Saturday, February 17, 2018

Here are two new pages that I painted with watercolors in my interleaved Bible.

Psalm 1
 For both of these, I applied clear gesso to the page first.  I also tried using masking fluid to preserve some of the white of the paper.  I was afraid that removing the masking fluid might tear the thin pages, but they held up fine.  The clear gesso makes the page much more slick, so the paint slides around more.

We have a young niece who recently suffered a stroke and had to have surgery to relieve pressure on her brain.  She remains in the ICU.  I painted the next page for those who are anxious and worried about her.  Philippians 4:6-9 has gotten me through a lot of anxious times.

Philippians 4:6-9

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How to Paint a Bible Cover

The worship committee at my church asked if they could use my journaling Bible on the altar during the season of Lent.  I was honored...and decided to spruce up the paint-spattered black cover by painting it.

Since we live in a rural community in the North Carolina mountains, I decided to make my cover reflect our beautiful surroundings.

I looked on You Tube and Pinterest for any hints about how to prepare the cover for painting, and just plunged in.

First, I completely protected the pages with saran wrap.  Then I applied white gesso to all of the black  cover, and let it dry thoroughly.  I sanded some of the rough-textured areas.

Notice the saran wrap thoroughly protecting the Bible pages.
 I cut a piece of sketch paper the same size as the Bible cover (front and back) to make a sketch of my cover design.

Using the sketch paper, I made a rough drawing and painting of the mountain design.  I also tried out different white pens, inks, and markers on this paper to see if any would work on the acrylic paint.

Then, I got brave and applied acrylic paint to the actual Bible cover.

 Big Mistake!  I should have checked to see which way the pages were facing.  I painted my mountain scene upside down!

So, I painted over the green foliage and the sky and re-shaped the mountains.  A bit of the old sky became a lake at the bottom.

I added in the Christmas tree farm and darkened the central mountain to resemble Mount Jefferson.

I practiced the text on paper first to get it the size I needed.  After experimentation, the only white pen that worked was the Bic White-Out marker.  It was hard to control.  You have to squeeze the pen while you write.  I then outlined a shadow on the right and lower edges of the letters.  I added the cross as well.

Final step was to spray clear acrylic to protect the paint.  I used Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating 1303.. I recommend setting up a space outdoors for this step, because the fumes are strong. I kept the cellophane wrap on the pages and set the Bible on  the lid of a large Rubbermaid storage container.   I sprayed at least four coats, with long drying times in between.  I kept the Bible outside whenever it was not rainy for about three days to let the fumes wear off a bit.

Last night I delivered the Bible to the church at our Ash Wednesday service.  

I hope the paint will last.  I'm not too sure about the white text, as it is applied kind of thick, and may chip off.  If it does, I can always make a fabric cover!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentines' Day

Here is the card that I made for my husband's Valentine...a pair of love-birds!  We have enjoyed watching the cardinals and other songbirds at the feeders this winter.  And this afternoon, I enjoyed watching from my basement studio window as a chipmunk scampered around on the ground underneath the porch feeders.  

Sunday, February 11, 2018

More Bible Art

Last week a member of the Worship Committee at my church asked if they could use my journaling Bible on the altar during the season of Lent.  I am honored!  I have gotten busy adding art to the inside covers and some of the end pages.

Numbers 6:24-26

Inside front cover

Hebrews 1

Art on some of the back pages:  Sermon on the Mount

Pages where I sometimes experiment with pens
I am also attempting to paint the cover, which was plain black.  So far, I have covered it in white gesso.  I will try to do a step-by-step on the process of creating the cover.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Good News from Florida

We left for Florida last Monday to see Charlie's radiation oncologist for a six-month check-up.  I got my big cast off on Friday and was fitted with a Star Wars Storm Trooper boot just in time for the trip. With wheelchair service at the airport, I got along well on the trip from Greensboro to St. Petersburg.

We were nervous about the scans because of the recurrence of cancer last year, but everything looked good this time.  He goes back in six months for the next evaluation.

A big thumbs-up after his check-up at Dattoli Cancer Center in Sarasota!
We are so happy!
 The day after that, we had lunch in Punta Gorda with some other friends that we met at Dattoli last summer.  Bill and John just finished their long three phases of treatment in December and are doing well.  It was so good to visit with them again, as well as John's wife Beverly.   We spent many hours together last summer.

We stayed in Ft. Myers with my brother Jeff and his wife Anna for most of the week.  We had some nice visits with family while we were there.

I don't have much artsy or quilty to report.  Since we flew in and out of St. Pete, I would have loved to visit the Dali museum and Chihuly glass collection, but this was not the right time for gadding about with my cane and giant boot.  Maybe when we go back in July.

Meanwhile, Life is Good!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Journaling the Bible

Bible Art Journaling...a lovely past-time that combines spending time in The Word with pleasurable art activities! 

Here are some pages I have journaled during the past few months.

In my original Crossway Bible with two-inch lined margins on each page (ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (Black).

Matthew 25:14-30-The Parable of Talents

John 21:18  My reaction to being immobile due to ankle surgery

Habakkuk 3:19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet  like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places.

The page with the deer was inspired by the visitors outside my window during a recent snow event. The verse just happened to be referenced in my daily devotional Jesus Calling on January 18.

Since I have filled so many pages in my first Crossway journal, I purchased another one.  This time I bought the hard-cover interleaved version.( ESV Journaling Bible, Interleaved Edition, Cloth over Board, Tan)  There is a blank page next to every page of Scripture.  This allows for a full-page illustration without covering up any of the Scripture.  It is much heavier, but I enjoy the space provided for artwork.

Psalm 8-How Majestic is Your Name

My artwork on this page was inspired by a video lesson by Gina Lee Kim on (The Versatility of Blue).  It is done in watercolor with the addition of white acrylic paint.
Exodus 38:18
I also illustrated this page while the ground was covered with snow, and I was desperate to work with some bright colors!

Ezekiel 36:9  You shall be tilled and sown.

These pages were colored with Derwent Inktense pencils and softened with a water brush.  I find this is the easiest method to use outside of my studio, especially while confined to the couch.  The image is my version of VanGogh's Landscape with House and Ploughman.  I enjoy trying my hand and learning from paintings by the masters of art.  Coincidentally, Charlie brought home the handout from church that Sunday, and the theme of the sermon was "The Sower."

 I started Bible Art Journaling in February, 2016, when my husband was finishing up seven months of radiation treatment in Sarasota, Florida.  It was a stressful time.  I had been art journaling for about six years when I discovered by browsing Pinterest that people were journaling directly in their Bibles .  This immediately caught my attention, because I was using Scripture in some of my journaling already. 

I googled "Bible Art Journaling" and discovered the website of Rebekah R. Jones from Great Britain.  She has offered several free online workshops for Bible Journaling, with suggested verses, devotionals, and YouTube videos with art lessons to complete each page.  I began with the Original Bible Art Journaling Challenge, which was a weekly challenge in 2015.  All the archives are online on her page.  I tried to do these in order, and it was amazing how frequently the lessons featured scripture that was exactly what I needed to get me through that day.

A perfect example is this page, which followed the prompt for the day we met with Charlie's doctor at the end of his radiation treatment.  He was pronounced in remission that day.  I had done this page with colored pencils in the car on our 90-mile daily commute to the cancer center.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you, to give you a future and a hope.

Following the OBAJC, the next year Rebekah offered the series Heaven is Calling, a monthly challenge, and in 2017 Deeper Still.  That one is still ongoing since life interfered with her offering the monthly videos.  You can view the tutorials directly from You Tube (Rebekah R. Jones).

If you are interested in Bible Art Journaling, Rebekah's online challenges are a great place to begin. I really did not know that much about the Old Testament, but have learned so much from completing the lessons and doing further reading.  I have almost never followed her lessons on artwork, preferring to choose my own illustrations, but she has helped many new artists confidently produce beautiful Bible pages.

There is a wide array of journaling Bibles available from Amazon, Lifeway, or other book sellers.  Rebekkah offers advice on which one to choose on her website.  You can also journal on any Bible if you don't mind covering some of the text with your artwork.  Some people prefer to do Bible journaling in a conventional journal.

Now I often journal in response to the readings from Sunday church service or the Jesus Calling devotional.  Sometimes I search for a verse that might support my need for that day or just something that I feel like painting or drawing.

Good luck if you decide to try Bible Art Journaling.  Feel free to ask any questions via the comments.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Surprise! I'm Back!

Hello out there to any of my followers who might still remember me after a three-month absence from my blog.  We're still here...Charlie is doing a little better with his blood counts following his last radiation.  I had a total ankle replacement in Charlotte on January 9, which has left me in non-weight-bearing status since then.  We go back to Charlotte on January 26, and hopefully will get rid of the giant heavy cast and switch to a walking boot.

On Monday, January 29, we go back to Sarasota for Charlie's six-month check-up at Dattoli Cancer Center.  We are looking forward to the warmer weather and visiting with family who live down there.  We have had an exceptionally cold winter so far here in the North Carolina mountains, so it has been a good month to hibernate inside.  Even though I stay on the couch all day, I can see outside through our glass door and big windows.  Here are some visitors that I spied on one of the snow days.

I was really getting motivated to finish organizing my basement studio when deer season arrived, then  Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Had to add air beds downstairs for company and a table for a gift-wrapping station.  The painting side is in pretty good shape, but not the fabric/quilting area.  Maybe when we get back from Florida.

I did paint some winter scenes and a Christmas card before  I got laid up.

Snowy Woods
Snowy Woods was this year's Christmas card.

Light in the Forest
I started Light in the Forest four years ago.  One of my former workshop instructors, Karlyn Holman, wrote a step-by-step tutorial in Watercolor Artist magazine about creating a snowy woodland scene.  I did not like mine at all and put it aside.  Four years later I got some new ideas and am very happy with this luminous scene.  In fact, it is sold!

I have done a little art journaling, as well.  My brother Chris sent me a photo of a very angry screech owl he encountered while mowing his grass, and I tried to paint him.

Here are my last three journal pages for the Monthly Art Journal Challenge Group on Facebook.  The moderator always suggests a theme for the month.

November:  Glitter

It's a little-known fact that when my husband and I ride the Gator through a dark piny section of our mountain, he often quotes lines from this beloved Robert Frost poem to me.

December:  Poinsettias

Inspired by a watercolor painting on Pinterest

January:  the year 2018

I painted this luminous angel some time ago, but never finished the page.  I used a white Sharpie paint pen (extra fine point) to add the journaling, halo, and flower.

I have done quite a bit of Bible journaling while recuperating, and will post some of those pages next time.

Thank you to my sister-in-law Alice Turner for requesting that I start blogging again!  I needed a nudge!