Art and Prayer

Sketching as Prayer Retreat–January 30, 2021

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

While we aren’t plucking blackberries at this time of year, many of us are sitting around, either because it’s winter and we’re not outside as much, or because we’re sticking close to home due the the pandemic raging around us. And despite social distancing, quarantine, and isolation, earth is still “crammed with heaven,” with every common bush “afire with God.” So, too, every aspect of creation bears marks of its Creator, signs pointing to the ongoing presence, stability and love of God, who is still watching over and sustaining this world through all the turmoil of this present time.

While most of us would like to be mindful of God’s presence, it is often difficult to notice that which is quiet and subtle, especially when so much else clamors for our attention. God more often whispers than shouts and leaves fingerprints for us to seek rather than neon lights flashing in our faces. Sketching can be a pathway to being present here and now, seeing those fingerprints in the world around us, and becoming aware of God’s presence. And in the process we are drawn into prayer, either with words or in silent communion with and worship of the Master Artist.

In this retreat we will open our sketchbooks, eyes, and hearts to God’s presence in his creation. We will cover some basics of simple sketching to capture the essence of a subject, whether person, animal, or landscape and look with eyes of faith into the world to see God’s touch all around us, as we enter into prayer through the pages of a sketchbook.

January 30, 2021
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Zoom Online Retreat
We will alternate brief presentations via Zoom with periods of silence for meditation, prayer, and sketching, followed by a time to share thoughts, observations, and sketches.

Artistic experience isn’t necessary, and there’s no fee, but you will need a few supplies. Email Melissa Fischer ( for more details and to register.

Sketch from January 2020 retreat– (click image to enlarge)

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