The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom
Ave Maria Press
July 11, 2011
Summarized in the phrase “pray and work,” The Rule of St. Benedict provides the inspiration for Christine Valters Paintner’s newest exploration of the mutually nourishing relationship between contemplative practices and creative expression. Artists of all stripes and stations in life–poets or painters, potters or photographers–will discover how traditions of Benedictine, Celtic, and desert spirituality can offer new sources of inspiration for their work.
Through this twelve-week course, themes like “Sacred Tools and Sacred Space,” “Creative Solitude and Community,” and “Nature as a Source of Revelation and Inspiration” are enriched by Paintner’s perceptive discussion and enhanced by insightful quotations from well-known artists and writers. Each week offers suggestions for grounding both the creative and the spiritual life through three basic practices: walking, lectio divina, and journaling.
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Praise for the Book
This feast of a book will satisfy any person longing to truly participate in creation in creative ways. Each weekly session is inviting, safe, and surprisingly doable due to Christine's compassionate arrangement of elements. Instructions, directions, and guidance gently flow and make one feels Christine's own creative journey.
Like condiments laid out on a dining table, quotes from poets and writers, mystics and saints and ordinary people are sprinkled throughout its pages. Then Christine uses those excerpts as pointers, or even supports, for the topic she is discussing. The power of this type of presentation lies in the way that she rocks you on both sides of the brain. She brings you down to earth one moment with a Wendell Berry or Celtic prayer, then swings you high to the heavens with a Rilke or the Desert Fathers.
I guarantee you that this is not your standard contemplative practice. Be ready to be rocked, to be pulled and to be pushed, and to fly. Her words and her exercises will take you to a place you've never been before, because you will be asked to do things you haven't done before. This book is like an angel who sweetly whispers to the ear of my heart create (draw, sketch, paint, move, cook, hum, write, be silent) to praise. This book helps me to embody the Benedictine motto 'That in everything, we glorify God.'"