Hi everyone!

Thanks for coming to my blog, it's where I share my passions of Art & Faith and all that comes from that.  This week I have been following Sheila Atchley's class "Let us Make" on Jeanne Oliver's Ning site and it is incredible!  She is such a beautiful heart, full of such wonderful words of wisdom and to top that off... she's such a talented artist!  

I will be honest with you, I don't usually take classes.  NOT that I am this talented artist b/c I am NOT.  But it's because of my own desire to, in my own art,  not copy anyone else.  But something tugged at my heart when I saw Sheila's class and so I talked to Jeanne and told her what I was feeling.  She totally gets where I'm coming from b/c we had just talked about it when I was at her house last week, but she thought it would be fun if I took the class and interpreted it through Bible Journaling... which she knows I am passionate about!

So that is what I am doing and it has been SO fun.  The first few minutes of Sheila's class she delves into Genesis 1 and WOW... her depth and wisdom made me write about 2 pages of notes!  You really can't help fall in love with this lady's heart for the Word of God and her fun personality too!  I feel a teaching for Italy coming on... :)

(If you're new here, I have an Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Bellagio, Italy each year... and you are WELCOME to join us...)

I thought I would blog a little about the classes and let you see how I have been inspired to do them IN my bible.  Now Sheila's class is in-depth and she has a list of art supplies and goes through each one and shows you step-by-step how to create these beautiful pieces she has created!  But with the very thin and almost transparent pages of a bible I have had to change things a bit and use different products to achieve a similar effect.  So I want to show you what I have done and give you some ideas and products you can try when you are bible journaling.

These are the basic steps I use for every page I create in my Bible.

Step 1: Always prep your pages before you start.  I wish I could say that I have done this each and every time, but I forget... and when I forget I am not happy about it because it usually ends up in having the artwork show through to the back page.  

This is very easy to do but really important, so try to remember... (unlike me ;)  I like to use Art Basics Clear Gesso.  It doesn't have the "grit" of other brands so when you are working on your page you don't feel that sandpaper texture.  Just take a bit out of the jar and spread it on the page in a very thin layer with an old room key or used gift card.  Let it dry for 15-20 minutes or you can run a heat tool over it to set it quickly.

Step 2:  While this is drying gather all your supplies.  Depending on the kind of bible you have  (if it has blank pages or if you are going to be doing your art over the words) you will want to be careful on the supplies you use so it doesn't ruin your bible or go through the pages.  The gesso works wonders for that, but it's not a "go ahead" for all kinds of art mediums.  Here is a list of some of my favorite things to use that I know are not going to bleed through the gesso'd pages:

Pigment based ink-  Illustrated Faith has great ink pads
Chalk Inks - Prima or Ranger
Stamp Markers by American Crafts (These are pens you can use on stamps or directly on the page)

Watercolors work GREAT and don't bleed through
Faber-Castell Water Color Pencils
Distress Inks by Ranger
Acrylics also can be great, but you need to watch the type. Pebeo paint are great
Winsor & Newton Galleria acrylic paint
Studio Calico color theory paints

Pens & Markers:
Copic Pigment Liners
Prisma Color Premier Markers
Faber -Castell PITT Artist Pens
Pigma Micron Pens

Crayons & Pencils:
Crayola Twistables
Faber - Castell Mix & Match Art Grip
Faber - Castell Gelatos (use dry and gently rub, use with a paint brush with almost no water or use on stamps for a light color)  These are one of my FAV's

Studio Calico Spray Ink
Heidi Swapp Color Shine
Sei Tumble Dye

Be careful when using sprays so it doesn't go everywhere.  I like to control the area with paper covering the areas I do NOT want to have color on and I also have lots of paper towels handy to wipe any excess ink away after I spray.

Step 3: This probably could be started at the very beginning, but if you haven't already, protect the other pages in your bible before you start coloring.  I like to use regular parchment paper or if I don't have any, I use wax paper.  I layer that underneath the page I'm working on, underneath the whole bible and on the page next to the page I'm working on if I don't want to get that messed up.

Step 4: Get creative!  I like to put on worship music, pray, see what the Lord is showing me and then just start.  There are NO mistakes in what the Lord is showing you and even if your page does not look like those you see on social media... that is NOT what this is about.  This is about you drawing closer to God through His Word and through the creative spirit He is giving you.  I don't consider myself an artist in the sense that I went to Art School or had any kind of natural ability is art class when I was in grade school... or beyond.  But... it is a part of my.  Being CREATIVE, using my hands, being INSPIRED to worship the Lord is this way.  It is something I started about 2 1/2 years ago and had drawn me closer to the Lord like never before!  I have learned so much about His Word, His heart for us, His beautiful story that He has for each one of us... and it has filled me up completely!   The JOY I have found through this "art form" is immeasurable to me.  I hope that you find that too...

So finally getting to the pages I have done so far with Sheila's class... here are the two I have done so far:

Here class delves into the Beginning, as in Genesis 1.  Let there be light.  So the first class exercise was to draw a face!  Yikes... that is my least favorite thing to do and I probably have only shown 1 or 2 faces from my artwork, ever!  But we learned the different in values and finding that in a photo of your face.

This is the picture I used for this exercise.

And this is the page I created.  I have LOTS to learn... I know... but it was something that really stretched me and it actually made me want to work on faces more.  Sheila's was much more abstract then mine, so I would like to keep trying this outside of my bible to get better and finding the light with color and not trying to be so realistic in my art.  Love that she pushed me though and that I really got so much out of her bible study on Genesis.  

Here's what I wrote on IG with this post and a few more photos:

REPOST FROM IG:  Really enjoying @sheilaatchleydesigns class "Let us Make" on Jeanne Oliver's Creative Network! I'm going to be posting all my art and bible journaling over on my @awelldocumentedlife IG account so if you want to follow along, please follow that feed. On day one it already challenged me and was so inspiring! It's not to late to sign up and join the fun!
Purpose. That word keeps popping up everywhere lately. Last weekend my hubby and I talked about it, then Sunday in church the guest speaker talked about it, and then yesterday @sheilaatchleydesigns brought it up again! I guess the Lords trying to tell me something?? I listened & watched only the first 3 videos from Sheila over at Jeanne Oliver's Creative Network and you can't help but fall in love with this ladies heart and the words coming from that heart! I don't draw faces people... this may be the 2nd time I've dared even show one online! But, Genesis starts with such an impactful first sentence that is directly connected to YOU & ME that I dared to paint...me. (With way too much hair, haha) IN the beginning, GOD. There is so much in those 4 words that you can rest on, I so encourage you to take Sheila's class IF ONLY to listen to her study on that alone! (I think I wrote two pages of notes yesterday!) Little did I know if I scrolled down there were lots more videos! 😂 But listen, God not only created an incredible World, He created you... and it was for a PURPOSE. Did you hear that? Sit on that today, thank Him for that, ask Him what that looks like... because when you know what He is calling you to, there is a party going on in your soul! I took these photos in the morning light which was awesome to catch but I know these are a little dark and may not show the true values in the painting. Oh and I decided to start this journey with Sheila in my new journaling bible! It's the ESV Interleaved addition and its thick and chunky and leather bound, and I love it already! ❤️ Have a great day and let me know if you've joined in on "Let us Make" by Sheila Atchley!

Since this was such a long post on the basics of Bible Journaling, I will go ahead and do another post later of the page I finished and put on IG this morning.

If you have any questions about Bible Journaling feel free to email me or send me your questions via the Contact Page up at the top of this website.

Have a Blessed day,