try to stay out of theological discussions, LOL) It's challenging sometimes, but always rewarding!

jeannette stgermain said...

It's a fairly new thing. I myself began with this expression of worship only about 5 years ago. I really love it, to have music and art together:)

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leave your kind comments. I like you blog also. Lets keep in touch. If you don't mind I 'll link your blog to my traveling one! Kind regards from Cyprus. Philip
Please see my traveling blog here

jeannette stgermain said...

Can't remember if I told you that we spent our 25th wedding anniversary in Athens -I love that city - one week is just too short!
Thank you for linking!

dutchbaby said...

This is a beautiful way to worship. What a joy it must be to watch your creativity as it unfolds. I would be a nervous wreck up there.

crochet lady said...

That is so amazing Jeannette! I think we limit our expressions of worship greatly. I have been on the music end of worship at church for many years and would love to see more expressive forms. Painting sounds like a wonderful mode in which to let the Spirit move through you and give praise to The Creator.

Thanks so much for sharing this!

jeannette stgermain said...

I love it, feel like it's my niche for now.
It helps that I had plenty of platform experience before (music, teaching, speaking) - and painting is actually easier, since it is at the same time as the music - people don't get bored as they might with a speaker:)

jeannette stgermain said...

It's always good to be open to new ways of worship, isn't it -although scary sometimes too!
Are you a singer? Or do you play an instrument?