Visual Arts…Visual Prayer

Mary Ann Matthys- Artist, Color of Woman Teacher, Intentional Creativity Coach.



Intentional Creativity can be approached from a Spiritual Stance.  This Spiritual Stance crosses all denominations and faith practices.  My lens is Christianity, so when I use Intentional Creativity to connect with my Sacred Source my themes reflect that lens.

As a Spiritual Director, my art reflects my passion for connection and communion with God.  The creative process is a very sacred time for me as I pray before, during and after the work is formed.  In praying before and during the process, I pray for God to guide my hands, my eyes, my heart.  After the artwork is completed I pray for you the viewer, that the art you see will be a connection point between you and God. For me creativity often becomes an active form of prayer…

My art becomes a Visual Prayer, an offering to God.

I want to share the joy of creativity with you.



Have you ever considered painting a method of prayer?

I do.

My Bald Eagle



Try this!

Begin by thinking of a story of faith.

Find a moment in the story that you want to contemplate.

Reflect on the scripture that accompanies the story. (If applicable)

Draw your image.

Paint your image.

What is God speaking to you through the image?


Journey Circles Collage-

Collage is one of my favorite forms of Visual Prayer.  Something happens in the process of gathering images that can spark a thought or prayer.  I have recently become a Journey Circles Collage Facilitator.



I love printmaking!


There is something about carving an image

that connects you to an artwork

in a visceral way.

This active process mirrors the spiritual journey

and life’s potential.


Carving is work,

just as the spiritual journey is work.

Think of carving as a tangible

reminder that God is with you

in the work of your journey.

prints_pencil sketchKoinoniaforeverTYAhomeless_inksunpassion_1adoration_2sunandwater



Journal_sacred threads

This is the beginning of a journal created by repurposing an old textbook that was about to be recycled into paper pulp.  I recycled it and reclaimed it in a creative way.  The words are part of the Texas Youth Academy logo and the eyes are from a print that I created during TYA 2012 called Eyes of Faith. I am experimenting with removing some pages from the original textbook and then embellishing the remaining pages with acrylic, papers, prints, etc. to make a new writing surface.

recreated journal

 Journaling is a wonderful way to sort out all aspects of our daily life and our spiritual life. I spend time on most days journaling. Take time to examine the last 24 hours. Ask these questions:


Where did I experience God?

What were my successes?

What am I grateful for today?

Do I have something to feel sorry for?

Express your thoughts and feelings openly to God, knowing that God welcomes you with open arms and unconditional love.


Thinking outside the box

I journal in many non-traditional ways. Sometimes rather than expressing my thoughts and feelings with words, I draw or write poetry or create prints. My journaling often includes cutting and pasting. I add mementos, photographs and images so that over time each journal becomes a very personal reflection of who I am at this point in my spiritual journey.

journal_colors of the rainbow






journal_sacred threads interior










During times of reflection thoughts often bubble to the surface. Keep your journal close so that you can write them down. You will be amazed at the beautiful insights to be gleaned. Open your spirit to all that is around you and within you. Be attentive to sights, sounds, & smells. Write from your heart.

Grasp the Sacred Thread.

Feel it in your hand.

Hold it tenderly

as it shimmers 

with an otherworldly light

that emanates from the Source.


Mary Ann Matthys




Clay is a wonderful, versatile medium. The process of throwing on the wheel or forming vessels by hand brings to mind images of God, the ultimate potter forming living vessels.

Clay Rose from TYA 2010
Cosmic Tree Wall Hanging









Mandalas are an ancient method of expression.

I enjoy traditional and nontraditional mandalas.

Fiber Arts/Quilting/Crochet

Throughout history women have created beautiful quilts and embroidered cloths.  This beautiful form of creative expression blesses many lives across the Texas Annual Conference as the Prayers and Squares Ministry of First United Methodist, Pasadena, the Blankets and Blessings Ministry at Asbury United Methodist and the Holy Stitchers at Holy Trinity United Methodist create beautiful prayer quilts and crocheted blankets for the many tender moments in life.

 quilt anniversary altar

  • Prayer Quilt Ministry


Thoughts from Melodie England who graciously gives her time to the Prayer Quilt Ministry at First United Methodist Church in Pasadena:

“Prayer is a powerful tool that God provided for us.  But can you touch a prayer?  So many times when we hear that someone is either ill or experiencing difficulties, we offer our prayers.  The Prayer Quilt Ministry is a way to combine the gift of a quilt with the gift of prayer for someone in need.  The purpose of the prayer quilt ministry is not to make and distribute quilts, but to promote prayer through the use of quilts.  The quilt is simply the prayer carrier, a blessing of love and prayer.  It is a statement of faith in God and God’s power to comfort, strengthen and heal.”





“Creativity is primarily about process, about the journey itself, rather than the end goal.  The spiritual life is much the same, which is one of the places creativity and spirituality intersect: in tending to and celebrating the process of becoming. We don’t ever arrive, at least not in this lifetime.  We continue to unfold and flower and emerge.”

– Christine Valters Paintner, PhD

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