I tried something new yesterday I am excited to share with all of you. For the first time, I chronicled the progress of my art/prayer time. I took pictures of each step so I could share with you how a project progresses, and how God speaks personally to us through creative time. This is SO exciting!!!
This is the first in a new series I hope to write/post about on a regular basis. I am going to create a new page on my website for these posts. I think I am going to call the page, “My heART journal”. I will post an update once that is ready so you can find these posts. Then, like my artwork, these will be easily accessible anytime for anyone interested in learning more about the artistic process and how God can use that time when we are open to His lead!
Today’s project, “A Rainbow is a Promise”.
My art journal is an actual book I picked up at a used book store. It is a nature themed book with pictures and words already printed in its pages. I begin an art/prayer time by putting on some worship music and turning to a random page. For this project, I picked the first page in the month of June. This book is divided into nature by monthly themes, and since it is the beginning of June, it seemed the right place to start.
I started with some masking tape, and randomly tearing small strips, began to tape over the pages. This creates texture on the page that I paint over. As I tape, I notice any words that jump out at me from the page. I don’t over-think this part. It is sort of a prayer, silent time where I am listening to any word or phrases God wants to bring to my attention. The words that stood out to me here were “radiantly”, “praise”, “charming after the rain”, and “was always life”. I taped around these words, carefully leaving them exposed.
The words made me think of the story of Noah when God put a rainbow in the sky after the flood. I stopped here and went to my Bible to read Genesis chapters 8 and 9. I recorded a couple key verses for later (Genesis 9:13, 16).
Then I picked two contrasting paint colors to create a background. Since I was planning to do something with a rainbow, I thought it would be a sky, and so I picked two different blues. I used acrylic paint watered down and applied it with a brayer. Here are a couple pictures of this step:
Then I took my journal outside with one of my favorite stencils and some gold spray paint. I wanted this to look like the sun shining. Here is how it turned out:
Next I wanted to write the verse I selected from Genesis over the paint. I hoped it would be a pretty part of the background in the finished project. However, I had a couple problems at this step. I found that even with a layer of paint, I couldn’t get anything to write over the masking tape. Even if I wrote lightly, it removed the paint and exposed the tape. So I put a layer of gloss varnish over the top and dried it quickly with my heat embossing tool. I thought the gloss would give my sun more shine. But it still wasn’t the best thing to pick for writing over. In my mind, this step would have been a pretty scripted writing across the background. But the technical issues combined with the fact that I have terrible handwriting, led to this instead:
Pretty ugly, right? I think this safely dispels the myth that all artists have pretty handwriting. As you can see, clearly I don’t. This is why I stamp or stencil! But this is only meant to be part of the background. You will see very little of this when I am done. But I know it is there, and it gives my art journal page meaning.
Next I took some white paint and sponged it all over to create clouds. See, problem solved. Voila!
Much better. Next, the rainbow. I decided to use watercolors for this because I wanted it to have some transparency so you can see the clouds through it. I wanted it to be large across both pages to tie the composition together. Here’s a shot of that, and a close up so you can see how the words “radiantly” and “praise” look into the rainbow. It is as if it says the rainbow itself is a radiant display of God’s glory and a cause for praise. Love that!
Noah had sent out a dove to check for dry land after the flood. The dove returned with an olive branch which let know Noah it was safe to come out of the ark. I decided next I wanted to add a dove. I googled an image of a bird and sketched it freehand from looking at it. Then painted it with acrylics, a little watercolor for shadow, and fine point markers for the branch details. The bird ended up being my favorite part of the whole page. Here’s a picture, see what you think:
I also outlined the words with a black stabilo pencil. I decided to stamp some words above and on the rainbow. I came up with “A rainbow is a promise there is beauty” an this goes with the words “after rain” on the other page and “was always life”. I ended up painting the word “Beauty” with gold paint overlaid with a white gel pen to give it more “pop”. The stamped verse got buried in the rainbow. Finally, I decided we needed some plant life in the right corner. I used green paints with the sponge to create a grassy hill. I just bought a new circle stamp that kind of looks like I flower, so I stamped it in orange and then painted the centers med yellow. I put a reference to the verse and my initials inside the flowers as a finishing touch. Here is my final image. I added a digital border and an overlay of a flower pattern using a photo editor. I liked the added effect, see what you think:
I am discovering I really like playing around with digital effects in my art. I see it kind of like a musician adds reverb and sound effects when playing live music. I love trying different overlays, borders, vintage tints, etc. I think this is becoming part of my “style” (if I have a definable style even).
Well, friends, that’s a wrap on my art/prayer journal time. “A rainbow is a promise there is beauty after rain”. A visual way to remember the story of Noah and the covenant made through the rainbow. I liked the bird so much I decided to create a digital image of it separately just for fun. Here’s the result:
Thanks for coming along with me through my heART journal. Be blessed today, and keep watch for those rainbows.