Image Journal is one of my favorite resources for integrating art, faith, and mystery. Produced by the fine people at Seattle Pacific University and hosts of the wonderful annual Glen workshop (which I have had the joy of attending twice before), I am thrilled to read this beautifully-written review of The Artist’s Rule in their latest email newsletter:
The Artist’s Rule, by Christine Valters Paintner, is a work of deft matchmaking between two human archetypes: the monk and the artist. As a Benedictine oblate and spiritual director, Paintner has the gifts needed to distill the wisdom of an ancient monastic tradition into a twelve-week journey designed to invigorate the artistic soul. The Artist’s Rule is suffused with a contemplative spirit that challenges our culture’s ceaseless call for productivity and what Paintner calls an “array of inner voices that denounces our inherent goodness, demands an unattainable perfectionism, and lures us to fill our emptiness with compulsive behavior.” Instead of this madness, The Artist’s Rule invites us to conspire with the sacred rhythms of fruitfulness and fallowness in art-making, and in so doing, to embrace both the kataphatic (expressive) and apophatic (ineffable) traditions of knowing God. In accordance with the Rule of St. Benedict that “all guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ,” artists must likewise show hospitality to all that is foreign, poor, meek, and potentially Christ-bearing within themselves. Together with her own personal reflections, Paintner harvests swaths of wisdom from a diverse cloud of witnesses—including the early desert fathers, Rumi, Henri Nouwen, Joan Chittister, Thomas Merton, Wendell Berry, Kathleen Norris, and Pablo Neruda. Each chapter offers a set of exercises in lectio divina, meditation, writing, movement, and visual art designed to tap the creative spark and cultivate new habits of self-awareness. Gracefully written and ever-consoling, The Artist’s Rule demands engagement from its reader. It challenges artists of every variety to journey actively with their Rule, and to thereby plumb the riches of both a contemplative and generative discipline.
You can see the whole review in their latest email newsletter. (To subscribe to Image Update – their twice-monthly emails filled with art and faith resources click here)
Previous Virtual Book Tour stops:
- Read my article The Artist Begins Again and Again at Sunshine Abbey
- A review of The Artist’s Rule at A Seat at the Table
- Read my article on The Creative Soul as Monk in the World at Bliss Chick
- A podcast interview with me at Sacred Life Arts
- An interview with me at June Mears Driedger
- A review of The Artist’s Rule at Spirituality and Practice
- Read my article Awakening to our Creative Sacred Hearts at Pilgrim’s Moon
- A review of The Artist’s Rule at Creative Liberty
- An podcast interview with me on art and monasticism at Otherhood
You can order Christine’s two newest books from Amazon.com: The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom and Lectio Divina–The Sacred Arts: Transforming Words and Images into Heart-Centered Prayer
I saw this earlier when a friend from Image sent me the Update. So thrilled for you that you are receiving such wonderful reviews of your book.