Excerpts from an interview with the artist, Mary Owens.
When did you first start painting as an act of worship? How did you get started? Officially, in community worship, around 2007 but I have painted and created multimedia art through worship or as a result of worship and prayer most of my life, at times, not even realizing it. Early on in my awakening to Holy Spirit I would have so much joy during producing artwork that I was speaking OUT LOUD to God how much I love what I was doing. I thought I was just talking to myself but we never really “just talk to our selves." He is always listening. By expressing my "uttered” joy I was worshiping Him. The act of expressing my worship through painting from Him and for Him has caused me to flourish in art!
What is the process like for you? Whether alone or during a worship time at church the process always starts with requesting direction through prayer. Calling Holy Spirit to breath life into the moment and direct my hands from His heart. In community worship, when the worship team starts to play they always brings such moments to life and movement to my soul.
This particular painting is full of emotion. What are you feeling as you paint? Red Tear was a total surprise. It was near the end of a worship gathering and I had already painted Jesus walking along a road. The closing prayer was powerful and focused on the Syrian refugees. The pouring out was so powerful I heard weeping on high and spontaneously this image was painted in ten minutes or less. The rejection the refugees experience is something that touches my heart deeply. I prayed for each refugee to receive all their needs including a new start and home. Our Father weeps over the chaos in our nations. I named this art Red Tear from the time Jesus cried blood in the darkness before He went to the cross.
In order to grow something must first die. Art through worship causes me to die to my own expectations not knowing the outcome of a piece of art or how it might be received, which is one of an artist’s biggest fears. 1 Corinthians 15:36 says we do have a parallel experience in gardening. You plant a “dead” seed; soon there is a flourishing plant.
What is God saying to you in and through this experience? The experience of art through worship is way beyond words for me. My thoughts become stilled and I wait expectantly. All I really do is pray and paint. Holy Spirit does the rest. It’s humbling. It’s satisfying and I flourish.
“The feel and the texture of paint and the joy in painting have always called me.” Painting is in Mary’s blood. Her award winning fine art and design studio is located in Wimberley. She also owns a graphic design business and creates beautiful handmade, faith-based jewelry. Mary spins a lot of plates creatively, but she draws inspiration and direction from quietly listening to Holy Spirit. She is a self-described crazy cat lady with a bad case of garden envy. Mary loves being a wife and mom to two grown adventurous children and one superhero hero, AKA Mattman.