I'm back!

Due to a lack of time, space, and motivation, I put my art aside for nearly a year. I'm back. Sorta. I don't have a scanner at the moment to share my projects. But I'll post photos soon!

Beth's Art

Please check out my friend Beth's art gallery. Her work is amazing!


I recently began a new job AND I committed to preaching at a local church every Sunday this month so the only art that I am creating right now is in my head.

Hopefully soon I will have the time to translate those images onto paper!

Orange You Happy?

The second assignment for the Artistic Alchemy class was "color." We had to think about what colors we're drawn to, what colors we like to wear, what colors we enjoy in art, etc.

ORANGE is absolutely my favorite color! So, for this page I did an orange background and along the left side I pasted a quote by Frank Sinatra, “Orange is the happiest color.” On squares of wallpaint samples, I mounted words describing orange and the people who love it, and then covered most of the page with these.

Along the top, I placed wallpaint samples of two of my other favorite colors – pink and turquoise. Combined with orange, they’re quirky. But pair them with brown and they become chic. At the bottom, again in wallpaint samples, I created a palette of my favorite color theme, the hues of autumn – warm and saturated, organic and earthy.

This page was fun! (Maybe because orange is the happiest color. :) )

Space Within

The first week's assignment for the Artistic Alchemy class was to create a journal page about our "art space" - that place we go to make art. I can basicaly make art anywhere as long as I have at least a notebook and pen.

But I can't make art unless I've opened up that space within my soul that gives birth to my art. That place is like outer space - as beautiful and mysterious as the stars, as difficult to reach as the moon, as vast as the galaxies.

It is that space that I wanted to convey on this page.

I used a battered 1922 Book of Synonyms for the background epherma, and as I was tearing it up I found the piece that I placed in the bottom corner. It says, "Space is a general term which includes within itself that which infinitely surpasses our comprehension." And part of the epherma that is visible within the silhouette reads, "From within...thou knowest."

I couldn't have found better words if I'd tried!

I'm not thrilled with the piece as artwork - but I love it as expression.

Artistic Alchemy: Thoughts on Week 1

I'm very new to Art Journaling. I recently completed a project called Soul Journaling and there was something about the process that just CALLED to me. I knew that I had found something that my soul had longed for.

Then I signed up for the
Artistic Alchemy class. I was initially overwhelmed and frustrated by the technical difficulties I encountered with the PDF files and the video download. And somehow those things, which are totally unrelated to the art process, have blocked my creative flow.

I'm sensing this page I want to create about Space (the assignment for Week 1), but I find myself questioning and doubting as I did before I jumped into the Soul Journaling project. I'm afraid of creating something WRONG, though in my heart I know that no art is WRONG. I know that it's a process of learning and trying and EXPRESSING.

I'm not yet making art for this class...but my heart is discovering some form of truth...

Circular Thinking

I really had fun with this. Each circle was like creating a mini-collage, and a few of the circles even had their own theme. And I got to use a new product - Glitter Glaze (but it doesn't show up well in the scanned picture).

Scavenger Hunt Challenge

Arlene and Dawn recently challenged fellow bloggers with a Scavenger Hunt list to collage.

Here is my Scavenger Hunt Challenge List for whoever would like to try it. (If you accept the challenge, please comment and share a link to your collage.)

something orange
a purse
something that represents one of your hobbies
an airplane
a quote
a frog
a lamp
something romantic
a house
a recipe
a mirror
someone wearing glasses
something pink
a fork

a word that describes you

Additional conditions:

Incorporate circles in your collage (such as: cut images into circles, create a circle layout, cut your paper into a circle)

Add identifying words to at least 5 of your images (meaning: put the word "egg" on your picture of an egg)


Collage Scavenger Hunt: 1

Fellow Soul Journalers Arlene and Dawn had so much fun with Sarah's Grid Collage that they decided to create Collage Scavenger Hunts. This is what I created based on Dawn's list:

I didn't do anything very interesting with the design but I did try a new technique. When I collage, I find a perfect layout - and then lose it when I move the images to glue them down. So, instead of moving them, I taped them in place and painted paste over them.

It worked...sorta. Some of the pictures got a bit smudgey and the edges are a bit loose.

BAJ Prompt: In A Fishbowl

Half Themes - you take one page of your journal (or one spread, if you have a small journal) and divide it in half in any direction you like and create your layout in the limited space that you have made.This week's theme is "In a Fish Bowl". (from Blissfully Art Journaling)

Mark 1:19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

I wanted to create an image of people trapped in the "fishbowl of the life" and being offered the lure of hope.

I made the fishbowl collage on paper, then cut it in half and pasted it onto my journal page. I glued a piece of bark to represent a fishing pole. The "fishing line" is a piece of yarn that is glued to the "fishing pole" and then dangles loose.

The collage got kind of smeary from the glue, and then the paint seemed to absorb weird or something and made it really dark.

I thought it was an intriguing idea, and rather well represented, but the method is a bit a sloppy.

BAJ Prompt: Favorite Prayer

Use this theme [a favorite prayer] as a prompt for poetry or other musings in your art journal...keeping in mind a visual element along with the writings. (from Blissfully Art Journaling)

This isn't my "favorite prayer" - but it was a prayer that I was able to visualize.

I used a portion of a poem I wrote a few years ago:
My faith is balanced on a pedestal
displayed like priceless artistry

one thoughtless gesture
one careless stumble

My faith could plummet to the ground
and suspend me in a breathless moment

and combined that with the prayer in Luke 22:32:
“But,” Jesus said, “I made supplication for thee, that thy faith fail not.”

For the visual elements I added a very simple collage of a "pedestal" (as mentioned in the poem) and a sketch of a hand (symbolizing that Jesus will "catch my faith" if it wavers).

I struggled with not wanting to add too much that would distract from the words, so I think that the picture may be overly simple. My biggest triumph was the hand - I (who cannot draw) sketched that!

Scripture Concepts: Isaiah 54

Isaiah 54 can be metaphorically understood as a message that all of our dreams and desires will be fulfilled - if we allow our spirits to be enlarged through God's refining processes. God can impregnate us with promise.

Sing, O barren, you who have not borne!
Enlarge the place of your tent,
And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings
For you shall expand to the right and to the left,
And your descendants will inherit the nations,
And make the desolate cities inhabited.

SJ Pg 1: This is mine

Glue random Dictionary or book pages to the first 3 pages in your journal. Start writing on the first page over your dictionary pages. Start with the prompt: “Today I feel…” Dry brush Gesso over all of the writing. Stamp or write “This Book belongs to:” at the top of your page. Write your full name underneath that. Then write it again and again until you have filled the page with your name. (Full instructions at

I did my writing first, because I don’t have any Gesso with which to cover it.

For the epherma, I used pages from the short story “
Last Leaf” by O’Henry. The theme of the story emphasizes choices, sacrifice, and the power of art. These are all concepts that I want my art to embody.

I painted the page orange, my favorite colour. (But it dried looking red, unfortunately).

Next I dipped leaves in white paint and pressed them onto the page to further capture the theme of “Last Leaf.” (I think the leaves would have looked better if I’d sponge-painted around the shapes.)

Instead of writing “This book belongs to:”, I wrote, “This ART belongs to:” because I want to claim the whole of my work, not just this part of it. I then wrote my name in different fonts using a white gel pen.

I’m disappointed with the way the page turned out because there were so many things that didn’t turn out how I wanted. But I felt inspired and encouraged by the process – taking an abstract concept and giving it reality.

SJ Pg 2: Soul Armor

I want you to think about what you need to protect and nourish your creative spirit. Think about the things that sustain you. What’s needed to shield you from outside criticism and your inner critic? I want you to think of strength and protection. Think about what you turn to when you are “under siege”. What does your creative spirit NEED more of? How do we keep all those critical voices from crippling us in our crusade? The only “rule” is you have to incorporate your answers to your homework question somewhere on or around your armor. (Full instructions at Caspiana.)

"Think about what you turn to when you are ‘under siege’.” Who is my shelter, my strength, my refuge? Jesus. In His arms, I feel safe from any danger and empowered to attempt the impossible.

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath you are His everlasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33:27)

"Meeting on the Turret Stairs” is a painting that, for me, has always perfectly expressed the feeling of being safe in the arms of Jesus. I knew I wanted to use this in some way to convey the idea of “armor.” I used photo editing software to modify the painting so that the end result was like a page from a colouring book and pasted it onto a sheet of watercolour paper. I filled in the drawing with crayons and hid “strength words” within the colours. I also used a gold gel pen on the sword. I painted a brown frame-like shape around the borders and at the top collaged the words “Safe In Your Arms.”

The photo editing and colouring turned out far better than I even dared to hope. The whole process was cathartic and inspiring.

SJ Pg 3: Grid Collage

Make sure that both pages have a drybrush of Gesso on them. After your Gesso is completely dry I want you to do a light wash of a darker color of Acrylic paint over both pages. We are going to cut [24] magazine images out to be small squares. Attach your squares to your page. Use a grid pattern arranging the images in any order that you like. Add a light color on top of [the dark color]. Now grab a pen or marker and [add words and shapes]. (Full instructions at Caspiana.)

I painted a page in a dark grey. While this dried, I looked through magazines for the images. I arranged the images on the dried page, and then sponged around the pictures with violet. Finally, I added the words and shapes.

I felt like I was obeying instructions without ever grasping a concept. I think this was partly due to the fact that I become very analytical about finding and clipping the pictures. Not just any picture would do…it had to be the “right” one. I actually used a 1” stencil to cut the images exactly right. I couldn’t find any theme or concept in the pictures when arranging the grid. I didn’t “feel” this page at all.

SJ Pg 4: (Binding with) tape

Today we are going to journal with the prompt “I forgot to tell you…”. We are going to tape over all of the journaling. Sand the tape. Paint the page and wipe off. Sand a bit more to take off some of the paint. Paint again and wipe off. Go back and work on your "Taped page". No rules. (Full instructions at Caspiana.)

As soon as I read through the assignment, I had a concept based on Matthew 16:19: “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." This page is about my personal spiritual warfare.

For the journaling prompt, I wrote, “Satan, I forgot to tell you that these things you speak about me are lies… (and listed the things). And Satan, I forgot to tell you that these things that Jesus speaks about me are truth…(and listed those things).”

By layering the page with tape, I was “binding” the lies of the enemy. Over the painted tape, I created a collage of keys and a keyhole, thus “loosing” the truths of Jesus.

I wrote, “binding the LIES - loosing the TRUTH - jesus has given me the KEYS” on the page and “Matthew 16:19” on the keyhole.

I LOVED THIS PAGE! I was so excited by how the concept unfolded in my mind. And the textures created by the tape and sanding and painting are fascinating. (I just wish my handwriting was better aligned.)

SJ Pg 5: At Home

Today we are going to recreate our home. This can be where you currently live or a home from your past where you felt happiest and safest. To start I drew a basic house shape with a pencil. I used a brown paper grocery bag for my base/pocket. Today we are going to collage over some of our drawings. You can use patterned papers, tissue paper, dictionary paper, anything you can think of! We are going to fill this page with color! We are going to be making Paper Dolls of our family to go inside of our house pockets. "Family" means something different to everyone. (Full instructions at Caspiana.)

As I did with the “Tape Page,” I had a concept for this immediately. I basically didn’t follow any of the instructions, but was inspired by these two statements: “a home…where you [feel] happiest and safest” and “Family means something different to everyone.”

My concept was based on John 15:4, which in the Message translation says, “Make your home in Me.” I feel happiest and safest abiding in the love and presence of Jesus. My “home” is a heart…the heart of Jesus. To incorporate the scripture message I added a mailbox and a miniature envelope and letter that reads, ‘Dear Friend, Make your home in Me. Love, Jesus.’

My “family” is a multifaceted conglomeration. It is this web of relationships in which I am entangled. It is all of the people who enhance my soul and magnify my personality and who, hopefully, are changed by the way in which I touch their lives.

To capture this idea in an abstract way, I filled the yard with the beauty of a flower garden. On each flower is written a word that describes the people who are in “my family.”

Finally, I wrote, “HOME is a feeling, not a place.”

This is absolutely my favorite page. I totally got caught up in the creation of it and had so much fun. The picture is filled with details. The windows are made of aluminum foil and I used masking tape to outline the windows. I rolled a rock over the painted walkway to create a gravel affect. I cut all the flowers out of construction paper. I folded a tiny piece of paper into an envelope. I used foam stickers for the word “HOME.”

I was delighted at how I found the freedom to create something somewhat surreal. Everything is out of proportion (the flowers are half the size of the house, the “miniature” letter is the same size as the door) and the overall feel is childlike yet not amateurish (I hope!).

As I created this picture, I felt like an artist.

SJ Pg 6: Randomness

Do all of the following things to your pages BUT: Mix up the order. You can go in any order you like EXCEPT the order they're already in. (Full instructions at Caspiana)

Add tape
Fill the page with descriptive adjectives
Make some quick lines, fast and without thinking
Cut out a silhouette of a person and ink or paint over it
Dry-brush on some paint
Add a wash of paint
Drip and splatter at least two different colors of paint

Write your grocery list somewhere (use your non-dominate hand)
Use pencil somewhere

It's hideous. But I learned: how to create a silhouette, how to drip & splatter paint, that pencil works on acrylic paint, and that I can write rather well with my right (non-dominate) hand.

SJ Pg 7: Randomness II

Do all of the following things to your pages BUT: Mix up the order. You can go in any order you like EXCEPT the order they're already in. (Full instructions at Caspiana)

Add some meaningful words
Trace the outline of your hand at least 6 times
Add a wash of a new color paint
Paint with a fork dipped in paint
Blob acrylic paint in your book and close it
Use a crayon somewhere
Fill up the page with numbers
Stitch with a needle and thread OR attach something with thread

It looks like something my 7 year old niece made. Only worse.

But I did have fun going to Taco Bell for a fork.

SJ Pg 8: Randomness III

I was so disappointed and frustrated with Randomness I and II that I just couldn't find it within myself to invest the time and materials to create Randomness III.

I'm struggling to accept that art is about learning and making mistakes. It's about that serendipitous moment of creating something special.