Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:


Category: Art and Spirituality



The photo in the piece of art above was taken of me at age nineteen, during my junior year in college. I had a boyfriend at the time who was into photography, especially black and white, and I still have several of the photos he took of me.  I think I find them striking because at the time I was struggling with my self-image and yet I remember feeling beautiful while those photos were being taken. For this creation I began with a piece of canvas paper and had painted it with some blue and silver acrylic similarly to yesterday’s stamp

Read More


This photo is of my grandmother on my mother’s side.  The baby is my uncle and the little girl is my mother. My uncle is the only one left alive from this image. I can see a theme developing in my art already — I used a wooden board as a base, adhered white tissue paper with gel medium (I really like the texture), then cut the image up in pieces — I wanted to experiment with dividing a photo into separate parts.  This technique fits my grandmother well, as she was never a happy person.  In this photo I

Read More


Loving Advent Christmas is coming but Advent is here. A time of waiting – Not for gifts to open but for our very selves. Our hearts open slowly. We must wait and wonder. Something new will come out of the darkness. Let yourself sink into the unknowing. Bring a pillow, get comfortable. Waiting in Advent is like planting bulbs for the spring. -Pamela McCauley Pam was one of the participants at our Awakening the Creative Spirit program last month and a longtime reader of this blog and poetry contributor.  I love her poem about the waiting of Advent — “Not for gifts

Read More

Beauty of Broken Things (continued)

For the last Poetry Party I invited you to reflect on the theme of the “beauty of broken things.”  Your poetic responses were marvelous, spanning a wide spectrum of possibility and exploration.  Many of the images moved me, such as “I am the hidden underside of things” and “ice so cold it is also fire” from Tess, “fierce winds sprung from God’s deep lungs” from Rich, and “swampy depths of truth” from Kievas, or the stark simplicity of Kayce‘s poem: “dark / broken / desperate… / still / i reach for the heavens.” Many of the poems offered probing questions

Read More

Artists Speaking About Their Art

I am honored to be included in this compilation of quotes by artists speaking about their art as a part of a grant project to explore creativity and spirituality.  Some intriguing words for reflection found there, not to mention links to some fabulous artists’ websites.  Click on over to find some inspiration. How would you articulate the connection between your creativity (whether visual, literary, movement, music, etc.) and your spirituality?  Feel free to answer in the comments below or provide a link back to your blog if you post a response there.  I’d really love to hear your responses. -Christine

Read More

Longing for Beauty

“In one way, of course, God has given us the Morning Star already: you can go and enjoy the gift on many fine mornings if you get up early enough. What more, you may ask, do we want? Ah, but we want so much more–something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets and the mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words–to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into

Read More


After spending much of my summer immersed in both images and words I have been contemplating the relationship between them.  In my lettering class, the teacher began by saying that words are “bearers of meaning.”  I like the image the poem offers, that we come to know things more deeply in naming them.  And while words can feel ethereal or disembodied, it is true that there is something much more intimate about jasper, rather than red stone.  The words help to root us in the beauty of the particular which is what an incarnational spirituality is about. My life is filled with

Read More