Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Art Journey through Lent {community}

"Your community can pull you back when its members see that you are forgetting why you were sent out...Keep returning to those to whom you belong and who keep you in the light...You do not have to fear anyone as long as you remain safely anchored in your community.  Then you can carry the light far and wide." ~Henri Nouwen

This quote is in the context of ministry.  Art, for me, is in part a ministry, and so I read this and feel that my connections in the art community as well as my own local church are "those to whom I belong."  In the dailiness and busyness of life I have a strong tendency to forget the healing and life-giving power of this art-full life and need to be reminded that my time spent creating is time giving as well as receiving.  Only when I return to this practice do I feel I can continue to "carry the light far and wide."

So it has been very rewarding to connect with so many art journalers on this Lenten journey.  Following this path together has cause me to be intentional and prayerful throughout my days, and not just when I'm at my art table.  I have not always been able to create when the mood strikes {or even when a post is due!}, but these companions have kept me mindful and motivated, and their creations have blessed me and inspired me.
Instagram friends have been generous in sharing their art and souls as well:

In my own journal this week I have moved on to John 7.  I have been struck by the times that Jesus said, "Do not tell anyone" or "The time has not yet come", very clearly working from a place of knowledge and purpose.  I cannot imagine how it must have been to come into time from an eternal place.  In His earthly life there was chronology, where before Jesus had no bounds.

There is a stark difference between those that are following him, and those who are seeking to get rid of him.  We see it more and more as we move through John.  But no one lays a hand on him because the time has not yet come.  This idea of time fascinated me.  I created a collage of vintage papers and obscured all but the words at the top of a geometry page "Measure of Time".  

I added a handless clock stamp and another stamp for texture, keeping the blue that has come to be a staple in this Lent journal.

I used Caran d'ache neocolor ii watercolor crayons to create a frame and smudged them with my fingertips.  This is one of my favorite things to do.  Simple and bold.

The page is not finished.  I intend to add scripture quotes and journaling.  But the background leaves the space open for me and when I return to it I can use it as a prayer.


As we move through the gospel of John, what visceral feelings do you have?  Jesus is so sure and purposeful, and yet there is a growing anxiety level as we see the rising political action and intention. Open yourself to whatever presents itself in the passage, and in your own spirit.  Feel the fear and grief and anger present in these pages.  How can that translate onto the page?  Color, image, torn paper, burned edges, scribbles, harsh lines.  Let the materials speak to you.

Lord, give me an undivided heart.  Let it flow with "rivers of living water," free and full of grace.  Amen


  1. LOVE the frame on this! LOVE smudging techniques. There is something about really getting your hands in things that makes art even more intimate. The scripture and stories and devos with these are wonderful too. Very nice. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the shoutout! So glad you're doing this.