The Practice of Prophetic Art

In this final article on the topic of prophetic art, I share a portion of my actual conversation with Jennifer Koch. We are discussing how Jenny has personally experienced the process of prophetic art, the types of prophetic paintings she does, and who she paints for. [1]

This process will be different to each prophetic artist, depending on how you are wired and what God has called you to do.

Note also that this article should be read in conjunction with the post, ‘What Is Prophetic Art?’ [2]


Helen:

Sometimes you don’t know yourself how what you are painting could have significance to a person viewing it.

Jenny:

No, no idea!

Helen:

Which is so much like how prophecy can be, you get a revelation or picture or whatever and by faith you are bringing this thing. [Rom 12:6] You have got no idea what it means to the person who is on the receiving end.

Jenny:

That’s happened a lot where I’m thinking of a meaning that it has to me, and then 5 different people come and speak to me later and say that it impacted them in 5 different ways. I love it, because it takes the pressure off me, too!

Helen:

Anything of the Holy Spirit should be easy like that, and I love that about Him, that He can just use something and bring revelation to people at their point of need, in several different ways, He’s so creative.

Jenny:

It should be easy and that’s something that I think that as time has gone on, I’m just resting more and more. Sometimes some ideas for paintings come… you just get a snippet of an idea or you just glance at something and you could so easily have missed it, and then think, ‘I’ll go with that.’ And it ends up being something really significant to somebody.

There was another time that I was involved at an outreach night. And we had to set up, half dark, a banana shaped theatre, with no room whatsoever, and painting and playing [worship] in the half dark.

During one meeting, I was doing a painting about the anointing oil. I couldn’t get there to the prayer meeting the night before, and that [picture] was exactly what they had been praying! And a lady who had been praying had this picture. She didn’t know what I was painting because she was singing, and she came over and said, ‘That is exactly what we had prayed about!’

Helen:

In what arenas do you [personally] do prophetic painting?

Jenny:

A lot in church, but I prefer the market place.

I use a lot of symbolism and metaphors when painting, which means that sometimes, but not always, it needs interpretation. Water has been a recurrent symbol.

If you do something that is more symbolic, or is a metaphor, then you might get an opportunity to explain it and it might be more relevant to someone than a painting that is religious in nature. That’s not the way I work. Some people do lots of paintings, and they directly translate [i.e. are overtly religious or depict a story from scripture].

There have been a few times I have translated something from the Bible, for example I did a painting of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Because it was meaningful to me at the time and it was an Easter thing we were doing. That painting has been sold—I could have sold it five times over.

So it’s Christians that can relate to it—but what I’m really more about, and where my heart is, is communicating to the unchurched. That’s why I like the symbolism.

Helen:

When I receive a prophecy, I often get a picture of something, and so really, prophecy for me starts in art form. I get a picture and it’s a symbolic picture, and what I’m doing verbally is explaining that picture that I see, whereas you’re painting the picture, and the Holy Spirit is explaining the picture individually to people.

But you might also then get the opportunity to the meaning that you sense. I can see very much how that is another form of prophecy.

Helen:

How do you receive inspiration for your prophetic paintings?

Jenny:

  • From the word [Bible]
  • From life itself
  • The Bible is full of stories and symbolism. I love symbols and stories
  • Music, lyrics to songs
  • Everything around me

I’m like a sponge, taking in the everyday things and things I see, hear, even smell! Sometimes I have just followed on an idea. However, it’s not an airy fairy thing; ­often it is researching and sometimes ideas flow and other times it is hard work.

Helen:

Are there any other things that we haven’t discussed that are on your heart?

Jenny:

We’ve been talking about art prophetically, but something that I’ve been mulling about recently is art as prayer.

Helen:

Prophecy is God communicating to us; prayer is us communicating to Him… you could go further and include art as worship, too.

Jenny:

It’s a little bit hard for me to separate prophetic and worship.

Helen:

That’s not surprising, is it? It’s as we’re in worship that we see Him, and receive a revelation of Him, and there’s that intimate connection from which we can receive revelation for others and ourselves.


Notes:
[1]  Jenny describes the above painting, called ‘Deep Springs’ as follows:

It’s about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which is poured out from above and also as Jesus said; “will become within him a  spring of living water ” from the woman at the well story [John 4]. Often people dont see the figure in the background and when they do its a bit of an ‘aha’ moment.

You can find Jennifer Koch’s website and view more of her artwork at: www.jenniferkoch.webs.com

[2] This post comprises part of an interview I had with Jennifer Koch and should be read in conjunction with the post: ‘What Is Prophetic Art?’

See also the other articles collaborated with Jennifer Koch on this topic:

Art That Reflects The Heart Of God
Journey Of A Prophetic Artist


Do you have any questions or comments about the practice of prophetic art? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog

On team with David McCracken Ministries

Journey Of A Prophetic Artist

Today I continue the series on prophetic art as Jennifer Koch—founder of Melbourne-based Patmos Arts, and gifted prophetic painter—shares some of her journey. [1]

I also ask Jenny the question, ‘What advice would you give someone who would like to get started with prophetic art?’


Beginnings

Jenny’s talent for art was evident at an early age, through drawing and painting. But she stopped at the age of 16 and didn’t do any for about 10 years.

Then—some 25 years ago—Jenny decided to pursue her interest and began to take classes in painting.

However, it would be another decade before she would make the connection between her talent and the gift and call of God.

‘This is how God has Wired me!’

Being a lover of worship, Jenny often wished she could express her love for God through music, and play the guitar—after all, isn’t music the primary way that worship to God is expressed?

It had never occurred to her that her gift of art could be used to worship and serve God.

Then one afternoon—Jenny can recall the moment as vividly as if it were yesterday—she was worshipping and listening to a song by Van Morrision called ‘When Will I Ever Learn.’

‘You brought it to my attention that everything was made in God
Down through centuries of great writings and paintings
Everything lives in God
Seen through architecture of great cathedrals
Down through the history of time
Is and was in the beginning and evermore shall ever be

When will I ever learn to live in God?
When will I ever learn?
He gives me everything I need and more
When will I ever learn?

Whatever it takes to fulfill his mission
That is the way we must go… [2]

It was like a sudden awakening. Jenny says:

“Through hearing the lyrics I suddenly began to see God’s purpose for visual arts. That my love to paint and to draw was no chance thing—that God had a purpose for it in my life and worship. And, that it is a valid form of worship.

I made the connection that this is how God has wired me up. And that I don’t have to try and be anyone else, it’s the package that He wants me to be.”

The Warrior Poets

Not long after that, Jenny joined with friends Tony and Teresa Fraraccio, who are prophetically gifted musicians and worshippers.

They formed a group called ‘Warrior Poets.’ Jenny would paint whilst the band played and worshipped.

Warrior Poets took their unique blend of worship and art, not only to churches, but also out in the marketplace.

Being in a prophetic environment with Warrior Poets helped stir up the prophetic gift in Jenny. And being out in the community stirred an enduring passion in her heart to paint messages from the heart of God to those who did not know Him.

Early Prophetic Painting

The first time that Jenny remembers one of her paintings having prophetic significance was at a church service one evening where the Warrior Poets were ministering.

During that day, she walked out onto her property—that was situated at the top of a valley—and was impacted by the way that the fog hung over the valley. That evening at the church, she painted the valley and the fog. To Jenny’s amazement, the painting tied in with the sermon that was shared that night.

Having caught the vision, Jenny’s prophetic gift  began to be more evident through her painting.

The Warrior Poets also took their prophetic art and worship out into the community. Jenny says, ‘The Warrior Poets would worship in the marketplace… people didn’t know, and I would be painting and I would always get lots of comments.’

She recalls a time when Warrior Poets visited the ‘Mind Body Spirit Festival’—a New Age festival held in Melbourne, Australia. At that time, the festival had a mainstage, as well as booths and stalls. The Warrior Poets were allocated a ½ hour slot on the mainstage.

‘I did a painting with lots of hands in it. When I finished a lady came over. She was blown away because she had just been to a ‘School of the Prophets’ and she had some words of knowledge about her hands being instruments of healing.

She had just left her job to start a new venture and when she saw the hand painting she was gob-smacked [astonished] and said to me, ‘I want to buy your painting—just name your price!’

The Journey Continues

Since this time Jenny has continued to paint prophetically, although she is no longer with ‘Warrior Poets.’ She has founded Melbourne-based Patmos Arts, a creative community which uses art classes, excursions, retreats and more to encourage individuals in their artistic gifts.

Patmos Arts is currently working with Michelle Sanders of Kaleidoscope (a church community based in Pakenham, Melbourne) developing a course called ‘Art and Soul’ which is focused on overcoming depression through art. [3]

Jenny has won awards for her painting, including a recent 1st prize at the local Yakkerboo Art Show in the Contemporary Art section.

Advice for a Beginner Prophetic Artist

Here is some advice from Jennifer Koch for anyone who would like to get started with prophetic art: [4]

  • Take art classes
  • Look at other peoples work
  • Get around ‘arty’ prophetic people
  • Engage in a local church community
  • Above all else be close to the heart of God yourself
  • Learn to hear His voice and recognise the things that are significant to you–because that is most likely the things he wants you to paint.

Do you have any thoughts, questions or experiences to share on the topic of prophetic artists and prophetic art? I would love to hear from you–use the comments box at the bottom of this post. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.


Notes:
[1]  Jenny describes this painting of the violin and the mantle as follows:
‘The violin, is to me one of the most expressive instruments. It can be played in a way to express great joy and alternatively great sorrow. It is a metaphor for how we live our lives, we choose how it is played.
The violin is resting on the striped coat, which represents Joseph’s coat of many colors. It is a symbol of betrayal yet also favour. The rose of Sharon, most fragrant of all roses but only when crushed.’

I will be sharing more of Jenny’s story next week as I share my discussion with Jenny on ‘The Practice Of Prophetic Art.’ You can find her website and view more of her artwork at: www.jenniferkoch.webs.com

[2] An excerpt from ‘When Will I Ever Learn’ by Van Morrison.

[3] Find out more about Kaleidoscope Community Church at their website here: http://www.kscopecc.org.au/

[4] This post should be read in conjunction with last week’s post: ‘What Is Prophetic Art?’


© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog

On team with David McCracken Ministries