The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom

by Christine Valters Paintner
Publisher: Ave Maria Press

Product Details


The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom, by Christine Valters Paintner, author of Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire, invites readers to discover and develop their creative gifts in a spirit of prayer and reflection. This twelve-week course draws on the insights and practices of Benedictine spirituality to explore the interplay between contemplation and creativity. Summarised in the phrase “pray and work,” The Rule of St. Benedict provides the inspiration for Christine Valters Paintner’s newest exploration of the mutually nourishing relationship between contemplative practices and creative expression. Artists of all stripes and stations in life — poets or painters, potters or photographers — will discover how traditions of Benedictine, Celtic, and desert spirituality can offer new sources of inspiration for their work.

Through this twelve-week course, themes like “Sacred Tools and Sacred Space,” “Creative Solitude and Community,” and “Nature as a Source of Revelation and Inspiration” are enriched by Paintner’s perceptive discussion and enhanced by insightful quotations from well-known artists and writers. Ideally formatted for faith sharing groups and parish retreats, this guide offers suggestions for grounding both the creative and the spiritual life through three basic practices: walking, lectio divina, and journaling. In sync with Paintner’s vibrant Internet presence, The Artist’s Rule is supplemented with online resources, including guided meditation podcasts, video lessons, and discussions.


"Gracefully written and ever-consoling, The Artist’s Rule demands engagement from its reader. It challenges artists of every variety to journey actively with their Rule, and to thereby plumb the riches of both a contemplative and generative discipline. " --Image Journal.

"Graciously offered, wisely conceived, carefully crafted, The Artist's Rule leads the reader ever more deeply into practices that recover the awareness that contemplation and creativity spring from the same Source. This work, grounded in Benedictine spirituality, offers us ways to rediscover the sacred art of living and serving, following the Spirit's lead and awakening to the artist's palette of our daily lives." --Mary C. Earle, Author of The Desert Mothers.

"This feast of a book will satisfy any person longing to truly participate in creation in creative ways. Each weekly session is inviting, safe, and surprisingly doable due to Christine's compassionate arrangement of elements... Be ready to be rocked, to be pulled and to be pushed, and to fly. Her words and her exercises will take you to a place you've never been before, because you will be asked to do things you haven't done before. This book is like an angel who sweetly whispers to the ear of my heart create (draw, sketch, paint, move, cook, hum, write, be silent) to praise. This book helps me to embody the Benedictine motto 'That in everything, we glorify God.'" --Roy DeLeon, OblSB, Author of Praying with the Body: Bringing the Psalms to Life.


Christine Valters Paintner is the online Abbess for Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery offering classes and resources on contemplative practice and creative expression. She holds a PhD in Christian spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and earned her professional status as a registered expressive arts consultant and educator from the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association. She is the author of Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire, a columnist for Patheos, a retreat leader, and a supervisor for spiritual directors.