Christ, the good artist, for those who believe Him and gaze continually at Him, straightway portrays after His own image a heavenly man. Out of His own Spirit, out of the substance of light itself, the ineffable light, He paints a heavenly image, and bestows upon it its good and gracious Spouse. If a man does not gaze constantly at Him, overlooking everything else, the Lord will not paint His image with His own light.
— Pseudo-Macarius (4th century)
If a person should desire to do something himself with his interior faculties, he would hinder and lose the goods which God engraves upon his soul through that peace and idleness. If a model for a painting or retouching of a portrait should move because of a desire to do something, the artist would be unable to finish, and his work would be disturbed. Similarly any operation, affection or advertency a soul might desire when it wants to abide in interior peace and idleness, would cause distraction and disquietude, and make it feel sensory dryness and emptiness.
— St. John of the Cross (16th century)
Both quoted in Andrew Louth, The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition From Plato to Denys