Saturday, 29 November 2014



I haven't blogged one of my spiritual pages for some time, but as we are just about to come into the season of Advent it seemed an appropriate time.  This is a variation on Psalm 91 but with a feminine pronoun ... I guess you all know by now that I relate to a female God at times, which is perfectly legitimate since God is beyond gender. This has been a very helpful part of my inner life and one I have used for almost 30 years.

I don't usually draw things out in pencil first, but on this occasion wanted to work out the wings and feather placement by looking at images of real wings.
Then I went in with paint, and it was at this point I lost the centrality of the face above the wings, but what the heck.  This is just standard acrylic hobby paint over gesso, and then I outlined the features with a Posca paint pen and added some shading to the eyes with a marker.
And then I added the detail to the wings with the same Black Posca paint pen, and it got a tiny bit zentangly but I loved doing it.  I'd been waiting  all along and get out the gold pen and add elements such as the halo.  Somehow there always has to be gold in my spiritual pages, because I work and live with the idea that God is the seam of gold in all the mundane things of life.
The lettering was done with a white Posca pen, and then I just went to town with the gold and filled all the remaining space.  I'm slightly niggled that her face now seems offset, but not enough to go back and change it.
Advent Sunday tomorrow and the beginning of our celebration of the coming of the Light, always with the words "Give us Grace to cast away the works of darkness ...." lovely stuff.

PS Sorry this is brief - I have a cold in the head and am not doing joined up thinking ....


Saturday, 22 November 2014


These colours are just so JOYFUL aren't they - just splodging about with them made me smile and cheered me up, so I was working on this page and giggling to myself whilst doing it.  If I keep this up there may be doubts about my sanity!

Anyway, below you can see how it all began, acrylic paint in wide curving bands across the page, with a few shapes cut out from my collection of collage bits and pieces. Some of it is sections cut from colour copies taken from previous journals, and the rest is bits of magazines and other publications.  What I liked most about the page at this stage was the touches of red which really added something ....
So I added a few more reds - you might notice that the piece in the top left is redder than before.  I coloured it using my Promarkers, which is a great way to change cuttings to suit your purpose!  I was having fun with this, and had no particular theme or message in mind, and in the end I just wrote about how happy the colours made me.  The red spots were added with my Posca paint pen, which is wonderfully opaque and writes over anything.
And then the red spots sort of took over!  I admit there are rather a lot of them, but what the heck I was enjoying myself.
Sorry this is a rather brief post - we have had a new grandson this week and I have been somewhat distracted by this joyful news.

I also wanted to add these pictures which should have been included with last week's post, which shows the difference adding water makes to Caran d'Ache Neocolour crayons.
On the left is what the page looks like when you've scribbled with the crayons, and on the right you can see what happens when you add water!!  Perhaps this demonstrates just why I love them so much - alchemic magic!!

Monday, 10 November 2014


This ended up being a cry from the heart - and one I didn't know was in there until it came out!!  I was just playing around with my Neocolour II crayons as you can see below.  I MADE myself pick up an assortment of colours, because usually once I pick up a blue for example, I reach for other blues, or greens in the same spectrum.  I'm trying to teach myself that more colour is even better, and if they clash that's good too!  The lady in the corner just got added for no good reason, which is why she looks a bit random down there.  She is!
And then I started drawing on the top with a fine black Posca paint pen - I've recently moved away from all other black pens to use this one practically all the time.  It gives a very intense and solid black and although its not possible to get a really fine one (I think this is 0.7) the effects I get with it more than make up for that. Best of all it writes over ANYTHING!
The pink circle in the top left corner is cut from a copy of a journal page, and so is the bottom left shape.  One these were glued down I began to doodle shapes and patterns on top, still with absolutely no idea where this was going - I just put stuff down because I liked it!  I do believe its possible to over-think art journalling and obsess about what to put down, and where, and why.  This is me just going with the flow, and it the result is a bit random that's OK because in the end the process is what I'm about as much as the finished page.

But then, out of my depths popped this heartfelt statement .... literally a cri de coeur, which absolutely NEEDED to be got down on paper.  Its something I've worried about and prayed over endlessly, and you might like to know how I've eventually resolved it?
I'm a great fan of Kaffe Fasset's patterns and tapestry, and in my spiritual journey have come to believe that the entire universe and everything in it makes a pattern of glorious colour and complexity.  Every stitch is exactly where its meant to be, and essential to the whole, but its easy to forget that in our little lives we only see a tiny part of the tapesty, so that often the pattern doesn't make sense because we can't see it all.  That doesn't mean that the pattern isn't there, or that we aren't part of it, or that it isn't beautiful, because it IS.

So in the end that's what I had to remember .... that although the pattern for my life isn't visible I'm a beautiful part of it, meant to be exactly where I am, and it all makes sense to the One who made it all. On the other hand, if she'd like to show me just a tiny bit more .... maybe it would make better sense? No?  OK, I get it - we aren't meant to know ..... sigh.

Sunday, 2 November 2014


Having lived in vicarages for the last 35 years (mainly old, cold and beyond our means to heat) we've never actually owned a house, and now that we're in our sixties its becoming a concern.  As you know I always work out my worries in my art journal, and that's why I made this page.  There's something about putting things down on paper and naming them that helps to sort them out!

I didn't actually know it was going to be a cri de coeur at the time, but I wanted to make a page in monochrome shades so I began as you see below with a simple coat of grey paint and a spot of gesso on some bubble wrap.  I like to use expensive art materials!
Then I made a border around the page using scraps of this and that, mainly culled from magazines. Again, very expensive collage stuff!  These are the sorts of techniques I go with when I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing with a page - just paint a background and put a border around it.  Sometimes it will stay like that for a while ... but I almost always come back to it eventually.
As you can see, at this stage it sort of needed something - so I chose to add some touches of red, and that really livened it up!  I had liked the orangey feather when I stuck it down, but it definitely looks better coloured red with a Promarker - I often use these to change the colours of collage elements.  If I want to blot something out (like a pattern or writing) then my wonderfully opaque posca paint pens are the best for this.
It was coming across the word "where" in my collage cuttings box that produced the cry from the heart "where are we going to live".  Now of course know that I should have faith and trust in God's provision, but sometimes (like most people) I have a bit of a wobble.  That's what happened here.
And then it was a matter of finishing off with the final details.  You might notice that I actually outlined the edge of the border to give it more definition, and I used small black dots as shading. This is actually quite a simple page, technically speaking, but its not always necessary to use ambitious techniques - the main thing for me is getting the thoughts and feelings down on paper.

I am now back to trusting Herself Upstairs for the future, but I have been mentioning lately that something with no stairs would be a great blessing ......