Saturday, May 20, 2017

Blogging a Book #5 - Chapter 1 Art Project #2

I hope you found several promises in scripture that ring in your heart.  There are endless ways to art journal, but I want to help you in your journey to cope and to heal.  I want this to be your book of thanksgiving, a record of the blessings in your life - of gratitude with attitude!  When you really start to look for God's blessings, you find they are sprinkled throughout your day.  I find it much more powerful to journal the positives in my life rather than the problems.  I know there are people who will disagree with me, but I can only share what has helped me.  It's OK to say, "God, I'm struggling here!" but don't leave it at that.  Finish off with something like, "...but I know You are answering my prayers, and I am so thankful!"

Find things you've taken for granted - sunrises and sunsets, sounds in nature, and those little things you wrote off as a happy coincidence (which I don't believe in, by the way).  If you are child in God's family, it is no coincidence!  God's word says He shows favor to his children.

For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

                                       Psalm 5:12

What about that line that opened at the checkout just as you got there?  Or the person that saw you drop something and returned it?  And don't forget those little jolts to your memory that remind you where you left your keys, your purse, your phone...  Get the picture?

Spend some time Googling art journaling and soak up the ideas that inspire you.  If you haven't decided on a journal, yet, you might want to try making some individual pages with watercolor paper.  I use it for my acylics pages, too.  It can take quite a bit of abuse!  If you are creating your own journal, it can be as simple as a binder with your pages or as fancy as a book you've bound yourself.  

Find one thing, no matter how small, that you are thankful for and make it the focus of your next journal page.  Find a scripture that relates to your art.  Why?  Two reasons, it gets you into God's word for a purpose, and it helps you to make those words your own.

Next, sketch out a drawing that represents your one thing.  It should shout joy and thankfulness, or whisper peacefulness.  Don't fuss over the drawing.  Get it on the paper and start adding paint!

When I first started this writing journey, I made a few videos to go along with the book. Much of this post is echoed in this video.  The page is done in acrylics, but watercolors, markers, or colored pencils would work just as well.  

(Organizational update for those who like to know what's plans to post three times a week were too lofty.  Life has other plans.  I have the text, but I need time to create the art, so posts will likely appear once a week.)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Blogging a Book #4 - Chapter 1 Art Project #1

Start your journey with God's promises.  If you are working in a large journal, you may want to add color to the page and add several of God's promises to the single page.  I chose to work on 3.5 x 5 inch paper, and I will add them to a larger journal page - either by making a pocket or attaching them to the page.

Choose a favorite color or two from the watercolor crayons or paints and add them with a wet brush to the paper.  Don't worry about color wheels, perfect paint, or anything else.  Just add some color you love!

Cover the entire paper.

Let your paper dry and add one of God's promises.  You can certainly paint the scripture onto the card, but I like the speed of a permanent marker!  Add squiggles, hearts, flowers, Prayertangles, etc.  I have written about my Prayertangles in an earlier blog.  Zentangles have become very popular, but they are all about finding your inner being and focusing on yourself.  I can tell you from experience, any time I focus on myself, I am going to wreck!  Instead, focus on prayer, on God's grace and mercy, and on His blessings.

What promises are you going to stand on through this journey?  Dig into your Bible, Google them if you need to, and share them with us in the comments below!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Blogging a Book #3 - Chapter 1

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

That is much easier said than done, but it is possible when you keep your eyes focused on God.  I can't answer tough theological questions about why things happen the way they do, but I know God's Word is true.  He has shown me that again and again.  If you were to line me up with the apostles, I would have been huddled there with Thomas.  God has never given up on me, though, and He has guided me step after step in revealing the truths in scripture.  Battles come.  That's a fact.  He tells us trials will come, but hang on to your britches because He has overcome the world.  Whether it's cancer, loss of a loved one, depression, crippling disease, or any other mountain in your path, there is another side.  

Don't sit and stare at the battle worrying when it will overtake you.  Meet it head-on!  You could sit and wallow in self-pity and paint your sorrows, or you can follow the Lord's advice.  Make no mistake, I have wallowed more times than I'd like to admit.  The night I came home with a cancer diagnosis, I broke down and cried when Gayland asked me what the doctor said.  I laid on the couch sobbing, and something in my soul said, "Ok, that's enough."  And it was.  I can't properly put into words the rest of the journey, but God had been preparing me without me even knowing.

When You said, “Seek My face,”

My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”  Psalm 27:8

I suggest you start your journey with an art journal.  There are thousands to choose from, or you can make your own.  
Things to consider:
  • the medium you choose - watercolors, pencils, acrylics, markers, mixed media, etc.
  • budget
  • amount of flexibility you want
  • to travel or not to travel...that is the question...(ok, I know I'm a nerd!)
I create art on a budget (my YouTube tagline: On a shoestring, a wing, and a prayer!), so I look for supplies that are inexpensive but still make me happy when I create with them.  You may want to start with a ready-made journal.  I like to paint with both watercolors and acrylics, and I use 140 lb. watercolor paper for both.  I have gotten accustomed to using the cold press paper, which has a rougher texture than hot press, because it was the only paper our local Hobby Lobby carried for a long time.  Hot press watercolor paper has a smoother finish, so it is a style choice you'll have to make.

I have journaled in one form or another all my life.  I've used everything from yellow legal pads to sketch books.  It's less about the journal, and more about getting thoughts, prayers, and promises onto something concrete.  When I really started art journaling, I figured out I needed to make my own book to control the pages of my story.  It removed the need to "get it right", so I wouldn't mess up the book.  I work on loose pages and bind them when I feel like it.

For the first pages, let's start simple.

You need:
watercolor paper/journal
watercolor crayons (or paints)
water brush or watercolor brushes
white and flesh-tone acrylic paints (optional, but I like to have them)
black permanent marker (optional)

Buying Tip:  Be sure to use the 40% coupon on the Hobby Lobby app!

Now gather up a few supplies, and meet me back here on Saturday for our first art project!

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalms 46:1 

(Organizational update for those who like to know what's plans to post three times a week were too lofty.  Life has other plans.  I have the text, but I need time to create the art, so posts will likely appear once a week.  I'm am working out a way to keep posts from being ridiculously long.  I will be breaking chapters into sub-sections.  I am also considering adding video.  Who says it can't be a multi-media book?  Sign up on the side-bar to receive the post feed, so you know when a new piece of our journey is posted!)