It was a unique idea, but in retrospect, something for which Debbie Hannah Skinner had been training her whole life: teaching the Bible with a paintbrush.
Skinner, a watercolor artist, national speaker and writer has traveled from California to Aruba teaching the Bible to women with her own unique brand of colorful, original paintings. Now she’s heading to northwest Harris County for The Jersey Village Baptist Women’s Ministry’s Ladies Black and White Luncheon Saturday, July 13, at 10:45 am in the chapel.
“I’m really a Bible teacher with a paintbrush,” she said. “Wherever the lord opens doors for me I show up. Women who’ve heard me speak two or more years ago often remember the lesson because of the image that went with it. It’s a neat tool – just to help women remember the scriptural message.”
Skinner’s ministry is the culmination of 30 years of preparation. As a child, her passions were art, the Bible and teaching. While her interests never wavered, when it came time to choose a career path, she ultimately chose to head to seminary school.
After graduation, Skinner thought she found her niche teaching home economics in public high schools. However, eventually she was able to find her true calling that blended it all, teaching, the Bible and painting.
“After teaching about 15 years I just sensed that the lord had something different for me, so I left the classroom,” she said.
Skinner was given the opportunity to start teaching and writing her own Bible studies. At the same time, with no formal art degree, but a hunger for learning, Skinner started showing a renewed interest in painting after not picking up a brush in years.
“I had just got back into painting as an adult, when I had been asked to speak again,” she said. ‘At first I would have paintings I completed and I would just bring them along when I was teaching or speaking to use as a visual aid.”
Skinner taught the Bible to different women’s groups six years before she decided to try painting onstage.
“There are a lot of people who can’t paint when they are speaking,” she said. “I did that and it worked. It shocked me because I didn’t know I could do that. It’s a ministry gift – to be able to paint while I’m speaking.”
As her technical talents grew, Skinner also developed her own unique art style, which translated into an invaluable lesson for her students. Christians have their own individualized plans, which they need to follow to grow, she said.
In the end, Skinner wants to emphasize that her class isn’t just for creative types; it’s for all women.
“This really resonates with creative women, although you don’t have to be creative to appreciate creativity,” she said. “Maybe there is an artistic skill or a bent for poetry or journalism you had when you were younger and you’ve just gotten away from it. Life got in the way. I see a lot of women trying to rekindle their creative gifts. And that’s kind of a by-product of things I do when I’m painting and speaking.”
Source: Teaching with a paintbrush – Your Houston News: News.By CRYSTAL SIMMONS Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 11:00 am | Updated: 1:04 pm, Tue Jul 9, 2013.
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