"Once we clearly acknowledge the soul, we can learn to hear it's cries. - Dallas Willard, Renovation Of The Heart."

It takes courage to pursue our dreams. It takes time and patience to unearth buried treasure. But I believe with all my heart that we must do both.


The Documented Life Project

I was asked by the lovely Documented Life Project team to show my process in completing a spread using their monthly theme and weekly prompt. The monthly theme is "Using quotes and lyrics as storytelling." And the weekly theme is "One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter." -James E. Jones.

Looking at my spread and my progression it may be hard to "see" that, that was the prompt I used but it is. Creating a visual spread has many levels of meaning. Color, and or image, can convey to the one creating it meaning that an observer cannot see, and that is how is should be. The words, quotes and scripture and my use of them went far deeper than can be seen on the surface of this spread. Visual journaling does that for me...you too?

 (After the last image I posted my thought process as I was thinking about this spread if you care to see.)

I am using Sabrina Ward Harrison's book "The Story Is Happening" as my journal. Most times the whole page gets covered, but there are a few times that parts of the original page peek through. It's fun to see what happens when you use an existing book with images.

(Layer 1)

To begin with, I usually add splashes of black paint to the page.

(Layer 2)

Then I like to add words from the prompt or just words that are flowing in my mind and heart. These words will most likely get covered up. I may add them back, but not always. Sometimes, I like the words to stay buried, not seen by the viewer but known to me.

(Layer 3)

Then I begin to add strokes of color.  I do this with little swipes of paint here and there.

(Layer 4)

I added drips next...just playing as I go...little additions, creating layer after layer.

(Layer 5)

I used pieces of my original thoughts that I wrote on paper before I began my spread as collage. I added other bits of collage and some ripped burlap. No reason behind adding these, just wanted to.

(Layer 6)

I added a bit more color here pulling the spread together and making it not so busy.

(Layer 7)

I did a bit of line work with oil pastels.  I love using these on my pages.  And added a bit of brown. The messy and dark spread seemed to me to reflect the feeling of weariness to me. At this point I could do more. I could add seen journaling here too, but there are times I prefer simpler pages. Pages with empty space on them. I remember what I wrote beneath the layers, I remember the feelings this spread represents to me and I felt (it's a feeling, not a knowing) that making the underneath words visible would spoil the final image. 

Just a thought, do you take photos of your pages? I often take photos of my pages, it helps me see where I may need to add or change something. 

Many thanks to The Documented Life team for asking me to participate and thanks everyone for stopping by.

Grace, Peace and Love

supplies used just in case you want to know :)


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. LEARN THE UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE. *I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll LEARN TO LIVE FREELY AND LIGHTLY.

*(it's a yoke lined with love)

Free from:
Getting my worth, peace, and love from someone and something else.
Trying to prove my worth to others.

No more proving
No more grasping
No more trying to change others
No more trying to earn my worth
No more grasping/demanding for things and other to be how I think they should be





Kim Mailhot said...

Congrats on being a part of this awesome project, Amazing Mary! It is so cool to learn about the process of other artists. I love your intuitive style and how you work from dark to light.
Thanks for generously sharing your art!
Love and light!

Martha Lever said...

Love it so much, Mar Mar! Merry Christmas!

Sandi Keene said...

Thank you so much for being our Featured Artist this week, Mary. I love the depth and texture to your page. The burlap is wonderful and I loved that you added it just because you wanted to!

Unknown said...

Love your process and the suggestion of taking pictures as you go. Glad you are a part of this amazing group. Thanks.🌲🌲🌲

Shawna said...

Very neat process. I've not thought about starting with black, first. Thanks for sharing!

Mary W said...

Such an unusual method but soooo effective. It really centers the journaling and I just love it - begin with black. Perfect for your words. My favorite song is "O Holy Night" and I felt like I heard your featured lyrics for the first time. Beautiful post and great step outs. I really need to use my camera more for an overall picture and keep me from focusing on details. Thanks for the tips.

mystele said...

beautiful and moving work from one of my very favorite artists and a "forever" connection.

Monica said...

It is very interesting how you posted each layer. Most encouraging. As an atheist it is so positive to find someone who is religious and does not rely on Biblical quotes to express themselves.

alteredstatesstudio said...

I absolutely love your page Mary!! Love seeing your process as well- thanks for sharing that magic!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary: ) Love your DLP entry - absolutely wonderful !!!! I feel so blessed to have found your site through those wonderful girls at DLP - love them too : )
Can't tell you how much I am touched by your words, blog, God-filled insight and radiating love. I am excited to read "Renovation of the Heart" !!
Thank you - you are an inspiration to God centered and spiritual living : )

Blessings, Sandra in AZ : )

Chesley said...

I love your page, Mary! I have never started a journal page with black, but I am going to try it on my next page. A great topic also, and I love how your faith shines through. Thank you for a truly wonderful and original project to share with the DLP crowd. And, I've found a new artist that I love and can watch and learn from :-)

laurel said...

Congrats! Love seeing the process.

Rosie said...

Funny that you began your page with black when I've just done exactly the same! Our styles could not be more different but I love your work and always enjoy seeing what you do and the inspirational words you use.

DaleE said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful work of art! It "feels" to me very much like the new St John's Bible illuminations that are so magnificently representing the Word for the world today, and generations to come.

Unknown said...

LOVE this page! It's got a lot of layers and a lot of colors, but it's not overly busy. Just beautiful!

Dianne said...

So cool to see the progression of your pages...marvelous results! love the color and textures, so different from the beginning of the process. thanks so much for sharing your work!!

Roben-Marie said...

I have been a fan of your work for many years and was so happy when you said yes to being one of our DLP Featured Artists. I love your page and it is great to see the process step-by-step! Thanks so much for sharing "you" with all of us and for your encouraging words!! Blessings to you and your family!

Mary said...

I emailed my reply to those I could, however some said, "no-reply-blogger" so I could not. So, many thanks for all your kind comments.

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Love your journal process Mary. Especially emphasizing how you bury parts sometimes because it is just part of the healing process.

www.customwritinglab.com said...

I like your paintings very much. They looks somehow inspiring for me. I can't explain why, but it is so. Best wishes to you.

Unknown said...

Absolutely wonderful Mary! I love and adore you and what you create!!! This is just amazing.

Unknown said...

Mary I too love all that you share with us, and know your heart so well being your sister!! You make me so proud, but most of all you are doing God's work with everything you do. I love you beyond measure!!!

robinanderson said...

Mary, I love your work and was curious to find out more about you. I discovered you and I are practically neighbors. I live in the Kennesaw/ Marietta area. I would love to meet up with you some time to chat, paint, craft or just lunch. I get together with a group of girls occasionally to scrapbook, paint, craft, art journal or whatever. Let me know if you ever want to join us.

Rosie said...

Fabulous to see your process Mary! I did documented life last year, but more in scrapbook style - this looks fabulous!