Is it Okay to Doodle in Church?

Welcome back! This week, we have a guest post from my friend, Ruth. She inspires me on so many levels! So, I asked her to give me her thoughts on art and worship! I hope she inspires you, too!

Hello! I’m so honoured to be a guest blogger here on mittonmusings. My name is Ruth, and when I’m not working at my full time job in technology, I love to paint and draw. You’ll often find me doodling in meetings and during church. I love bright, colourful things and so the recent colouring party postings have been right up my alley!

I’d like to share with you today a series of questions and answers with my thoughts about colour and art.

Let’s start with an easy question: what’s my favourite colour?

Ok, so that’s not really so easy because I don’t know that I have one particular favourite. However, if I absolutely had to choose, I suppose it would be red. But what I really like about red is how it comes alive and vibrates with life when put beside certain blues and greens. When I’m painting, I love to start with a red under painting and then layer greens and blues on top, allowing the red to peek out in places, making the painting really come alive with colour.

Ruth’s “waterlily” with red underpainting

Why do I doodle in meetings and in church?

Contrary to my husband’s teasing, doodling while listening to a sermon isn’t a distraction. It actually helps keep me stay focused by not allowing my mind to wander and think about the milk I need to add to the grocery list or a work challenge that I’m struggling with. This article from Harvard Health Publishing supports what I’ve experienced.

Doodling is different from drawing in that there is no planning or prior thought to it. I never know exactly what will end up on the page! I just start with a shape and then keep adding to it. They say that doodles can tell you something about a person — but I don’t know what my doodles say about me, except that most of them end up looking quite floral, so I suppose that’s the gardener and nature lover in me.

How does art make me feel?

Drawing and painting connect me to the person that God created me to be. Let me try to explain. For many years, after I graduated from university, I stopped making art. I was working hard on building my career and then I met my husband and had babies. And I began to feel like I had lost hold of something important. A piece of myself had gotten lost and, even with all the good in my life, I desperately needed to find it. When I started painting again, it just felt so right.

Ruth’s sermon doodles

When I’m drawing or painting, I’m connecting with my subject in a very intimate manner. In the process of painting, I get to explore and really get know God’s creation. I feel immensely privileged. While I’m painting, and I’m in the flow, it’s the best feeling in the world.

How can art and colour be incorporated into worship?

Art has long been entwined with the church. Look no further than the beautiful stained glass windows of many churches. Can it be used to worship? Absolutely! A verse, a story, a sermon – any of these (and more) can be inspiration for worshipful art. It doesn’t need to be representational either. Creating abstract art can be a very fulfilling and spiritually rich experience.

When you think of God, what colours do you see? When you think of His love, His creation, His sacrifice? Use colour to express your thoughts and feelings of your Creator and His creation.

Some of my favourite tools and products that I use to create art

And finally, let me leave you with some practical information. Here are some of my favourite products and tools, all of which can be found at your local art store:

•        Pigma Micron pens. My preference is the 01 but I also use the thicker 03 and 05 pens as well.

•        Sketchbook. Any one with good, thicker paper will do and allow you to use pen without bleeding through.

•        Golden acrylic paints. They may be more expensive but they are worth it!

•        Birch board and mounted birch board. I prefer using wood over using canvas as there’s not as much “give” and I have more control. It’s also a smoother surface to paint on.

Is it Okay to Doodle in Church? Thoughts from a guest blogger!
You can find more about Ruth at

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! I’d love to hear some of your thoughts on art and colour in the comments below. You can also find me on Instagram and Facebook.