I found this last night in a beautiful book simply titled Balthus with an introduction written by his son and published back in 1996.
"He keeps working, propelled toward an unknown ideal, equating the act of painting to that of praying. In the words of the Bhagavad Gita, 'the man devoted to his own location finds perfection.. That man, whose prayer and praise of God are in the doing of his own work perfects himself.' And in the Asclepius of Hermes Trismegistus it is said that 'if a man takes upon him in all its fullness the proper office of his won vocation, it is brought about that both he and the world are the means of right order to one another. For since the world is God's handiwork, he who maintains and heightens its beauty by his tendencies is co-operating with the will of God... What shall be his reward? That when we are retired from office God will restore us to the nature of our better part which is divine." -Stanislas Klossowski de Rola (son of french painter Balthus)
I have always loved the work of Balthus for the way his practice of painting was a craft as well as a spiritual pursuit. (When he died in 2001, Bono sang at his funeral) There are other painters I might think of in this way such as Albert Pinkham Ryder, Mark Rothko, Frida Kahlo, William Blake and Stanley Spencer to name a few. The thought of painting and prayer sharing the same breath is one I would like to believe in.