Monday, January 25, 2016

Painting for Fun and scripture art

Often when I tell people I'm an artist, or that I painted all day, they say, "Oh, how relaxing, or how fun!" But the reality is, when you paint as your full time job, or try to make it generate an income, it's not always fun and relaxing. Just like a regular job, you have deadlines, plus an aching back and feet, ruined clothes, and a very messy house.  And for me, there is another factor-- you see, I am a recovering perfectionist. For a very long time I wouldn't even attempt to pick up a paint brush, much less sell my art, because I couldn't make my art look like the idea I had in my head, or like someone else's art that I had decided was worthy. So, I didn't even try. Old habits die hard. That voice in my head comes back anytime I attempt to create something out of my comfort zone, like for instance, a commissioned piece of art. But as an artist, you have to learn to keep challenging yourself.

Still though, in between projects,  I have to paint just for me. I paint in the colors I love, and paint things that don't stress me out, like hearts and flowers and crosses. I let my style be loose and free and enjoy the process. And since I love having scripture scattered throughout my house, I usually include some of my favorite verses. It wasn't until I learned to paint that way, that it became fun for me. I guess that is when you discover your own style, and those are the days I love my job. Some days, when I'm feeling critical of myself, wishing my style was more like someone else's, I have to remind myself that then it wouldn't be my art, and I probably wouldn't still be painting, much less trying to earn a living from it.

So I hope you enjoy some of the pieces I created over the past week. It was a fun week of painting. Maybe they will bless your home or bring a smile to someone's face. These pieces will be available at the Painted Tree Vintage market this weekend. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Original Valentine's Day gifts for the special people in your life

It's only one month until Valentine's Day. I know personally, I hate buying generic cards these days because they are so expensive and impersonal, and flowers and chocolate don't last. (Ok, I can't honestly say I don't love getting chocolate) But what about giving a piece of art that your loved one can enjoy all year round? 

I now have 5 x 7 prints of these original mixed media works on paper available in my Etsy shop for $12. If you sign up for my newsletter, you will receive a 25% off discount code-- and shipping is FREE.  Sign up for my newsletter HERE.

Each original piece is professionally printed with archival ink on a 110 pd archival stock. They look so cute on a clipboard frame or placed in a ready made frame with a white matte. They come packaged in a clear cellophane art bag with a cardboard backing, so you could even just pop a bow on the package and it's ready to give.  Check out my Etsy Shop HERE to see all the designs.

Bible Journaling Event at Lifeway Christian Bookstore

By chance, while I was on Lifeway Christian Bookstore's website the other day, I noticed they had a free Bible journaling event taking place at all their locations, so I decided to stop by the store in my area. It turned out to be a great event and totally blessed my morning. I think it was totally a God-ordained appointment for me. I met so many wonderful women, and we received two instructional books with samples, plus we got to try out a lot of the supplies they have available for Bible Journaling. I found a new pen, that I actually had never tried before, and loved it. (tried microns before, but never the Graphic line) I was also excited to see their collection of Journaling Bibles in a variety of translations. It seems like when I ordered mine a couple years ago, ESV was the only option. There is also a Lifeway App for your phone that offers a 40% off coupon!

I've always doodled and taken notes in my Bible - much to the dismay of certain people in my family who still think you should not "trash" your Bible- but I really love the Bible journals because they have the extra space in the outside margins. The Bible I am working on now is going to be a graduation gift for my oldest daughter. She graduates next year, so hopefully I can have it completed in time. Then I will start on one for my middle daughter, and hopefully by the time all three of my girls graduate, they will have their own Bible from mom, and I will have visually ingrained a lot of scripture into my head :) That is the best way for me to learn and remember. (Psalm 119:11)

If you are intimidated by the creative side of this concept, just do the old fashioned written journal, and write out your prayers, notes, etc. You can even use pretty washi tapes to insert special keepsake items into your Bible. I know my sister got one of my grandmother's Bibles, and it was so impactful to read her comments and insight into scripture she had scratched out in the small margins.

 There are two online artists that really introduced me to Bible Journaling about a year and a half ago. Stephanie Ackerman with Documented Faith, and Shanna Noel with Illustrated Faith. I have taken an online course from Stephanie Ackerman, and I would highly recommend it. My handwriting is not my favorite thing, but I continue to practice and practice. Stephanie's course really showed me the basics and some helpful tips.

I believe the Lifeway store is expanding their Bible journaling line, so if this is all new to you you might go browse their store (and no, I'm not getting paid to say that). I just have grown so much in my Bible knowledge by incorporating it into a God given passion of mine. I post post some of my daily Bible journaling entries on my Instagram. You can follow me HERE. Or to see some really amazing entries out there, take a look on Pintrest. There are so many ideas out there!


Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Art journaling about God's rich blessings

I've just started reading the book of Ephesians-it's one of my favorite books that I always refer back to when I need to be reminded of God's amazing grace. I've been stuck on Ephesians 1 & 2 the past few days. I love to think of how God lavishes his gifts on us. This morning, I made a list of all the benefits listed in these two chapters, and wanted to share them with you. 

Gives us every Spiritual blessing
Glorious grace
Holy Spirit in us
Immeasurable greatness of His power
Immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness
Access to the Father
Citizenship in the household of God
God's dwelling place

Wow! Pretty amazing and humbling. I love how specific these chapters are, and the rich wording. Are you experiencing these gifts? They are free to all of us. We can come to him with nothing except our ugly bags of sin, and he replaces them with shiny, beautiful, pure gifts. And the amazing part to me is that He knows we will keep trying to drag the ugly bags along with us, but He continues to lavish gifts on us anyway. How easily I forget...I  have everything I need to have all these things on a daily basis. I hope this blesses you this morning, like it did me. If you don't know Jesus as your Savior, or are not sure about all He offers us when we trust Him, take a look at these promises.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Valentine's Day cards and gifts that will be keepers

Just thought I'd give you a sneak peak of a couple of new prints I will have in my Etsy Shop for Valentine's Day. I can't wait till January 14 to show you the entire line. 

These will be 5 x 7 print of my original mixed media artwork. They are the perfect size to put in an inexpensive ready-made frame and give as a gift, or just pop a ribbon on the nice cellophane packaging and use as a card. These are professionally printed with archival ink on a heavy archival 110 pound stock with a coated finish. Perfect for your spouse, friend, teacher, Sunday school teacher, Bible study leader, or neighbor. They will bring encouragement all year long.

These are only $12 and I'm offering free shipping. If you join my newsletter email list, you will also get a bonus discount code and be the first to see the new line this week. 

Sign up HERE for my mailing list.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Shaving cream snowman art lesson with tutorial

This post has been one of my most popular lessons that I have shared. I still get hits on this post everyday, and I originally posted it over three years ago. Since we had our first snow yesterday here in Northwest Arkansas, I thought I'd share it again for my new readers. It's such a fun project and has such great results.

2012-Since we didn't get enough snow this year to build a snowman, I thought it would be fun to take some snow to my daughter's class with this fun project. I've seen lots of different recipes and suggestions online about how to make puffy paint out of shaving cream and glue, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I bought three cans of shaving cream at the dollar store, and it was more than enough for 18 students to create a snowman on an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of construction paper. Since these were first graders, and I had limited time, so I pre cut the hat, eyes, nose, and scarves.

We divided into 3 groups of 6 and let each group make their own bowl of snow by filling up their bowl with shaving cream...

And then squirting a bunch of glue on top and mixing. So fun... and messy!

Most of the "recipes" I read online called for equal parts of glue and shaving cream. We just added enough to give it a firmer, sticky texture.

Drew our "B" with white crayon for the body, off the side of the page (perspective).

Smoothed on the snow with small spoons and then topped with glitter. The snowflakes were made with q-tips and white paint.

Then stuck all the details into our snowman.

I always love to incorporate literature into fun projects like this. Just as simple as reading a book before doing the lesson. This would even be a fun project to do at home with preschoolers.

Here's some great recommendations for snowman books that would go well with this project.

I was very pleased with this lesson...cute results, the kids had a blast, and it was a fun way to incorporate a lot of different learning ideas. My daughter's class just finished studying the weather so this tied in with their unit perfectly.

WARNING: This project is VERY messy : )

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Arkansas Artists Exhibit and sale on Just Be wall art decor Print

The Arkansas Arts Council 2016 Small Works on paper exhibit kicked off in Batesville this past week. Now in its 29th year, Small Works on Paper is a juried visual art exhibition that showcases artwork no larger than 18 x 24 inches by Arkansas artists who are members of the Arkansas Artist Registry. The Small Works on paper exhibition travels to 10 venues throughout the state in a yearlong show. You can see the touring schedule HERE. I am so honored that my above mixed media piece, Just Be, was selected for the exhibit.

This original piece is mixed media on paper and has multiple layers of paint, ink and papers, vibrant colors and heavy texture. In 2015, God really impressed on me to just "Be". I guess "Be" kind of became my word for the year. 

I love Psalm 46:10. "He says, be still and know that I am God..." As I meditated on this verse, I was convicted time and time again to be still, be present or just be in the moment. These are all real daily struggles for me. It's so hard for me to "Be Still", especially in my time with the Lord. Not only do I think I need to be doing something all the time, but even if I do sit still, my mind is still in overdrive. Another struggle for me is to "Be present." I know I'm great about being with my family and friends and making them a priority, but more often than not my mind is somewhere else. I'm good at dreaming or thinking about the next thing on my list, when I need to just "Be" with who is in front of me. This also goes hand in hand with learning to "Be" in the moment. I tend to look ahead and anticipate the next thing, whether it's a stage in life or an event, instead of just enjoying the present moment. All these thoughts inspired this painting and help me to remember to "Just Be". Hope you enjoy and maybe you need this little reminder to "Just Be" everyday like I do.

The original piece is for sale (you have to wait till the end of the exhibition to get it), but I'm also offering limited prints through my Etsy Shop. As you can see, this artwork looks great framed and matted out in white. It is perfect to brighten up any bedroom, nursery, bathroom or office. And since they are the perfect size to fit into a ready made frame, they make a great gift. The print is approximately 8.5" x 8.5" and is professionally printed with fade resistant 19 pt. Savoy Cotton archival paper and ink.

To celebrate the kick off of the exhibit, I'm offering a 20% discount to my readers, through the end of February. Use code JUSTBE20 at checkout. Click HERE to purchase this print.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Angel Painting Wall Decor Sale

All mixed media angel paintings on canvas in my Etsy Shop are 25% off until Monday. Also free shipping in the U.S.

Click HERE to link directly to my Etsy Shop.

Have a Great Weekend!

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