Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Exploring circles - post 1 - {Paths to Healing}...

Recently I read a post on the meaning and symbolism of circle in art therapy - and it struck me that circles have a rich history in the Christian faith as well, and before that, in the history of God's dealing with man.  At the same time, I realized I had been collecting ideas that were based on the form of a circle - and it just seemed to be the perfect time (and perhaps even the leading of the Holy Spirit) to explore the meaning of circles in my life and my faith - yes!


So, starting next Wednesday, and through the month of August, I will post a little research, a little prompt, and a little peak at what I am creating with circles...if you want to play with me, this is the book I am making to create in and record in (but of course you can use your regular art journal, too):  

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/8c/ea/cb/8ceacb93797de2666d370f83ac945e38.jpg
I have this pinned to my "Art Book/Journal making" pinboard...and this is the form I want to use for my "Exploring Circles" art + healing processing - 

Detailed instructions can be found here - Jesscreateit.wordpress.com.

I am using a 12"x 18" piece of 140 lb. coldpress watercolor paper - mostly because that is what I have a few extra pieces of! 

I'm not sure if I am going to do a lot of prep work or not...I am thinking of using watercolors - tho' the sample image is truly a mixed media piece!  I can tell I need to do some thinking before I actually start...

Here is what my paper looks like - folding, then cutting out certain portions per Jess's instructions...





Putting my quilting supplies to good use!














Cut and ready to fold:

What does a circle mean to you?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cherry Blossoming Trees in Fresco and experimenting with a photo frame...

Playing with an idea I came across - the cherry tree blossoms in our backyard with a "fresco" filter and Kim Klassen's "awake" texture at softlight, framed and placed over a photo frame of the cherry blossoms from a different angle and a different year...


The same image used for the photo frame, framed and left in color (no texture over it)


I like both images, the top one was "saved" using the Fresco filter - I am beginning to really NEED a better digital camera - more than a little point and shoot!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Where God's Love Leads - When your heart needs an x-ray...

http://www.grafitex.net/images/file1_preimpresion_20_width768px.png
Image Credit


It is amazing to me that we have technology to look inside our living bodies...to see all the specific components that God pulled together to create the house for our eternal spirits. It truly makes me pause in awe and wonder...

And I am flooded with the idea that God sees like this into our "spiritual hearts" -

"...man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”  - 1 Samuel 16:7 ESV

All is laid bare before Him, there is nothing hidden, nothing that He does not see...

"...the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God."  1 Corinthians 4:4b-5 NASB

And also consider Psalm 139:1-8...

All these verses I am quoting are spoken from the heart of One who is confident of the love of God towards us...the Holy Spirit!  In fact, one of His jobs is to convince us of God's love! (Romans 5:5)


http://th03.deviantart.net/fs43/PRE/f/2009/124/9/7/X_Ray_Heart_by_mmattes.jpg
Image credit
{When God thinks of you, He makes His Hands into a heart...}

When we "see" God has punitive and harsh, we do the same thing that Adam and Eve did, after the fall...we try to hide, try to cover up our sin, and in that stay stuck in our shame and guilt.  But just as He continued to call to these two in the Garden (because He did know exactly where they were, what had happened, and what to do about it); He continues to call forth to us, imploring us to relinquish our fallen attempts at fixing ourselves, so we can receive true healing and help for our hurts and mistakes (sin, perhaps?)...

But if we "see" Him and His convicting work as kindness; don't we feel safe to go to Him, even in the midst of our unrest and mess?  And give Him all that mess like it is a precious gift (after all, why would we hang onto it for so long if it wasn't "precious" in some way?  Even if the only way it is precious is that we don't know who we are or how to behave without it in our lives?)

Does the x-ray vision of God frighten you?  Or does it comfort you?


Let Him take that x-ray, let Him bring you forth into a place of true healing and rest and wholeness...

                                     
                        







Then, He can take you from this:





to this...

full color, full life, fullness...in Him...







Is there any reason we wouldn't want this?!
More next Monday...

Friday, July 26, 2013

3 Praying Girls...In The Studio Friday


Some of what I've been working on this week...a series on praying girls...


Actually, "Guard Your Heart" is an older piece, and I have another piece - "She Gathered Hope" that was a companion.  I always intended to do a third - "Where Does My Help Come From" - and I am working on it (it will be the middle).  I am doing a reproduction of "She Gathered Hope" as the original sold and my photos for prints just aren't turning out the way I wanted...so I will finish the series AND get good photos before the originals are sold!

Joining over at "In the Studio" and "Paint Party Friday"...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Music and Prayer - Texture Tuesday

Textures with one layer of Canvas Magic set at screen mode and 60% opacity...

Music is what feelings sound like.  
~Author Unknown

There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is.  
~William P. Merrill

Monday, July 22, 2013

Where God's love leads - it could be a surprise...

Hearts for a "Fat Book" exchange on courage...



 At prayer team, we have been praying through and discussing what appears to be a disconnect within some believers...

The concept of grace...

How do a grace-filled people walk in their new life in Christ?  How do they support the convicting work of the Holy Spirit without moving in judgement?  How do we become a paraclete when our own lives fall so far short?

What causes our struggle in this area that covers so much of the New Testament?  Because this issue is so often addressed in Scripture, I can take comfort in the fact that believers have struggled with this concept for millennium!  And why even be concerned, when we know that God sees all of us through the filter of the finished work of Jesus Christ?   Indeed yes, why?  The thought comes to my mind that perhaps we are undecided, confused about an issue - the issue of "is God a God of love?" or is "God a God of justice?"  And I am not immune to this confusion!  But, because we are exploring this in our team, I thought I would share my thoughts, and our thoughts, here...

The first verse that the Spirit really gave me for this series is from Romans, Chapter 2.  I encourage you to read the entire chapter...but this is the specific verse:
 "...that the kindness of God leads you to repentance..."  Romans 2:4b (NASB)

To restate this portion of the verse, with all the definitions of the original Greek written out, the verse would read as follows:
God furnishes what is useful, gentle, pleasant, kind, beneficial, well-fitted and suitable to lead, bring, carry us towards a change of our mind and a change in our inner man...

In short, when we encounter the incredible eternal, deep, unconditional love of God, that encounter brings everything needed to change our heart and minds!  That is powerful!

But once we have encountered this "kindness" for the first time, and received our salvation, how does "the kindness that leads to repentance" apply to the rest of our earthly lives?

      We will be exploring that thought here on Mondays for the next several weeks...
 



Saturday, July 20, 2013

Japanese Inspired...new life + peace blessing hanging


Remember these butterfly printouts?

This wall or window hanging is my first project utilizing them...

Miss Sweet Tweener really loves the Japanese culture, and it has rubbed off on me!  Perhaps too it was because - at the same time she was immersing herself in everything Japanese - I was learning about how the stories of Genesis are imbedded in the Chinese language...and the Japanese language characters are derived from the Chinese, and still closely resemble them.


The butterflies fluttering in the breeze of the fan...








I have/am researching Chinese Brush and watercolor painting techniques and have discovered an interesting art (decorating?) form titled "Wabi-Sabi" (that is just fun to say!)  The main concept of wabi-sabi is embracing imperfection and finding the beauty in it.  I think that fits in with my calling and purpose - as well as a reminder that (as a recovering perfectionist) I must embrace my own imperfections as the very things that lead me to the beauty found in Jesus...


The Japanese character on the paper square says "Life" on one side and "Fresh" on the other (fresh is the closest character in meaning to "new" that I could find.)  The characters are actually hand drawn on Japanese rice paper, then sewn to a pretty square of scrapbooking paper that complemented the color wash on the butterflies.  The branch came out of our center driveway garden and I covered it with Gel Medium to prevent the bark from flaking off.  Fishing line is used to attach the images to the branch; their seeming invisibility create the illusion of the butterflies dancing in the breeze all on their own.  Scraps of muslin and linen flutter off the edge.  I stamped the word "peace"on a scrap of ribbon because the entire assemblage invokes that feeling in me.  You can also see scraps of Japanese writing from old books wrapped around the wood.  The butterflies are printed on the same text on one side and on English text on the other side...



I am enjoying this piece, but it is available if you too would like a little Wabi - Sabi in your home {smile}...



Also joining with my "In the Studio" friends here...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer in Texas...

Pastureland near where we live...I am having fun playing with the abstract quality that occurs when a photo is purposely blurred.  This one has two layers of Kim Klassen's Steelish texture over it...giving it sort of a old film grain effect...

Friday, July 5, 2013

As the Deer...

One of my all time favorite scripture worship songs is "As the Deer", by Marty Nystrom...
The song is based on Psalm 42:1 - more about this song can be found here and to listen to it, click here...
Image Credit and download link

Click here to download an 8" x 8" image to use
Use the image as a "Coloring your prayers exercise, while you listen to praise music...write prayers in the negative (white) space; enjoy your work or give it to someone God has placed on your heart as you work...

For more information on "Coloring Your Prayers", read my post here...

I like Robin Mark's voice in this rendition...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

More artwork by my non-geeky son

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sequential...

A perfect yellow rose-bud
I liked all of these images...the darkest background has no texture added...
The lightest is Kim Klassen's "A Touch of Texture 2" set at overlay with "A Touch of Texture 1" set at screen over the first texture...