Adventist Journal Online | Adventist artist in Australia excels in creating images for Bible studies
“My art is a modern take on traditional biblical imagery,” says Phil McKay.
Ffrom art exhibits to Bible study guides, art creator Phil McKay has seen her work used in a wide variety of contexts to share the good news of Jesus.
“I guess I would describe my style as a modern take on traditional biblical imagery,” he said. “I want my work to be a powerful and dramatic visual representation of the Bible and what it conveys to the reader.”
A member of the Port Macquarie Seventh-day Adventist Church in New South Wales, Australia, McKay is a full-time artist who creates his masterpieces from his personal studio on Australia’s sunny east coast. .
“Fortunately, I was able to make a career out of my job. I call [my studio] my “Roman cave”, because I am a passionate collector of Roman antiques, and my workshop also serves as a museum, ”he explained.
Although McKay has been painting the gospel for about 12 years now, his style and subject matter have evolved.
“As far back as I can remember, I have always created art in one form or another, so pursuing fine art as a career was inevitable,” he explained. “During my career, I tried my hand at many trades. Some of these include sign writing, screen printing, automotive airbrushing, making artifact replicas, and museum-quality Roman swords.
Drawing inspiration from the great Renaissance masters and owning a large collection of Roman antiques, McKay said he painted a lot of dark-themed images for some time.
“For obvious reasons, I never liked it well,” he said. “It was very lucrative, and I was very good at it, making a name for myself in the custom car / bike industry. God blessed us with donations, but I was glorifying the devil rather than the Lord.
Deciding to leave this world behind, McKay prayed for guidance and asked God to allow him to use his talents to spread the gospel. “The next day I had work painting pictures for a Bible study,” he explained, and he has been painting the gospel ever since.
“Most of my images are used in one form or another to visualize the gospel and its teachings,” he added. “Whether it’s with Powerpoint presentations, Bible study guides, sermons, digital and social media. The search for the context of each image and the creation of a composition brought me closer to God.
“I learn something new and special every time I paint a new picture. I am a visual person, so seeing a Bible text or story makes it visually vivid for me, and I hope it will be the same for someone looking at my work.
When McKay is not painting, he enjoys pursuing his Roman passion: making swords or researching, expanding and cataloging his collection of Roman antiques.
“I plan to bring my Roman collection into schools and colleges / universities here in Australia for educational purposes. I want to share it and educate people who are interested, ”he said.
Regarding his professional practice, McKay explained that he is currently working on two picture scrolls for Signs Publishing – one on discipleship and one on the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
“[It’s] a wonderful project to participate in, ”he said. “They will be available in both a traditional and digital format and will be an exciting and beneficial resource for spreading the gospel for any pastor or Bible worker. ”