You know how it’s just the coolest thing in the world to get a brand new box of crayons, open the lid, and take a good whiff?
Isn’t “new crayon smell” the easiest transport technique to connecting with our way-back childhood? That–and glue. And, the sound of a zippered pencil case. And the sensation of a clean slice of drawing paper or–better yet–colored construction paper between your fingers!
Not to mention, the feel of scissors in your hand! I don’t mean the baby kind, but those long thin sheers with the pointy ends that empowered you to completely transfigure the scope of your arts and crafts creations as a graduate to “big kid” scissors.
In short, I joyfully regress when I step into the hallowed halls of a craft store–where sits upon the shelves in endless rows, the stuff of which my dreams are made. They are the invaluable tools to take the pictures I see in my imagination and materialize them into tangible realities.
For me, crayons, glue, pencils, paper, and scissors were the first keys on my chatelaine to make me mistress of all things artsy/craftsy.
Magic markers entered the scene at some point, and glitter, of course. Add to that watercolor paints, tempera paints, clay, and eventually private art class where I skipped into the world of pastels, India inks, and oil painting.
These days, though, I have been learning to unlock the incredible worlds of online vintage images, scrap images, and random mixed media of “found treasures” where few rules apply as to how to arrange your mish-mash collection of cuttings and curiosities onto a canvas–or a journal page.
That’s where the WORDS come in.
For me, image and words come together most forcefully when married on the same page. Text and illustration.
For decades I’ve done this very thing with the writing, producing, directing, and performance of my plays on the stage. They begin as random ideas in my imagination. A thought. A concept. A line of words. Soon, a character emerges. A tangible prop or random costume found at a thrift store begins to knit sinew and flesh upon her. Story births, giving her a place to walk and work out the big picture. Eventually, I have the joy of taking her to full term with a team of actors and stage hands, bringing my words and images alive for an audience.
BUT–my journal . . . is mine own.
I have plenty of them filled with longhand words on lines. Some have embellished words and sketched images for a slice of visual appeal. This year, though, I am building a new wing on my journal estate as a very special repository of my thoughts and the caretaker of my experience: An Art Journal.
I’ve been preparing this journal page by page with some of my favorite vintage images and found treasures–or fragment left-overs of other projects. Tossed together like orphan puzzle pieces, random clippings and curiosities create a whole new landscape of sagacity, serenity and ministry for soul and spirit.
Tossed together like orphan puzzle pieces, random clippings and curiosities create a whole new landscape of sagacity, serenity and ministry for soul and spirit.
On these pages, I will record very select words and hide away the most intimate of “love letter” Scripture verses as I hear them from my Lord’s heart. It will not be a journal for dumping a litany of days or my august conclusions of one situation or another. It will not contain rants or discouraging words.
It will, however, be a chronicle of choice cuts from the fabric of my Father’s love as He pours it out to me this year. I am, in essence, preparing for rain by creating a place wherein I can bottle each Divine droplet, holding them fast for the perpetual slaking of thirst in days of drought.
And, don’t we all have droughty days? His goodness pours liberally and sufficient. We tend to miss that central truth of our faith when faced with wells run dry. I have found, in my own life, that my dry wells are largely to be blamed upon my lack of preparation in the days of rain.
Can’t do that these days, you know. Not with the blare of world headlines and local battlegrounds and lions roaring about seeking whom they may devour in our own backyards. We are hearing lots of words and seeing lots of images out there. I need to be choosing carefully what cuts I’ll collect in the journal of my mind and heart. Cutting out the “precious” and disposing of the “vile” makes me a worthy representative of Christ in this parched earth.
Now, more than ever, I turn the key to unlock that new crayon box of transfiguration. I run with my scissors to the Secret Place where is stored all I need to form and fold and glue tight Truths to secure and save me from vain imaginings. My journal is becoming a thing of beauty–a joy forever–for the words and images it houses are delivered to the hiding place of my heart direct from His heart. Within its pages, I can soak in His cleansing, healing, refreshing rains, and walk in newness of mind with an empowered spirit.
My art journal this year is not about me. It’s about Him–my Lord and my God–He who gave me the creative keys to living each day in His Word and His Way, no matter the circumstances. It’s sort of like those Memorial Stones I wrote about last fall–marking Divine encounters with the Lord and His purposes by constructing a memorial that can be visually seen and physically touched.
In this case–my journal is the Lord’s love letter to me, and more. It is His “marching orders for such a time as this” set in stone with His artistic signature flourish. His words to me this year made flesh . . . with paper and scissors and crayons and glue and ink and random curiosities to hold in my hand and heart. To give words to my mouth and purpose to my steps.
As I drink deep from the record of such a precious well, I’ll walk with God . . . and speak His Mind.
Sharing Collected Clippings: Cutting It for My Art Journal this week with:
Judith at Whole Hearted Wednesdays
Tell His Story with Jennifer Dukes Lee
Lyli at Thought Provoking Thursdays at 3D Lessons 4Life
Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party
Laura on Faith Filled Friday at Missional Women
Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger
Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays
My Fresh Brewed Life with Barbie – Weekend Brew
Janis at Sunday Stillness