Monday, 27 February 2017

Under the tree

Lent is approaching, a season of spending time under the tree, a time of prayer and contemplation.

Lent is usually seen as the season for putting things down - we give up sugar or chocolate or coffee or (fill in the blank) - but it can also be the season of picking things up. This year our congregation is being encouraged to put a little money aside each day through Lent e.g. if they are giving up their daily trip to the coffee shop, put that money aside. On Easter Sunday we will collect that money together and buy sanitary products for homeless and disadvantaged women which will be distributed through our local network of shelters, soup kitchens etc.

Something that we can easily take for granted can be a luxury to others. So don't just give something up this Lent - take something up as well.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

30 day journey journal- prompt 3: unknown

This page is part of a 30 day journal, but I'm taking my time and not pressurising myself to do each prompt in a day. I guess for me it will be a 30 prompt journal instead, but that's okay.

This 3rd prompt is: Unknown. "It may be that when we no longer now what to do, we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey."  Wendell Berry.

When I come to the end of myself, then I can truly listen. When I come to the end of all my own ideas, maybe I'll hear what I'm really supposed to do. I can have a hundred ideas and leap at them all, but until I can take a leap into the unknown, trusting that God has it all in hand, I haven't really begun the journey at all.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Redbubble shop!

So excited to announce that I have opened a Redbubble shop! Find me here. I hope to be adding more designs soon. For the moment there are three. The one above, and these two:

You can get these designs on phone cases, cushions, mugs, and much more. Go take a look :)

Sunday, 19 February 2017

30 day journal - journey

Lisa Sonora does 30 days of journal prompts on a regular basis. This time the subject is 'Journey'. This seemed particularly appropriate for me at this time. Although the idea is to do a prompt a day, as I have other things on the go at the moment, I am saving the prompts and working through them at my own pace.

This is the first one - Journey. "There is only one journey. Going inside yourself." Rainer Maria Rilke.

What does 'going inside yourself' look like? To me this speaks of a journey to the heart. What is my heart like? "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34) I am blessed to be fed by inspiration, grace, and love which I hope will cause lifelong growth. Is that what flows out of me? I don't want a stale heart that is hard and stagnant. I am called to be fruitful on this journey called life, so what direction will the next leg take me in?

This could be an interesting journal...

Thursday, 16 February 2017


Normally for Paint Party Friday I will pick out a page that I've done recently that I'm pleased with. Be honest - we all want to put our best foot forward when we're sharing our work :) But this week I'm showing a page I don't particularly like, because it still tells me something.

The journalling reads: I get a little wrinkled when people are disorganised.

In the last few weeks I've come up against several situations where, if people were a bit more organised, things would go along a lot more smoothly. As you can probably guess from this, I like to be organised.

So what does this page tell me?
1. I don't like it. It's bitty and not of a piece. One could say it's disorganised.
2. The piece of collage on the right just above where I've journalled is a photo of some pleated fabric. It talks to me of how I feel when I run up against disorganised people - a bit wrinkled and bent out of shape.
3. The butterfly tells me of how I don't like to flit about like a butterfly brain.
4. The blue circle, once I put the little white marks on it, reminded me of a life-belt that you might throw off a ship. I like things ship-shape.

So don't discard those pieces of art that you don't like. They might be telling you something.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Blotting out the view

Sometimes our feelings blot out the view.

I'm going to be candid here. If you've visited this blog for a while, you will know that I am an introvert, and quite a way along that scale. When we have visitors, it takes a lot out of me. When we have visitors for a month, I'm ready to move out after week 3. Unfortunately, being an introvert also means that I rehearse a lot of things in my head, imagining scenarios so that I'm ready for them. Having had visitors for this length of time before, I remember the feelings of exhaustion and of just wanting my own space back.

But thinking of those things before people even arrive can blot out the good stuff.

I need to put aside those feelings aside and just enjoy the parts I can. Yes, it will get difficult. Yes, we'll all be relieved when it's over - ourselves AND the visitors. But there are opportunities to connect with family who live on the other side of the world, who we only usually contact through Skype, Facetime, or over the phone.

We get to grow because we get to show love and grace.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Grain to bread

When I started this page, I thought the brown ovals were going to be stones, but as it developed they started to look like loaves to me. And when I highlighted some of the chevrons from the piece of gelli-printed greaseproof paper over on the right, I suddenly had some wheat as well.

Hmmm. Loaves and wheat. There's something to be said here.

You can't really see the journalling on this page very well in a photo. It's down the green stripe where it overlaps the top 'loaf'. It reads: How are you going to turn the grain into bread? How will your gifts feed others?

It's all very well to have wheat, but if it is ground into flour it becomes so much more versatile. It can be used to feed people. My gifts can be practiced, but unless I am using them to impact others, what use are they? Yes, my art practice is for self-care - and that is extremely important. But I find so much more satisfaction when I can share what I have learned with others. When I have told people about art journalling, shown them some techniques, and they take it away for themselves, changing their self-care practice, then I am fed and so are they, not just that day, but into the future.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

It's hot!

What can I say - it's hot! 42C for 2 days running, and 39C slated for today. Guess that's why I'm reaching for reds as they match what I'm feeling. So, a short post as it's just too hot to do anything but sit in the air con. Besides, the paint just dries on your brush before you can get it to the page. I'll have to swap over to other media that work better in the heat. Now, what do I have that might work...

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Come rain, come shine

This is another of those pages I've done for the Art Marks challenge and posted on instagram. (#artmarks30daychallenge). The background was a mishmash of brayering and gelli-printing. The flower is a hand-carved stamp.

Once I'd finished with all the mark-making, it occurred to me that there was sunshine and there was rain, both above the flower. Perhaps a reminder that, come rain, come shine, we should bloom.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

making marks

I've been participating in Rae Missigman's Art Marks Challenge. I haven't done pages for it every day, but have enjoyed using some different materials and finding which are my go-to marks. 

This page already had pattern on it and had been sitting there for a few months, so I pushed myself further by adding marks, and I really love the result. The many layers work together, affecting each other as they build up, altering the colours, or making new shapes and patterns. They reminded me of how life is built up of many layers as each person we interact with adds their own pattern to our lives. 

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Look for the water

It's been a little while since I filmed a time-lapse video. I find myself a bit under pressure when I film because there is no editing involved - it's all done in the camera - so the page has to be done in one go, no huge pauses as I wander away and do something else while things dry. I guess it's a little like Rae Missigman's 15 minute exercise. I tend to use what is within reach, otherwise the camera may shake as I walk across the room (it's suspended from a microphone stand by a gorilla tripod and sensitive to movement).

I had no idea where this was going. I just grabbed whatever was around and set to work. Once the blue was on there, I had some journalling to add. The reds and yellows of the rest of the page remind me of the Australian desert colours. It's a hot page, so the cool blue ribbon through the middle is refreshing. It reminds me to look for refreshment no matter what else might be going on in my life; to be deliberate about seeking out the water even in the desert wilderness.

Linking with Paint Party Friday and Art Journal Journey where the theme is '50 shades of red'