A Radiant Church

Hello, friends! Come with me inside my heART journal. Today’s project is about the beautiful mystery between Christ and His church. In Ephesians chapter 5, this relationship is described within the context of marriage. Husbands are instructed to love their wives, “as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy”. Words jumped off today’s page, speaking this truth to me. So I chose Ephesians 5:27, “to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” as my main verse.

I started this time with a pencil, outlining words that stood out to me. Next, I painted over everything else with a coat of gesso and then ecru acrylic paint. Here’s a shot of this in progress:


And a close up, so you can see the words,

Step2close up words

The words together created a mental image of Christ and His church rising. The top of the page has “his father, heir, began to rise” and in the center “lovely, great, marriage, her husband, was entirely, became his wife, together, restore, and welfare of mankind”.   Jesus established the church through His death on the Cross and HIs resurrection from the dead. Jesus is the heir that God the Father appointed over all things. He has seated Him high above all powers and authority. The church is His bride, rising to join with Him in the restoration of the world. Hebrews 12:23 says we are part of the “church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven”.

Next, I sketched a simple church with some windows and a steeple. I added some Naples yellow (my favorite color!) to the windows, and then collaged the words from the Nicene Creed over the actual building. I tore these from an old hymnal. Here are some pics of these steps:

Step 3


Next, I painted over the collage words with titanium white. I decided to apply some through a brick stencil with my finger in places too. Here is a shot that shows the brick:

Step 5 paint and stencil

I then applied some color to the background with Lindy’s stamp gang sprays . Except I didn’t spray them, I poured a little into a palette and applied with a brush. I used crimson and teal from their Starburst collection. These are cool because they have a gold-like shimmer within them to add effect. I ended up applying some gold and white acrylic paint as well, ending up with this (top image with the Lindy’s only, bottom with the added acrylics):

Step 6 background

Step 7 (whole)

I also started staining the door with Tim Holtz distress stain in vintage photo. The door ended up being this combined with a black stabilo pencil and some of the ecru acrylic until I was reasonably happy with the depth, shadows, and highlights.  Same on the church building. I also outlined windows and the church with very watered down black acrylic. I did this while the white was still damp do I ended up with some grays too, which created nice shadows. Here is a closer up:

Step 8 (contrast)

I used stamps to add part of Ephesians 5:27. Then I used black and white gel pens to create details around the windows and on the door. I outlined all the words with the stabilo pencil and wrote over the words with the black gel pen so you can see them better. One of the details I really liked about this was the placement of the words, “in one Lord Jesus Christ”. Jesus is the cornerstone of the church, and these words ended up looking like a cornerstone on my building:

Step 9 (close up)

One more detail to mention: I have a stamp with the Lord’s prayer. I dabbed just a line of it into brown stamp ink and applied it all over my church building. I liked this effect! I also stamped a sun in orange and then painted over it with a yellow, shimmer watercolor. Finally, I used the side of an old credit card dipped in crimson stamp ink to make the border edging around my page.  Here is a shot of how everything came together:

Step 10 contrast

I added some effects to my final picture, just for fun. Here is a close up of “restore” with the cornerstone, and some lighting:

Just for fun

I can’t decide which one I like the best. See what you think between these:

#1 effects 3


effects 6


effects 9

Leave me a comment to let me know which is your favorite!

Celebrating today that I am a part of Christ’s body, His glorious and radiant church. I thank Jesus for His work in establishing His bride. Your Kingdom come, Lord, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. “To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:21)

9 thoughts on “A Radiant Church

  1. Thanks, Carla :) It is fun to share the process with other artists-friends. :)

  2. Thanks, Kim! Wow, a whole year on Ephesians??! That is a long time for a 6 chapter book! But I love the book….good stuff. :)

  3. I like #1 also!
    This is beautiful! Our church LITERALLY spent the last YEAR studying Ephesians!..the WHOLE YEAR! 😉

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