The Artist’s Rule – New, Unknown, Now

New - Unknown - Now

New – Unknown – Now

Away for one week at a contemplative abbey, my only internet a half-smart phone, I took up “The Artist’s Rule” by Benedictine Oblate Christine Valters Paintner. Subtitled “nurturing your creative soul with monastic wisdom,” it seemed just right – and one of our Duluth Oblates spoke highly of it at our retreat in April.

My Zentangle adventures this spring (more on that another day) gave me courage to start out without worrying about making something “good enough.” So I packed my Zentangle notebook and tiles, a couple of other pens and — at the last minute — a set of colored pencils found while cleaning my late father’s home.

The Artist’s Rule breathes true to the Benedictine spirit: it begins with lectio divina, and takes that path into creativity. Week One (of twelve) ends with an exercise to lectio on Isaiah 48:6-7:

Now I am revealing new things to you,
Things hidden and unknown to you,
Created just now, this very moment.
Of these things you have heard nothing until now
So that you cannot say, Oh yes, I knew this.”

Christine Valters Paintner encourages the reader to listen for the word(s) that “sparkle” in the lectio, and use them as the starting point for drawing at each of the next phases: meditatio, contemplatio, and oratio — with shapes and colors.

Grateful for the colored pencils, I had a wonderful hour contemplating New, Unknown, Now from the ground up.

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About Sister Edith

Benedictine sister of St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, Minnesota
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