EXCERPTS FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST, DOROTHY ARNOLD.
What got you started on painting to Worship Music?
I started to rediscover my artistic ability when given permission to paint freely and boldly in a class that was held at church. I learned that the Holy Spirit could lead me and guide me if I relaxed and LET HIM.
What do you mean by relax and let Him?
Let me give you an example. When I was asked to participate in the four week Advent series at church, I chose JOY as the week I would paint during worship. We were allowed to meditate on the word ahead of time and prepare a canvas if we liked. I sketched two stick figure type worshipers with hands held high. I also drew a few candles and had some concentric circles in the picture and wrote the word “JOY” in the picture. As I prepared the canvas with black gesso I could only “see” the three figures. The drips were flowing down the canvas to the words of a worship song, “the stars were made to worship, so will I.” At that point, I felt the painting was complete. I recall feeling sad about leaving out the other pieces of the vision —the candle, concentric circles, and the word “JOY”! God told me not to worry about it! He assured me that HE was directing the painting that Sunday.
We have two campuses to our church and the other campus was also doing the advent worship paintings. A few weeks later we put them all together and I almost fell over when I saw what the other artist painted a candle with the word “JOY” on it and concentric circles!
What is God saying to you through this experience?
I love the way God can convey his vision to several people. How many times do we not see the full vision completed? How many times have a felt I heard God wrong or was incomplete? This was such a sweet lesson in just moving forward under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
How has exploring worship painting re-shaped the way you worship?
I do hear worship and think about painting! Especially when I worship to music videos. I see the backgrounds and start thinking how to do worship videos with painted backgrounds!
Dorothy graduated from an art high school and earned a sociology degree in college because “you can’t make money in art.” Both experiences enabled her to connect with people. She developed her artistic passion through a mosaic class and attended Cultivate:Paint, a worship workshop where she learned to partner with Holy Spirit in the creative process. She reaches women locally and globally through a variety of crafting gatherings. Dorothy is presently between trips to Macedonia where she and her husband, Bobby, foster a Syrian refugee family.