Prophetic Art Stories
A Wild Crazy Adventure painting all over the world
Father God has taken me worship painting overseas from Australia to the States, Africa, New Zealand and recently the UK and now Fiji! Each of those times has been a learning curve, little by little, almost precept upon precept.
In the beginning, I had so many questions which have been replaced as I gained understanding with deeper ones. I’m no theologian but I am an experienced artist and straddling the line between the spiritual and secular has taken some major reassessments over my time. And I’m still going! At each step of the way, there is a need for obedience. I can’t say it’s all been kicks and giggles but the adventure is off-the-planet amazing!
'Show Me Your Glory', R3 Echuca, Australia, Oct 2018
What an awesome weekend! Country authenticity, food and amazing worship led by Miriam Webster.
People had driven from Bourke, Bairnsdale and Ballarat amongst others and it was so worth it.
This was another of those times when my painting was right on point for exactly what the conference was about without any prior consultation with the organisers. It happens regularly now but still surprises me nonetheless!
And sometimes the unexpected happens along the way....
This is the side wall of my studio! We live in a beautiful area, surrounded by large eucalypt trees which don't always have deep root systems. We had a violent wind storm and this was the result. It could have been much worse as it actually came down between the two large skylights and also missed a large picture window.
I'm so grateful that this didn't happen the night before when there was a class in the studio or two days before when we'd hosted a church retreat or even a couple of hours before when I'd been working in there!
The studio is a little worse for wear but otherwise, it's all good!
Sounds of the Nations Prophetic Arts Conference, Melbourne, Australia, Oct 2018.
What an awesome time we had at the Sotn conference this month in Melbourne with Dan McCollam, Josh Klinkenberg and Roma Waterman.
This year it was run as a gathering rather than a conference but still with amazing, world-class speakers. Danno spoke, amongst other things, about being intentional about releasing the Spirit which just happens to be what my paintings were both about! The guitar one is about releasing the supernatural, the little girl one is about drawing it in.
Josh Klinkenberg spoke with his usual spellbinding poignancy about marketplace songs and being relevant. He never fails to turn on my waterworks with the depth of his compassion and understanding.
I painted two works throughout the conference and participated in the expert panel question times.
Window To Another Reality
Releasing the Spirit of Worship
Painting with No Reference, Art Battle Hobart
September has been another busy month including a trip to Tasmania to compete in Australia's first Art Battle. Two teams of six artists started with a blank canvas and then had twenty minutes to complete a finished piece of art!
Two of those competitors were then chosen by the audience from each team to make up the final heat. It was heaps of fun, a great atmosphere and we had a fabulous weekend in Tasmania but I wasn't the successful finalist.
I'd practised quite a bit beforehand and even with all the experience that I've had painting live, my work just wasn't something I was particularly proud of. I've done a great deal of live art but always with an image drawn up first and this was starting with a blank canvas.
It just goes to reinforce my premise that to produce quality art, you need time, a reference of some sort and careful consideration beforehand. Starting with a blank canvas and expecting a fabulous result is not likely to reflect or glorify God. I discuss it at length in the chapter, Do Skills Matter? here;
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Pour Out Your Glory Lord
100cm x 100cm, acrylic
Depicts; the hand of God pouring oil out of a golden bowl. Pieces of gold and feathers float around the oil. Oil represents the glory of God; His presence. It could also represent healing, signs and wonders.
I initially planned to paint this work in New Zealand last March until God started me on the bee journey. (I’ve since painted five bee paintings! 2018 is the year of the bees and they are interlaced with much meaning.)
When I was invited to paint at the Glory Realm conference last weekend at Hillview Community Church the image came to me quite quickly. It’s rare that that happens. Usually, I have to spend quite a while waiting on God for what it is that He wants me to paint but this one came very quickly!
From the opening moments of the conference with Tim and Xenia Stephenson from Auckland, New Zealand, I knew I was in the right zone.
Steven Allison, the senior pastor of Hillview, opened the conference with the admonition to call on God for the ‘flow’ of His Presence to pour out. No-one knew at that stage that that was exactly what my painting represented! I hadn’t collaborated with anyone other than the Holy Spirit.
Later, Tim referred to it as part of the reference he was preaching from. I love it when my painting lines up with what is being preached.
It was an amazing weekend of supernatural decrees and signs and wonders. My hands and face had gold dust during worship.
Fiji, June 2018
It was my honour to go back to Fiji this year for the Sotn Worship Conference. Man, have the Fijians got loads to teach us about unabashed worship and songwriting!
It's also very humbling when people do the workshop and are in tears at the end because they'd wanted to do it all their life but poverty and circumstances had prevented it. We did pastels this year as it's easier to transport.
Signs and Wonders Through My Paintings
It was the weekend of 16-18th Feb. The venue was Hillview Community Church at their “Unlocking Realms” Conference with Elliott and Mia Bonser from Byron Bay. Both Elliott and Mia move greatly in the prophetic and the atmosphere was electric with expectation for what God was going to do. There had been some amazing worship events and supernatural happenings at Hillview for months leading into this conference.
Several days before a painting gig, I start asking the Father what He wants me to paint. Sometimes it comes easily and may even be an image that I’ve had in mind for a while. Other times, it takes a while to arrive at what to paint and sometimes I may not even be sure that I’ve got it right anyway!
The more I’ve painted, however, the more confident I’ve become that prophetic painting is a collaboration between the artist and the supernatural.
This was one of those times when it didn’t come easily. I spent hours looking for inspiration; the usual line of animals; elephants, an ox, butterflies, and on it went with no inspiration coming. Eventually, I remembered that I wanted to do another version of a toddler on a beach that I’d done sometime before. So I started looking for images that resonated, eventually arriving at a random little blonde girl. I was struck by the angle of her hands which had been caught in a very candid pose as she explored her environment.
While I was drawing it up, I started hearing the words to a song about wonder. The little girl’s stance says “Wonder” so I’d decided that that was probably the name of the painting.
Fast forward to the conference itself. I’d painted the little girl’s face the night before in the first meeting and was just getting ready for the next session when Mia, the guest speaker, brought her daughter over to meet me. Imagine my astonishment when I realised that her daughter is the image of the little girl in my painting!
Undeniable Sign and Wonder
Her daughter’s name is Tayah Grace, which means wonder and grace. This was goosebump material! My painting was named ‘Wonder’, it looks like the spitting image of the little girl who’s name means wonder and grace, who is the daughter of the guest speakers. Tayah had previously had an encounter of wonder with an angel which was the subject of Mia's preaching.
Without meeting the girl, I painted her likeness, called it "Wonder", again without knowing her name let alone the meaning of it, and painted the theme of the conference without any prior knowledge.
I’ve had that happen before that the subject of the painting looked like them without me having seen them before. I recounted the story in my book. The painting is called ‘Father’s Heart’ and is the painting of a baby in the Father’s hands. The baby in my painting is strikingly similar to the baby who was born several months later! The parents had been trying to fall pregnant for ten years and this was a prophetic declaration, well before we knew the sex of the child or what she’d look like.
The second painting of the weekend was of a child wearing a crown. During worship after the Sunday service, the reflection of the young girl in my painting appeared as a woman across the room on the drum enclosure. Hillview has had many prophecies that the supernatural would be evident there and Mia declared that this was a prophetic statement that it would include both the young and the old!
Bees and more Bees
2018; The Year of Honey
It's only May and I've already been led to paint four different versions of bees and honey and I sense that there are more to come. Each time I do, I find out more about the meaning. It's multi-layered and reaches many areas.
- Speaks of goodness and abundance in the land.
- Is only produced where there is fruitfulness. Bees need pollen to create honey which needs crops.
- Is sweet
- Has healing powers; applied to cuts it aids healing. In fact, the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians documented the healing properties of honey as early as Aristotle’s mention of it in 384 BC
- Lasts. Honey extracted from Egyptian tombs is still edible. Speaks of longevity.
- Mentioned 64 times in the Bible.
- Collaborate. They work together in unity.
- Create a very structurally strong structure with the least amount of materials; In other words, start with the little you’ve got and God can use it to create amazing things.
- Honeybee is the meaning of Deborah’s name; the prophet and judge of Judges 4-5.
- Spreads in all directions.
- Storehouse of goodness.
Emma Stark, a prophetess from Scotland declared that 2018 is the year of honey. She says that honey speaks into the depleted places that will turn around and become places of satisfaction. She says that this is the year when people will see God as the bringer of sweetness. Listen to her whole sermon here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n21i5obTpBI
21 benefits of honey; https://www.well-beingsecrets.com/health-benefits-of-honey-ultimate-guide/
New Zealand, March, 2018
Man, what an amazing time we had in NZ in March. Three conferences with SOTN and Dan McCollam, a prophetic arts workshop and two separate commissions! Two islands and three venues kept us on the move which culminated in a week at Paihai in the north island where I painted three Tui as a commission.
First Prophetic Arts Workshop in Ballarat.
What an awesome God-experience! The first prophetic arts workshop in God’s own country at Mt Helen has just finished and man, was it a God-ordained time! It was held in an enormous studio that sits amongst bushland just bursting with springtime buds and blossoms. Dappled light shone through the trees all weekend with the promise of good things to come. We had heaps of food, some good laughs, an amazing prayer/prophecy time, a worship time and apparently, some of us sat up till 1.30am sharing and talking!
It was a very mixed group of all ages from 15 up. Some people had painted quite a bit before and some had not. We even had an intercessor come from New Zealand who grappled through a frustrating painting time and later discovered that God was showing her prophetic things, even in the struggle!
The workshop was done using acrylic paint which can be fabulous and, at the same time, very frustrating. A couple of people who did portraits discovered just how frustrating acrylics can be because they are so hard to blend for skin tones. A couple of others discovered how it comes into its own when you need to rework a painting as it dries so fast that it’s hard to make an irreparable mistake. We were all stretched and some took a leap of faith to become freer with their painting, resulting in some fabulous and very satisfying results.
At the end of day two, I think everyone was pleasantly surprised and pleased with their outcome. I certainly was! Afterwards, we had a prayer and prophecy time with some very significant words. For some, the powerful healing they received would have been the highlight of the weekend. For others, it would have been the prophetic promises of things to come.
However, the all-time collective highlight of the workshop was Merita’s word at the end of painting time which remarkably, tied each image together with a thread of meaning. Each person had come with their own image to paint and none had collaborated together beforehand. The range of topics was diverse ranging from portraits and dancers to a key and a bird.
God gave Merita an understanding of how all of them fitted together. Each painting led into the next with an Anzac alliance which combined ALL the works as a visual sentence! Listen to the video to hear and see the results. We definitely did not contrive this and I had no idea of any connection between them as we were going along. It was very humbling to be the facilitator and I’m really looking forward to the next one!
Resonate Worship Conference, Hull, England, June 2017.
Well, here I am at the airport again, this time off to Fiji to paint at a Sounds of the Nations worship conference, having just got back from the UK three weeks ago, painting at another Sounds of the Nations worship conference.
I’ve had some extraordinary worship times over the years but the UK experience was one very wild, crazy adventure!
The senior pastors and organisers of the conference, Jarrod and Victoria Cooper head up several campuses in Hull in the mid north and they recently became the English directors for SOTN. They’ve published several books and had the hit single; “Majesty”.
The first night of the conference was an amazing treat. Held in the 800-year-old Hull Minster, with millennia-old acoustics, was an astounding event. To try to put that into words just doesn’t cut it. Generations, decades and centuries of art, architectural adornments and history have gone into the building. It’s awe-inspiring just being there but to have the opportunity to really worship there was stupendous.
When I say really worship, I mean off-the-charts, Holy Spirit-infused presence-of-God-so-thick kind of worship. The synergy of Roma Waterman, Victoria Cooper and Bethany Hicks with the Hull musos was something else! Each of those worshippers really knows how to enter into and bring the Presence of God but put them together and it went off to extraordinary levels. Combined with the history, the ambience and quality of worship it was an amazing experience.
The following morning the conference started and I began a painting titled ‘Not a Sparrow”.
The painting is an image of a flock of grounded sparrows, grey and ubiquitous, underneath a pair of coloured birds ascending to a white eagle above them. The sparrows represent how people can come to see themselves. Most people start out with hopes and dreams but over time, life crowds in, complacency sets in and faith for more goes out the window. In effect, they see themselves as just like everyone else; grey and monochrome rather than with a colourful God-ordained assignment.
The two birds taking off represent the ones who refuse to settle for lifelong mediocrity. The white eagle is the supernatural calling us all to the extraordinary.
After lunch, it was the prophetic art workshop time. It was here that I had the most poignant moment of the conference. A man in his seventies had a question answered that he’d been asking about for 40 years! When that kind of thing happens, it’s so humbling and reassuring!
The evening painting was titled ‘ Write it Right’. It depicts an open book with a large hand writing in it. The book represents a life and the left-hand page is the past. Looming over the edge of the past is a nasty creature with long claws representing the robbing that everyone has had in their lives.
The right-hand page is the present. The hand using the quill represents the choices that each of us has to leave behind the past and write the rest of their lives according to God’s authorship or not. The Lion of Judah hovers over that right side of the image. Write It Right" is a call to make life choices wisely.
The next morning was the church service. I’d been really asking God for a supernatural impartation into my painting. I’ve been painting now for some years and I have seen Holy Spirit events intermittently but now I want to step up. I want to create works that God breathes on. I’d asked a lot for that and thus far in the conference, it hadn’t happened so my expectation for the morning was high and I wasn’t disappointed.
It was as if worship had been building all weekend and now it went to new heights. The whole front of the auditorium was full of people worshipping with their whole hearts. The energy was palpable.
When I’m in worship like that, I find it impossible to stand still, doing my version of dancing while painting. Actually, it's more like jumping up and down but my heart’s in the right place! During such times are when I’m really alive. My painting becomes very loose though and I only do large flat areas when I paint.
I was painting a large colourful eagle flying over the centre of Hull. The eagle was coloured to represent the supernatural being released over Hull.
I find it hard to put into words how I felt doing that work and especially afterwards. I felt such a strong sense of the anointing all around me which kept seeming to come in waves. And when I sat down, I was completely spent! But boy was it worth it!
I can’t say that I’m completely happy with any work I did during the conference as I didn’t have time to refine any of them afterwards. Usually, I’ll spend time in the studio tweaking and finishing a work before it’s ready for publication but as I needed to fly out shortly afterwards and I had no studio to work in, that wasn't possible. I took a lesson from that and this time I’m aiming to do one better work rather than 3 separate less polished works. I have had tremendous successes in a single painting session in the past but it can’t be relied upon each time. But that’s a topic for another post.
I came away from Hull with such a sense of having had a wild, crazy God adventure, it’s enough to propel you forward with high expectations to the next one!
Fiji Sotn worship conference, July 2017
Call To Fijian Warriors
It is such a privilege to be invited to other cultures and to share in amazing God-times. In July 2017, I was invited to a Sotn worship conference in Fiji along with Roma Waterman (Australia) and Josh Klinkenberg (New Zealand).
This is the 120cm x 120 cm or 4' x 4' painting I did while I was there, titled "Call to Fijian Warriors". Initially, I was very reticent to paint it. How would they receive a painting like this? I'd never been to Fiji before and didn't know what to expect. Were they a peaceable people or something else entirely? I wasn't at all sure that I had heard correctly and that this was the right God-image. As well, as all prophetic art should be either exhorting, comforting or edifying, I wasn't too sure that this fitted the bill.
So it was a giant step out onto the water. I didn't know the culture, or the people and I'd never been there before. I wasn't sure that I'd heard correctly but I had to go with it and be obedient. I've learnt that I have to go with what I think God is saying to paint so off I went.
From the moment I arrived, I started getting confirmations that it was the right one.
I painted the same image over the three days of the conference, far from certain that it would work as an image or as a successful painting.
The temperatures each day were over 30 degrees which meant the acrylic paint had to be kept moist so it didn't dry out on the palette. It also meant that the paint was almost dry as soon as it went on the board which is great for my drippy style.
Start Your Own Prophetic Art Adventure With The 'Painting With God' EBook.
You'll be guided by experienced artist, Grace Bailey, through ten colorful chapters on how to get started, face your fears and create images that tell God-stories.