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.

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