"Holy Spirit, think through me till your ideas are my ideas." ~Amy Carmichael

" Holy Spirit, think through me till your ideas are my ideas.”

~ Amy Carmichael

Friday, August 5, 2016

What's going on behind the scenes?


Today I'm sharing, heart to heart, what's been going on with me behind the scenes (online presence), things that influence my online friendships.  I realize, I haven't been as consistent or communicating as often I usually do, or would like to. I haven't forgotten about you! There has been a lot going on behind the scenes, and because I feel connected with you in this online journey, I want to share these new things with you. The development of an exciting new online class, an upgraded new website, and a new book that combines coloring, doodling, and connecting with God.  There are some wonderful people working with me, and more than ever I appreciate the benefits of working together on a team. Here is a bit more of the scoop:

NEW ONLINE COURSE:
The new e-course is an artful and spiritual journey of discovering and creatively activating your Word of the year. This development continues to be an exciting process for me, with improving video content and presentation, and having a more meaningful and interactive classroom experience.  I look forward to sharing with you about it soon, and hope you will join me in this artful and spiritual journey.

NEW WEBSITE:
Graphic designer and dear friend Anneli is upgrading the new website. I am very excited about the new look and function of the site. The presentation of artwork and story involves more video, updated imagery, and user friendliness. The focus of the new site is connecting with God through creative expression, inspiration, and artistic growth. Spiritual Direction and a new Shop will be introduced over the next few months too.

NEW BOOK:
The new book, Prayerful Doodling, is represented by an amazing literary agent and is in process. Prayerful Doodling will help people activate and increase people's creative ability to express themselves and expand their visual language while experiencing new ways of communicating with God .  I have taught the material in mini workshops over the years, and early in 2015 taught an 8-week class at my church, along with my friend Linda Eld. One year ago, while in the middle of working on the Prayerful Doodling book material,  I got a call from Taunton Press and the coloring book projects began. Prayerful Doodling was set aside until this past spring. But the time is now...

All that to say, that's why I haven't been posting online as much. My hope is to share the launching and development of these things with you in September. Stay tuned!




Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What Are You Doing Today?


"What are you doing today?"

That is what the chiropractor asked me when I went in for an adjustment this morning. I heard myself say, “I’m working.” It sounded flat, true and not accurate at the same time.

As he adjusted my spine, Dr. Rueben said, “Hmmm, is what I do work? It doesn’t seem like it. It's more like fulfilling my purpose. And it gives provision for more purpose in other areas of my life.”

I responded, “I like that. Sometimes I feel that, as an artist, people don’t think I work and I justify my efforts with, ‘I’m working.’”

He chuckled, “So they don’t think you just play with crayons all day.”

“Yeah. I need to find another word. "Work" doesn’t say it well. Any ideas?”

We threw some ideas back and forth:
 "Answering the call on my life, walking out my destiny, fulfilling my purpose."

I think they sound a bit lofty for an answer to the question, “What are you doing today?” In reality, they are true. Every day, each choice made, an action taken can be a step to answer life's call, fulfill a purpose, and realize destiny. I believe it is not often what we do, but why we do it that can lead to the meaningful “what.” The why also informs the "how."

“Put your heart and soul into every activity you do,
as though you are doing it for the Lord Himself ...”

Colossians 3:23
The Passion Translation


Dr. Rueben knows his why.

Maybe I will start asking people, “Why are you doing what you’re doing today?” That would be a conversation starter, don’t you think?

As I was leaving the chiropractor, he asked, “So what are you doing today?”

I answered, “I am finishing an article to submit for publishing that is due.”

He said, “So you’re working then.”

We exchanged knowing smiles.

The funny thing is, the next person I saw asked me, "Are you working today?"...


“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
- St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

From Travel Brochures to Art Journal - How-to Video


During our trip, the travel information and maps gathered at the national parks were extremely helpful. Now that we're home, I don't want to store the paper stack of info, but I don't want to just throw it away either. Solution: make a spontaneous art journal (of course :-)

Below is a video I made showing how I made a journal page spread using collage pieces from our travel brochures, some personal photos, writing and a little bit of paint. The techniques used can be used in any journal that can withstand mixed media such as matte medium, collage, and a little bit of paint.


The best part of this trip with so many transitions and activities, the best part for me is after traveling together for nearly 3 weeks, we aren't tired of each other. It wasn't always like that. It has been quite a journey indeed! We get to come home to our life together. Home sweet home.


Whether we can travel far, or stay at home, my lesson for the day is in the acronym:


Today, may you be blessed with rest, no matter what you are doing.

The supply list and links for the travel brochure are listed below. The supply list for the watercolor travel journal is listed in the two previous blog posts.

Supplies used:
  • Matte medium or fluid matte medium
  • Black gesso
  • White gesso
  • Paint: transparent red iron oxide
  • Fabercastell Pitt pen or No-Bleed Sharpie
  • White Gelly Roll pen
  • Fabriano Artisico Hotpress 140 lb watercolor paper or art journal that takes mixed media
  • Stencils from http://craftersworkshop.com/ : TCW321, TCW363, TCW290S
  • Cosmetic wedge sponge
  • Paint brushes
          

Blog Affiliate Disclosure
To make the products I talk about in this blog and videos more accessible and to answer product questions, I've affiliated with Amazon.com. I do not get paid for using any of the products and only share products I use often, and am pleased to recommend them. I get a number of questions regarding the products I use. I thought this would be the win/win opportunity for you and I. If you click on any of the Amazon product links above and purchase the product, I receive a small percentage, like a tip. It does not cost you anything.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dream Realized in My Moleskine journal

Dreams realized are sweet to the soul!


My visit to the Grand Canyon was a dream come true! It was on my bucket list and everything I hoped for. Keith was a great sport too. He does not like heights, but went along, delighted and cringing at my joy of feeling on top of the world. 


The little Moleskine watercolor journal offered me various ways to include photos, write, paint etc.

Some pages were title pages such as this page below. Here is a photo that shows the process: painted with a fine pointed tipped waterbrush using the watercolor kit, and then outlined in black:


Here is the page finished:


And in the spread with a photo of me at the entrance of the canyon. It was fun to take our photos at the national park signs. We often took photos of other groups and they took ours, a place of pleasant connection with those on a similar journey.


You may have noticed, I've outlined the photos with a wobbly fine line (XS Pitt pen) to tie in the hand done feel of the book, linking the photos with hand written text and watercolor painting. 


Usually, it is not practical for me to paint on locations when we travel, so I take photos and then airdrop them onto my mini iPad and paint a little painting from that. I try and paint it as soon as possible after I took the photo. There were opportunities in the heat of some of the days when we were resting in the comfort of air conditioning. This spread shows the photo and the painting. When I paint, I try and capture the feeling I felt when being there. No pressure to replicate the place. After all, I have the photo, right?


Sometimes I write around the photos too:


One thing I really like is when my travel companion is willing to write in my journal. It is good to get other perspectives and handwriting in my travel journals:


If my favorite part was standing on the heights, Keith's was hiking at the base of a canyon wall, in water. Here at Zion National Park, his dream was realized. I love that!

At Zion, along the Virgin River, we hiked (along with many other people) along the beautiful river bed, such as the photo below on the left. On the right I drew and painted a stack of stone cairns people had left on a big rock in the river. Keith ventured out to take a photo of them. It reminded me of the lesson I looked for each day on our trip. The lesson for that day was that each person's desire and dream is important. We lived it as we made choices and took action during our visits to the Grand Canyon And Zion national parks. 


We go farther, deeper, and higher with each other than on our own. I am so thankful!


SUPPLIES USED:
  • Moleskine Journal - 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" watercolor journal
  • Koi Water Colors Pocket Field Sketch Box, by Sakura (It comes with one Medium/small tip waterbrush)
  • Yasutomo Niji Waterbrush, Small
  • Prismacolor pencil sharpener
  • Kneaded eraser
  • White eraser (The one in the link below is not the one in the photo, but I have used it and it works well)
  • 2 HB pencils
  • Faber-Castell Pitt artist pens: size XS, S and C (Calligraphy) Note: I did have a Sharpie no-bleed pen on hand, but if the Faber-Castell Pitt fineliner pen set is purchased (a better deal in the link below), the Sharpie is not needed. 
Amazon Links to Supplies:

               
Blog Affiliate Disclosure: To make the products I talk about in this blog and videos more accessible and to answer product questions, I've affiliated with Amazon.com. I do not get paid for using any of the products and only share products I use often, and am pleased to recommend them. I get a number of questions regarding the products I use. I thought this would be the win/win opportunity for you and I. If you click on any of the Amazon product links above and purchase the product, I receive a small percentage, like a tip. It does not cost you anything.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Summer Vacation in My Moleskine Journal - Part 2


6-20-2016
I listed the points of our journey on the left side of the page. I tried to get the idea of heat from the colors and sun ray shapes. On the right side I drew a little map of our stops and filled the center with shapes of rock art we saw at the Edge of the Cedars museum and excavation. It was a great little find and well worth the $5 entry fee. Here is Keith, a momentary installation in the sculpture garden there.


It was soooo very hot our eyeballs almost blew out! Seriously, after a walk to a viewpoint in the Natural Bridges National Monument, we each had a blood vessel pop in the white of our left eyes. 107 degrees = non-hiking weather! A big driving day, and being in the air conditioned car was a relief.

A climb down a branch ladder into a kiva excavation at The Edge of the Cedars showed us how people lived. It was cool and livable down in the meeting area under the ground.  We also visited the Gooseneck State Park. It was interesting, but in the heat, not that impressive.



Lesson - The Power of a Symbol

The lesson today that impressed me was how powerful symbols are to us humans. In the rock art, symbols are preserved from hundreds of years ago. Some of the meaning is a mystery to us now, but others communicate what the life and culture was like for the ancient people that lived in the area. Even doodling on dishware was preserved, and is valued. Who knows what will be valued from our culture in hundreds of years and what it will communicate?

In looking at the petroglyphs I noticed the same symbol could have different meanings to different people. For example, a spiral shape meant water to one tribe, and to another tribe it meant migration. I think this is good to remember, that different symbols we use can have different meanings, therefore we should not be quick to judge someone else's use of a symbol.


Another evidence of the power of a symbol is that we drove 120 miles out of our way to stand on and take a photo of a symbol, the only place in the united states where for states come together: Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. We stood in line at Four Corners to take a photo over a metal plaque that was so hot it could've fried an egg. The marker with two words in each state section says: "Four states here meet in freedom under God."




Words and symbols = significant!


SUPPLIES USED:
  • Moleskine Journal - 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" watercolor journal
  • Koi Water Colors Pocket Field Sketch Box, by Sakura (It comes with one Medium/small tip waterbrush)
  • Yasutomo Niji Waterbrush, Small
  • Prismacolor pencil sharpener
  • Kneaded eraser
  • White eraser (The one in the link below is not the one in the photo, but I have used it and it works well)
  • 2 HB pencils
  • Faber-Castell Pitt artist pens: size XS, S and C (Calligraphy) Note: I did have a Sharpie no-bleed pen on hand, but if the Faber-Castell Pitt fineliner pen set is purchased (a better deal in the link below), the Sharpie is not needed. 
Amazon Links to Supplies:

               
Blog Affiliate Disclosure: To make the products I talk about in this blog and videos more accessible and to answer product questions, I've affiliated with Amazon.com. I do not get paid for using any of the products and only share products I use often, and am pleased to recommend them. I get a number of questions regarding the products I use. I thought this would be the win/win opportunity for you and I. If you click on any of the Amazon product links above and purchase the product, I receive a small percentage, like a tip. It does not cost you anything.