Tag Archives: fall

Bird

We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap, The trap is broken, and we are free!
Psalm 124:7

As excited as I was about yesterday’s page, I was equally frustrated by today’s. In fact, it was difficult to push through creating and even more difficult to want to write about it. At one point I said, I do not like this at all!

A voice from the other room said, Ohhh, I hate it.

I assured her that hate was a strong word which I wasn’t ready to use. A few minutes later I was ready.

hate this page.

While reading in Psalms this morning, I was eager to choose a word. It was almost mercy from 123, but when I reached the end of 124, I knew it was bird. An image came to mind that I wanted to create, much like yesterday’s thistle.

I envisioned an open cage with a bird flying from it or maybe a trap or something that looked like a trap with a bird escaping. I wanted to portray being set free and freedom. I also wanted to use watercolors again, because I loved yesterday’s look so much.

It’s today, though. A new day. A different one. What worked yesterday was not going to work today. This became painfully obvious shortly after I painted the background. When I added colorful triangles around the border that I thought would look like a trap, they didn’t.

Glue stick would not work, so I used wet glue. Which smeared the watercolors.

I have lots of ready cut pictures of birds. All perching, not flying. I did not have time to search for a flying bird. I was hoping to get this page knocked out quickly. Instead it was knocking me out.

Looking through my cut pictures, I chose one of the perching birds. I was also drawn to a house shown from the side with manicured shrubs and rose bushes lining its brick walkway. I glued it on. It took up most of the page.

I decided to perch the bird in a tree, so I found some branches and glued them on the page. I cut random parts of other trees for the leaves and perched the bird. This is what my work space looked like all morning. I felt as if I were working upside-down and backwards as I tried to compose the page.

Here it is almost finished. There are a lot of layers.

This is the end result looking nothing like I imagined. I have gone from hating it to tolerating it to loving it. As I study what I was drawn to add to the picture and where I could or could not place things, I see how the bottom and left side are more structured, rigid, and formal. There is movement to the right and upwards where the bird is. This area is less structured, more playful, and free-flowing.

It depicts movement into freedom!

I find my words on the opposite page ironic. This is my style, my touch, the way I show up. And. It’s. Okay. I totally showed up in this space as myself today. I could not hold it back, no matter how hard I tried to do it the right way. 

I share this as encouragement to continue to trust the process, wherever you are in it. Today looked nothing like what I planned time wise and picture wise. I battled perfectionism and self-doubt and fear. There was anxiety. Then I stepped away and looked back.

And it was just right.

Thistle

Out in the Lebanon mountains a thistle sent a message to a mighty cedar tree, “Give your daughter in marriage to my son.” But just then a wild animal of Lebanon came by and stepped on the thistle crushing it. 2 Chronicles 25:18 (NLT)

It is 2 Chronicles we are talking about here. I wanted to use the word thistleThat is the only meaning I am taking from this verse other than we are going to absolutely crush the wedding next week!

I also wanted to use the box of watercolors that has been sitting on my youngest child’s bedroom floor for quite some time. I asked her this morning if I could borrow them, and she said yes.

I began with the background building from the ground up.

This is the finished background.

I added the thistle.

really wanted to use glitter, so I covered the blossom. I also added marker detail to the leaves.

Finally, I wrote the title at the top in purple.

However, I still felt a nudge to more on this page. It is something I have contemplated going back to do on others after sharing them publicly. I wanted to write about what was going on inside of me during the process.

A phone call with a friend this morning prompted me to add more words to the last picture, which is the real finished page. Scroll further.

As I think about art and myself ~ what is me ~ I battle the insecurity that says not good enough or not like someone else’s. This inspired the following words that I transferred from my journal to this page.

What is your style, Dear Reader? It is not mine. My intent in sharing this (rather personal) series of pages from my art journal this month is to inspire you to find your own artistic eye, not to copy mine. It is to share the joy of bringing something from inside of you out onto a blank page and create. It is to help you discover the beauty within you.

Each day I wonder, Is there something more inside of me? What if there isn’t? What if it isn’t good? What if I mess it up?

And each day that I create something the doubt grows smaller and the joy grows bigger.

And I show up.

Water

As they rode along they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized? He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went into the water, and Philip baptized him. (Acts 8:36, 37 (NLT)

It’s late, and the day was long. I am excited to share what I created based on the theme of water, though.

I worked on this in 15 minute blocks of time in my room. One day my bed won’t be my workspace, but today it was. It was an emotionally challenging day, and I found that the process of tearing paper and arranging and gluing it was grounding.

Today’s page is torn paper collage. I began with the water background. I took a picture at the end of each work session.

 Here I continue to build the water working in a circular direction.

 Finished water. This leaf was my inspiration for the design. I loved the look of it floating on the water. I debated leaving this the finished page. Bur there were these cute underwater animals that looked happy and playful. I decided to add this smiling beluga and smirking seal for fun. I also added a stream of water down the side with the title at the top.

 My daughter added her own touch to my underwater theme and had me laughing hysterically when I discovered it. It was not glued on. I took the picture for fun. I mixed some blue-tinted water with modpodge and coated the picture for effect, inspired by my fish page. I also added silver glitter to the stream of water and the edges of the leaf.

This is the finished work. It is another one that I like better in real life.

Here is what it looks like across from yesterday’s page.

Goodnight, Friends!

A Refuge

The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.
Nahum 1:7 (NLT)

Knowing that Friday is minor prophets day, I chose a bleak-looking National Geographic from my stash and brought it to the TV room where I have my morning quiet time. My idea was to read, choose my word, then look through the magazine for a few minutes for inspiration.

I don’t always have three hours to spend poring over my page and hunting for images. I knew that today would need to be a quick session. Pictures of dwellings caught my attention, and I tore them out. Later, I cut them and assembled them on the page, like so.

They illustrate various places of refuge.

I added apartment buildings and a Siberian Chum. 

I love the nest as the final dwelling. It’s perfect.

I am including the subtle change of turning the nest around so that the bird at the bottom is looking directly up at you. It’s all in the details.

This is the finished page. Final touches are the word Refugeapartments cut and surrounding the title, and Washi tape border across the top and bottom. I am pretty fond of the results.

Enjoy the weekend, Friends! May your heart find a place of refuge in the midst of the busy.

Mountains

I look up to the mountains does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1,2 (NLT)

I began today’s page, Mountains, with no ideas.

Paint? Watercolor Markers? Inktense pencils again? Collage?

I looked through a folder of cut-out magazine pictures, and inspiration came. I did not document the early stages of work, but I began with the large mountain at the top. From there I cut various mountain ranges from scenes and began assembling them like a puzzle, working from the top down.

A flow developed resulting in this.

Next I added a strip down the left side, title at the top, and John Muir quote at the bottom

I cut and added bits to the side for more blended color. I thought this was the finished piece.

But, wait! There’s more! Look closely at the sky where there is textured white paint. Also see if you can tell where I squeezed in a final mountain piece.

THIS is the finished page, and it is one of my absolute favorites. I was so excited about it that I did not even notice my daughter taking a video of it coming together.

I am grateful to have made this project a priority this month. Each day brings new insight and anticipation for what is to come. It is kind for my heart.

What do you do that is kind for your heart, Dear Reader? Feel free to share! I am curious.

Restore Page

At one point Joash decided to repair and restore the temple of the Lord.
2 Chronicles 24:4

I am sitting in one of my favorite places enjoying one of my favorite views while writing about the process of creating today’s work.

My friend gave me a box of fun things to play with this week. I decided to try the Inktense pencils first. They draw like pencils. Adding water turns them to ink and gives a watercolor effect.

I drew this picture of how I envisioned the word Restore. I wanted to convey a sense of new growth coming up from the ground in a trailing vine sort of way. The tiny flowers are inspired by my fiercely flowering plant that has daily been putting out a pink bloom for me. (Its current status and location is in this post for the curious.)

 I love the way the late-morning sun fell across the page as I worked. I began adding water to blend the colors. Since I had never used these pencils before, it was a giant experiment.

 I realized that I could blend colors, use a sponge to blot up water, and let areas dry before moving on to others. Overall, I liked how it turned out.

 The border gives it a finished look and matches the facing page.  Yesterday and today’s work, side by side.

At the halfway mark in this experiment, I am enjoying the process and look forward to what the rest of the month holds. Thank you to all for joining me on the journey and for the kind and helpful feedback you generously offer.

Stars

The Lord your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as numerous
as the stars of heaven.
Deuteronomy 1:10

I spent the morning creating with a friend at her house. She has an amazing art corner with tables and supplies. When I told her that today’s word was stars, she began pulling out bins of materials filled with ideas.

I chose pastels for the background and began coloring with shades of black and gray, blending them with my fingers. Over that I painted a layer of Modpodge and sprinkled it with black glitter. Then I added some tiny glitter stars and yellow glitter. The effect was magical in the lighting. The stars sparkled in different ways depending on how I was looking at them.

I drew various sized stars on photo paper and cut them out. I covered them with gold tissue paper and mounted them to the page with foam dots and glue dots for a 3D effect.

Finally, I cut out the letters for the word Stars and covered them with blue tissue paper.

This is the finished page.

The border pulls it together nicely.

By Faith

Faith is the confidence that whawe hope for will actually happen.
It gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

By Faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command.
That what we see now did not come from anything that can be seen.
Hebrews 11:3 (NLT)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Hebrews 12:1

So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.
Mark our a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall
but become strong.
Hebrews 12:12,13 (NLT)

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
Hebrews 12:15

This morning’s reading in Hebrews 11-13 met me in a deep place with its themes of faith, persistance, and watching for roots of bitterness.

I journaled my thoughts in pink, purple, brown, and orange. This was curious, and I decided to use only those colors to create the image that began to come to mind.

It is a straight path symbolizing the road I am walking. It goes from here into eternity which is symbolized by the gold ball at the top, or end, of the path. Along the way are glimpses of gold, but it is not fully golden until the end. The word By is placed about where I am on my journey ~ the wide bottom is the beginning, and I am halfway or a little beyond.

Radiating in gold at the top are the witnesses that surround us and the feeling of encouragement and mystery that evokes.

It’s also interesting to me that the picture can reflect these verses, also, if the path is looked at as a mountain, instead. It has the shape.

You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.” No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.
Hebrews 12:18-24 (NLT)

I can’t end this post without music today, as this song has been in my head all day.

Blessings, Dear Ones!

Spirit

Today started in the dark driving to feed a friend’s cats and ended in the dark driving home from helping with SVMI. In between, the sky was a brilliant shade of blue with puffy gray and white clouds floating about. It was a beautiful day to be outside.

The sky inspired today’s painted art journal page prompt, Spirit. There were several references to the Holy Spirit in Acts 5-6, but, honestly, it’s my spirit that I was trying to capture. It felt like the sky looked.

Ominous and heavy, at times. Light and airy at others. Living in the moment is a challenge with so much bearing down. I am weary.

I used paint accented with silver glitter glue. Here is an image of my spirit and all that it holds today.

Goodnight, Friends!

Owl

I will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl. Micah 1:8b

Today I read the book of Micah which is one of my favorites. The owl jumped right out at me seeing that it is a bird and it holds meaning. I also could use the Washi tape from Kim on the facing page of the paints.

I had grand ideas but limited time. This is a theme. Today’s work involved a lot of baking and food preparation for an all-day band event tomorrow. It was also an early-release day for my kids. Reality dictated a quick finish.

Paint was replaced with large pictures glued in place starting with this owl.

Next came some trees.

Here is a little filling in.

Now to add washi tape at the sides and top. If you look closely the ones along the sides are leaves.

Finally, add the title.

The owl represents my engagement with people.

I see them. I can sense struggle and inner conflict. I can feel when the winds of change are blowing and when things are off with a person.

I do not claim to be 100% correct, but my intuition is strong and often accurate. Not only do I see, but I pursue. I step, or swoop down, into another’s world with questions, even when it feels risky.

It is often risky, yet when I sense a need, I pursue. I believe it is important for people to know that they are not alone.

The owl also represents wisdom which is one of my deepest longings.

I received positive feedback on showing the open journal with completed facing pages, so here is what this one looks like. I love that they both feature birds and are made using supplies gifted by a dear friend.

I hope you are able to find space to create this weekend. Mine promises to be full, but I plan to grab time to see what comes next in my journal.

Happy Friday, Friends!