My art journey is morphing in a way I never expected or could have foreseen. It is quickly becoming intertwined with my faith. My searches now, not only include various art techniques but also art related to bible journaling and bible study.
I have a bible that is designed for bible journaling and has in some of its margins artwork to color in if, I desire to do so. Adding my own artwork isn’t happening but maybe it will in the future.
I did do some testing of a few different mediums in my bible. I discovered a couple of interesting facts. Prang watercolors bleed through the paper. They also bleed through clear gesso! Even 3 layers of clear gesso!!! Daler Rowney watercolors from a tube, DO NOT bleed through unprepped (no gesso) bible pages!!!!!! Sorry for all the exclamation points but I found this rather AMAZING. I may have to invest in better quality watercolors if I want to use them in my bible and not have to prep the pages with gesso. I currently prep them with clear gesso so I can use sharpie markers or other markers, for highlighting or coloring, otherwise they will bleed through the page. I did a test on an untreated page using Inktense pencils, by using a waterbrush and pulling color from the pencil tip and painting it on the page. It has a high ghosting factor, not really a bleed through but possibly could if the application is too heavy. I plan to work with them more in my bible at some point and test them over clear gesso. I was quite frankly amazed regarding what would or would not bleed through the untreated pages of a bible considering how thin they are. I had expected everything to bleed through except maybe ballpoint pen or pencils.
Maybe some day I’ll do my own art in my bible.
Right now, I am more focused on my bible studies. From my searches I came upon a method some people use during their studies. I am more of a writer/note taker when it comes to studying than I am an doodler/artist creating pictures to help me remember what I’ve read. This helped me to understand why I felt a bit blocked when I tried to add artwork to my bible. Instead of drawing, I highlight and write in colorful text which in itself is pretty to my eyes.
I often find myself intrigued by how God influences my life. I find myself drawn towards things not understanding why. I was drawn to sign up for a free tutorial called Magical Manifesting Journal tutorial which I ran across on Facebook. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I wanted yet another tutorial about manifesting. First, because I’ve tried it before with little to no success and secondly, because of my renewed faith in God. I won’t go into the spiritual implications of this. Just know I’m rethinking some of the things I have dabbled in over the years and whether they are appropriate in my life now. Manifesting is one of these things I’m reconsidering so I was intrigued as to why I would be pulled towards this course. I truly believe this was God’s influence, so he could show me how I can alter something that may seem inappropriate for my faith and make it appropriate and supportive of my changes in my life. I believe he uses everything he can to bring us into his chosen path for us. And this is just one example.
I went ahead and signed up for the tutorial. I watched all the videos. As I reached the end of the videos, I realized I could still use the idea of the manifesting journal but altar it slightly. I had to first understand what it was I wanted. I want to build a closer relationship with God. I needed something which I could turn to and have it help restore my faith or turn my thoughts from feelings of negativity to positive feelings. I, all too often, sink into despair and depression when life just doesn’t seem to be going well for me. I wanted a quick reference to particular versus which resonate with me and help me on my spiritual journey.
So… I altered the idea of a manifesting journal to a faith journal.
What I would do is create a simple booklet from one page. You know, one of those one page wonders, where you fold a large sheet of paper into a booklet containing about 8 pages, including front and back cover. Adhering the bottom edge of the pages and not the top or sides, creates pockets, which I’ll show in another post when I start to create items to insert into the pockets.
Here is what I have created so far. It isn’t done yet, but I was so excited about how this is turning out, I wanted to share it, in case, anyone else might want to try it as well.
Pages 1 through 4 were inspired from last Sunday’s sermon at CAC.
Page 1: “when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy” James 1:2
Page 2: “when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” James 1:3
The point of the journal is to add scripture which I can refer to when my faith begins to wain or I feel challenged and need to feel God’s support. Since I am currently facing some personal challenges these particular verses in James resonated with me and help to give me hope that there is a purpose behind these challenges.
Page 3: “when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” James 1:4
Page 4: “if you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you” James 1:5
Page 5 came from my daily reading from a week or so ago. “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you.” 2 Kings 20:5 You might recognize it from the art journal page I showed in my previous blog. This one gives me hope that God hears my prayers and is actively helping me.
I still have page 6 and the back cover where I can add more scripture as I come across something that resonates with me. But don’t think this is all I have room for. As I mentioned earlier, if I only glue the bottom edges of the pages together it will leave the sides of a couple pages and the top of a couple other pages open forming pockets. I can add decorated tags or decorated paper which I can also add scripture to and store in the pockets, plus I could add tip-ins or fold-outs for even more space to add scripture. This means I have a lot more I can add to this journal. When I feel it is full, I can create another one.
For the text I found free fonts online I can download for personal use. I printed the scripture on computer paper and tore them out and used a bit of slightly watered down glue to adhere them to the page.
The background is several layers. First, was a collage of different paper, text, decorative paper and music pages. Next came a layer of napkins, followed by a layer of maybe 4 different colors of paint some of them metallic. The last layer was some stamping and mark making using different items like bubble wrap, a lid, the side of a gift card and so forth. I did paint the back of the page, partly to help it lay flat and secondly so the inside of the pockets wouldn’t just be white.
These pages are not done. I plan to do something to help the white paper, with the text printed on it, to blend into the background more, just haven’t settled on what I’ll do yet. I think I want some embellishments, but again I’m not sure what. Ideas are flowing. I just need to settle on which ones I want to try and just how far I’ll take this project.
I finally feel like I’m finding a focus for my artwork, which is such a wonderful feeling.