Friday, January 24

Art Journaling Your One Little Word

***If you're here for the tutorial and want to skip the fascinating
overshare of my life, simply scroll down to the bottom.
Thanks for stopping by!
Hope you join us!***

So, have you chosen your one little word for the year yet?
I thought and thought and I kept coming back to this verse:

I have come that you may be comfortable,
and have a 3 car garage in which to 
store all of your painting supplies. 

hmmmm... I don't think that's it.
At least I couldn't find it anywhere in the Bible.

I can never seem to narrow it down to just one word.
My words this year?

abundant life 

Jesus promises, not just life, but abundant life.
That's the reason He came. That's what I want. that's what he promises.
If I'm not living it, then what am I doing? And what does that even mean?
I have no idea. But I  don't think I'm living out the abundant life that God has for me.
I think there's more. Not something different. but something more. 
Right here. Exactly where I am. In it.

I have felt it before, but it's been a while.
And I don't think it's anything I can do, or figure out on my own.
I think it's something God has to show me. Day by day. 

I have some areas I'd love to see God breathe life into.
Areas that feel dead. I've been trying to do them on my own and 
I'm just not getting anywhere.

First of all, I want to create my joy.

As Lilla Rogers says People buy your joy. I love that. I believe that.
The things that end up being most popular with others are the things I create for myself,
that come out of an overflow of my heart, not from an assignment.
I've spent the last year exploring art licensing, and I'm burned out with assignments
that don't come from me. It feels like more work, instead of play.

Lately I've been creating like a maniac, and loving it.
Have you noticed? There's so much inside me that needs to come out.
Not just paintings, but all kind of stuff.
I want to explore new textures: wood, clay, fabric.
I want to explore new themes and series and materials
and make my home a reflection of us.

I wanna practicing be being brave. I think that's part of it.
I know that sounds lame. a cliche. I know. Stick with me here.
 I mean for real. I want to step out of denial. Stop pretending.
and step into authenticity. In my art. In my blog.
In my parenting and my marriage and my friendships.
I think that's part of abundant life.
I think that will breathe life into my life.

I want to take my boys on adventures. I kind of scribbled that in.
I think life with Jesus is {or should be} an adventure.
Nothing boring about it. The life of Jesus was kind of crazy
and unexpected and real and raw and awkward at times.
It was not comfortable. In the least.
This is my last year with Jack not in full time school.
I want to be intentional with our time. They've been riding their
bikes as I walk/try my best to huff and puff around the lake.
and it's awesome/ horrible {because I hate running}. I want to keep going.
Jack always wants to create projects. I usually submit under guilt great duress.
But I want to engage with him and enjoy it.
I want to stop watching TV and read and read and read to them.
Some afternoon we do and they love it. It's magical.

Spiritually, I want to let go.
These burdens are not mine. They do not belong to me.
And I pick them up and haul them around all day.
I want to read and art journal journal and pray and worship.
And be a part of what God is doing.
Right where I am.

Financially we have got to be fierce about the budget. Gazelles.
We've made the big decision for me to stay part time next year
so I can be a momma to these babies. Josh is going to be 3.
I am beyond thankful that I get to be home with them{a leap of faith}
And with that comes a crazy budget. We're 2 weeks in and it is painful people.
painful but so worth it. {See my attempt at running above}
We've done it before and I know we can do it again.
We just need to do it.

Physically, I've got to do something. Anything.{See above}
I feel overwhelmed about my physical health right now.
 So I just need to start praying and taking baby steps towards health.
My strategy: eat real food, move more, drink water.
I know this leads to life. I know I need to do it. I don't like it one bit.
I'm 2 weeks in and still standing, and frequently have the urge to poke my out.
I can do this. I can do this. I can do hard things.
{That needs to be my next collage}

Okay, that's it. So now that I am finished with
here's a quick little tutorial for creating a visual for your word!

Water color paper
Acrylic paints
White ink
Black ink
Paint brushes of various sizes
The tiniest little brush you can find

That's it. Simple. Right?
Tape your watercolor paper to a bigger piece of paper,
or any hard surface, to keep it from curling up.

1. Create blocks of color with your paint. 
{Please ignore the calligraphy pen. I thought I'd give it a try,
but I ditched it because I like using a brush so much more.}
I started in the middle with a block of orange,
 then added some red & white with my fingers.
Try not to blend the colors too much,
or it will start to look muddy.

2. Take the tiniest brush you can find and dip it in white ink.
Write your word(s) in the center
and start to doodle lines and dots around it.

3. Keep painting and doodling.
Write your words & thoughts & feelings  doodle around them.

Fill up your page.

4. Paint over your white ink with black ink. 
*This is great if your messed up or change your mind,
the black will cover it up.

5. The Most Important Part: Link Below

Seriously, the most important part is sharing and connecting so be brave and link up.
Come on and join us!

If you've enjoyed this tutorial join me for my series on
Scripture Art Journaling.



  1. This is so inspiring for me...I've been in kind of a creative slump that I'm trying to get out of. Thank you for sharing your talent Erin. I love your style and I love your blog!

  2. Before I read your very interestingly honest post I was touched by my first gazing at your work. I saw eat real food, move more and drink water and as it applies to me as well it touched my heart. So thank you for that. I have a calendar from last years Gesso'd up for some of this work but alas I haven't done it. Thank you for posting this outstanding project with us.
    Carole Robb Bisson,
    Word Art Wednesday
    PS Remember you can enter 5 pieces of art each week which gives you five chances to win one of our very sweet prizes.

  3. LOVED this post. I'm taking my daughter Ashlyn away in late spring for a weekend - we do that for each of our kids when they turn double digits. I think I may get the supplies for this and do it with her when we're away. I love the idea of art journaling and using it to cast a vision for the next season of her life and mine as well. Can you give me any more pointers about doing the initial painting with acrylic paints? It looks so easy when you do it but clearly it is not! I'm not sure how to do it so that it doesn't look like a checkerboard!

  4. I really like this and thanks for sharing your steps!

  5. What a beautiful post, Erin. I felt the faith and love.

  6. Thanks so much, guys! Absolutely, Kelly, I'll provide a more detailed, explicit tutorial for this tomorrow. Thanks for asking!

  7. I LOVE the idae of doing this with your daughter. SO cool. Maybe I'll do it with my students?

  8. Nice way to use words by breaking it into sections. Pretty colors too.

  9. I love the honesty you share of your personal battles. We all carry those burdens around and it gets in the way of Him. Darn! I often thought if I knew I was going to be with Him tomorrow(yes, my life ending), how free and loving and abounding in His energy, Love and happiness I would not want to waste TODAY. I find that discouragement is not from God.
    It kind of reminds me of that Tim McGraw song, "Live like you were dying."
    I also have 2 boys. They are 9 and 11. Every day I take long looks at them, breath them in with a big cheek kiss and try and laugh with them. When I get caught up in the "shoulds", it is distracting.
    So, again, your posting, art and encouragement is thanked and understood. Keep on mama! You are doing so very well! He smiles down upon you!!!!

  10. This really inspired me. I have been a long-time journal-er and recent blogger and look forward to doing something new and creative with both. So thank you. As for the one little word, I resonate with the abundant life much inside just bursting to come forth. Thank you for the tutorial, and more importantly, for the beautiful sharing of your story.