Wrestling or slogging through… sometimes that's how it feels. If I can just do the next thing I know I'm supposed to do and not worry about the rest. When I feel frustrated, "wonder as I wander", am having a hard time focusing, a scribble prayer sometimes helps. Of all the kinds of visual prayer the scribble is the one I avoid. I think it's because I'm such a planner and I don't like to figure out what to do with the extra lines that seem to clutter and look messy. But that is why it is the perfect one to choose to do when going in circles, wrestling, slogging through. Here is my latest, filled with questions about what to do, which direction to take…. As I drew I asked,
Sometimes midweek can be a low point. It's Wednesday evening here on the west coast and I feel tired and flu-ish. I just had the idea of posting midweek blessings. For me to do a mid-week blessing on a site dedicated to visual blessing it seems a little redundant,"duh." But I'm pretty new to blogging and don't yet have any regular challenges for myself or others like A Collage A Day, Project 365or something I do on a specific day of the week, month etc. I'm a "toe in the water first" kind-of-gal, so I'm going to test the waters with posting a specific kind of blessing mid-week through the month of February. My criteria will be this: a blessing I've made to give to someone. My hope is that it will bless you too.
I didn't know who this visual blessing was for when I started it, but I knew it was someone who was having a hard time resting. Resting could be having peace, sleeping, or something similar, I wasn't sure. I wanted the colors to feel peaceful so I picked this printmaking paper I had painted a few years earlier and didn't use yet. I had scanned the "rest" page out of a dictionary and transferred it onto the printmaking paper. The verse from Hebrews was made using a gel transfer method.
The circle prayer was patterned after a kind of prayer I read about this kind of prayer in the book, Celtic Daily Prayer (p. 297-8). It is called a Caim prayer (when one does not know what to pray). One way to use this prayer is to draw a circle and then follow the circle with your finger as you say the prayer. This symbolizes the all encompassing, encircling love and protection of God.
The Scriptures I want planted in my heart this year are found in the Psalms. The first one is:
Psalm 27:4 (NIV)
“One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”
“Lord, I seek and desire a contented soul that remains in Your Presence all the days of my life. Please give me vision to focus on You – Your beauty, splendor, and grace. Grant me favor and allow me to worship you as you want to be worshiped, seeking you always.”
At the beginning of December I was so happy I was ahead of schedule with a start to my goal setting etc. but sometimes life takes its own twists and turns as things pile up on the back burner.
My husband badly broke his right leg the week before Christmas, requiring surgery and a fairly long recovery. The usually quick, fiercely independent man suddenly became dependent, going through the mundane with painfully slow effort. Being self-employed and very hard-working, this has been a challenge. As you can imagine, it has been quite an adjustment for both of us. In spite of that we had a wonderful time together as a family over the Christmas break, actually more peaceful because we could not do things we normally do. But at the beginning this New Year I felt a bit overwhelmed and out of sorts. This wasn’t what I planned. I have to let go of my expectations for myself, learn to be better at serving, and look for the lessons and relational blessings God has for me during this time.
So instead of having my one page 2011 goal sheet posted and ready to go, I am humbly asking God what He wants to say to me. I am letting go of being bound by a “to do” list. My theme for this year is “Hearing God’s Voice”. Already God has brought me people, information, and experiences with Him in a new, although quiet way.
On Sunday at Church Pastor Kevin talked about having faith, not fear; that “Obedience is not measured by adhering to laws and principles. Obedience is measured by responding to God’s voice.” It was just what I needed to hear. So I enter this year with my hands open and empty and my heart filled with longing for more.
copyright Valerie Sjodin 2011
My Art News & Upcoming Events:
Art Media Demo on Saturday, January 22nd from 2-4 pm at the Beaverton Store
Upcoming Art Journaling Workshop, offered on Wednesdays February 9th-March 16th
An article published in the current Somerset Art Journaling Magazine, Winter 2011
I have an article in the new Winter 2011 Art Journaling Magazine (p. 42-47) My friend Katie called me from Barnes & Noble and said she opened up the magazine and my daughter Merri's eyes were staring back at her with my handwriting all over it. It features my Spring journal from last year. You can see more of that journal and the techniques I used below. There will be a demonstration at our local Art Media store on January 22nd, and I will be facilitating a new 6-week workshop series, on Wednesday mornings and on Wednesday evenings, February 9th-March 16th. See below for more details.
Free Art Journaling Demoat Art Media in Beaverton Oregon
I will be giving a free art journaling demonstration at the Beaverton Art Media store in the Oregon metro area.
Saturday January 22, 2-4 pm
HOW-TO demonstrations will include:
Choosing a palette that reflects the feeling of your journal
Painting a variety of coordinating papers for art journaling
Making and applying gel transfers
Working on more than two pages at a time
Taking apart and putting together a journal using a spiral watercolor pad
Tips on using text
Winter Art Journaling 6-Week Workshop Series
During this 6-session weekly workshop we will embark on the playful adventure of creating an art journal in a retreat-like setting at my studio in Hillsboro, Oregon. More information is listed below. The techniques listed above in the Art Media demonstration will be taught and experienced along with:
Additional techniques of using acrylic paints and mediums
Making silhouettes & stencils
Using text creatively
Lots of hands on experience and encouragement.
Dates: February 9th - March 16th 2011 Times:Wednesday evenings from 6:30 pm-9:30 pm Where: My studio in Hillsboro, OR Cost: $200 plus supply list For additional information, sign up, and supply list: e-mail me and/orvisit my website at valeriesjodin.com and click on the art journaling page. On the website there are also examples made by participants from last year's art journaling 2010 workshop.