Posts Tagged ‘Jessie Nilo’

healingtreeI had an assignment for my class at You should really consider this class the next time it is offered, by the way. The lesson included a whole bunch of things that took me back to a memory. At the end of the lesson was an assignment to create a piece of art reflecting on a video where a pianist was playing a beautiful piece of music while an artist painted a very beautiful somewhat abstract tree. My memory also involved another painting of a tree. There was substantial resistance in my heart to paint a tree for fear that it would look derivative and unoriginal. Then I remembered this was not about originality, it was about healing and this was the way I received healing so I painted the picture. Here is some of what I wrote about the assignment.

I know this piece probably looks really derivative of the work that was in the video, but I could not help myself. In 2011, I was sort of adrift. The church I had planted was failing. I knew God was calling me to more art ministry, but I had no idea what that meant. Then one day I saw some videos by Jessie Nilo about art ministry and her ministry Vine Arts. I flew most of the way across the country to learn more about how they do art ministry. I think God had other plans. I sat in with the leadership team for their meeting and something broke within me. I began to share from the heart and I began to weep. The people prayed over me and spoke words of life over me that I have never forgotten. One man told me that I paint on people’s hearts. I’ve since been privileged to do this for probably thousands of people and yes I am blessed.

But there was another young lady sat near the back of the group. I could tell she was creating but had no idea what she was doing. Toward the end of the time together that day the young woman, came up and handed me the little painting she had done. It was a tree planted by the water. She spoke over me that, that tree was me. That I needed to receive from the Lord so I could be nourished to give and that as I receive from the Lord, He would allow me to pour out but also to grow. That word has never left me. That memory combined with the painting in the video were too mind-blowing to be coincidence. The painting is my version of the piece Alyee gave me on that day, a very healing and pivotal moment. .

I painted it quickly using primarily a one inch chip brush and acrylic paint on a 16×20 dampened canvas. I listened to the video as I painted, using the rhythm of the notes as guidance for a pointillism technique. My intent was to paint the whole thing in the length of the video, but rather than stress myself out, I allowed it to reset and play a second time. The only place where I departed from pointillism was in the stream and the tree trunk. I wanted the piece to be fairly clean because I intend on displaying this one prominently in my studio.

I just started taking Jessie Nilo’s Art Ministry 101 class over at As part of the class, Rory Noland’s classic The Heart of the Artist is required reading. I’ve read it before, but it’s been a while so I am going through it again. On the very first page of the book, Noland shares a quote from Irving Stone that I think really sums up the artist’s life. I share it hear to provoke thought and discussion:

irving stone“But then no artist is normal, if he were, he wouldn’t be an artist. Normal men don’t create works of art. They eat, sleep, hold down routine jobs, and die. You are hypersensitive to life and nature; that’s why you are able to interpret for the rest of us. But if you are not careful, that very hypersensitiveness will lead you to your destruction. The strain of it breaks every artist in time.”

What say you? Has Irving Stone Hit the proverbial nail on its proverbial head?

Well, my friends at VineArts Boise hit the big time, with a segment on the ministry on CBN. This is a really nice clip on a really excellent ministry. Unfortunately, I could not embed the clip, but if you click this link, you’ll go right there.

These folks and this ministry never cease to inspire me. If you’re ever in the Boise ID area, go and check them out.

My friend Jessie Nilo, who runs the amazing art ministry VineArts Boise posted this and I thought it was brilliant. I think we all need to check ourselves in this area, no matter what it is that we do. What’s your motivation?

“I have talked with a lot of artists lately about this: the things you do for God are fun and good and amazing, illuminating His love to others… but those things you do cannot possibly increase God’s love for you, and they don’t function at keeping God’s disapproval at bay. God’s love for you is already at full maximum, and he cannot disapprove of you when he looks at you and sees his son Jesus. Nothing you do or don’t do for God can change that. So make sure your motives for serving God are love and happiness: It’s a fun life to love God and love people.”

I was at Vine Arts in Boise, ID in 2011 and it was truly amazing. Jessie Nilo and her team are doing great stuff for the Kingdom. From their open studio to their amazing art gallery. This is a creative team at the forefront of the arts ministry movement. If you are anywhere near Boise, you need to get there. This is a ministry that has blessed me immensely. Their philosophy of “everybody gets to play” touched me to the core of my being.

Click their logo below to checkout their website.

VineArts Boise

Then comment to tell us about your arts ministry.

My friends J. Scott McElroy, Jessie Nilo and others did a great conference on Creative Ministry. Check out some of these comments from the conference. More of this stuff needs to happen.

Here’s what they had to say about it:
This arts ministry conference was held in the summer of 2012 in two locations (East and West) in Indianapolis and Boise. The local church should be a place of transcendence and beauty. Together we pursued an understanding of the essence of creativity and the arts using a theological framework, then we focused on some practical applications in ministering through the arts such as the visual arts, theater, writing, film, dance, and music. We’d like to offer this conference again in the future!

If you are anywhere near Indianapolis, IN this weekend, you need to get to this event. Check out this video from Jessie Nilo from VineArts Boise that shares more about the conference and incorporating art in the life of the church. If you can’t make it to this one, there will be another in Boise in July. I wish I could be there. Several of my friends are involved in this conference and they are awesome both as artists and followers of Jesus.

Check it out:

I have a dear friend and true brother who has started an art ministry. It warms my heart to see another jumping into the fray of trying to use his gifts to serve the Lord and help others to do the same. But there’s a problem, and it’s a problem many of us will run into. The problem is a different vision. Some folks in his circle want to take the ministry in a different direction. They desire a more cultured high art approach. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and it is also a wonderful mission field but it sort of goes in the opposite direction.

My friend’s vision is more like mine. I’m not really about judging and jurying and all that other stuff. I’m not really about the excellent artist, I’m about the person who wants to do art and needs a place to fit and a way to let out what’s going on inside them. It’s very similar to evangelism for me in that I want to meet people right where they are, artistically and spiritually. I can’t ask someone to be the best artist in the world after all, Rembrandt is dead. I want to help them connect with their creator as they create. If God wants to make them great artists, He will, I just want to connect them with the source of their gift.

Does that mean I’m not about excellence? Yes and no. I want everyone to give their best and so does God. It’s entirely possible and hopefully probable that your best today will not be as good as your best tomorrow. I want to see people grow and mature. The other thing is with art more than possibly anything else we learn from our failures. If we only do those things at which we excel we’ll be very limited. It’s two different philosophies, both are good but in my vision,to quote my friends Dean Estes and Jessie Nilo from VineArts Boise, everybody gets to play.

Check out this video. Simon Cowell almost didn’t let this kid play.

The arts are a great equalizer. It allows those of us who have a hard time fitting to find where we belong, but that will only happen if everybody who wants to gets to play.

The arts are so subjective, one man’s great is another man’s garbage. They allow us to show what’s in our souls. Everyone has art inside them. Everyone can create. Everyone has a gift from God. We only really find them when we are allowed to release them. There has got to be a place where the gatekeepers are restrained to maintaining the social order, leaving quality control in the hands of the creator and the Creator. What I put on the canvas is secondary. I want to paint on people’s hearts. There has to be a place where we can give our best with what we have today and grow into what we can be tomorrow.

That’s my vision. Everyone can play.

Jessie Nilo leads a great ministry in Boise, ID called VineArts. She has shared quite a few videos on building and running an art ministry. This is three minutes of gold for anyone thinking of starting a creative arts ministry.

I get questions from time to time about starting your own arts ministry. One of the most impressive local church arts ministries I have seen so far is VineArts at Vineyard Boise. I decided to share these videos from their director Jessie Nilo. After seeing these videos I knew I had to go out to Boise and see what’s happening in person. I did that in May and it’s fantastic. Watch these videos and learn from them. Jessie has a lot of great stuff to share.