Welcome! We’ve created a Special Series for you this month! We’ll
take 4 weeks and focus on 4 elements to ‘Reset’ our lives for Him.
We’re calling it ’4×4 Reset’. If you missed the introduction, you
can find more details here. Each post will feature a READ IT
(scripture verse), a SEE IT (motivation), & a DO IT (challenge/
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The Healing Properties of Art Journaling
So God created….God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Genesis 1:27a, 31
Ten years ago, when I was pushing 30 rather than 40, I never would have guessed that I would someday struggle with mental health issues. Even typing those words makes me want to be liberal with my delete button and go back to being hush-hush about it. But nevertheless, here I am, five years past my first episode with depression, and one year after being told I probably have a mood cycling disorder. I chose to research and implement non-medication based treatment options. Art was one of those options.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
Quite simply, art heals. Picasso said that art cleans from the soul the dust of everyday life, but I would argue it does much more than that. The desire to create comes directly from the Father Himself. Art in any form communicates things that are deeper and more profound than the reasoning mind can fathom. It taps into parts of us that otherwise we may never know, more digging than dusting. I find that when I write, tear, glue, and paint, my arm and hand seem to mysteriously know things that I only realize are true after they are out on the page. When I combine both the visual and the written, magic happens.
I began an art journal after seeing the beauty in a friend’s journal. Images, quotes, color, collage all found themselves together and beautifully joined as she wrestled with questions and emotions that needed more than just a college-ruled page of text. My first art journal pages were clunky and awkward to my eye, but I fell in love with the process. I took quotes from favorite books, from scripture, and added a mess of acrylic paint or watercolor pencil or ink. I grew into a style that relies heavily on metaphor and symbolism and expresses the hard things in a way that is beautiful and raw. I don’t love every page, but inevitably every page says something about me.
Art Journaling is a possibility for anyone and everyone. Whether you believe yourself creative or not, you can feel the cleansing and purging that art journaling can provide, and find yourself more deeply connected to the Creator in the process and the mess.
It’s not about result. Art journaling is about discovery.
This is not necessarily a how-to post. This is a “why” post, a post to inspire and to give you an option for healing and coping. A quick google or pinterest search will reveal the hidden world of the art journal community, and a feast for your eyes of all different styles and types. A library trip will yield books and inspiration for the start of your journey, and Amazon will provide even more. The materials required can be as simple as sturdy paper (bound or not), crayons, leftover magazines, and a glue stick, but the variety available offers much more if you’re so inclined.
Create a “Who I am” page, either on cardstock, or a good thick piece of paper. Write “I am” somewhere on the page with bubble letters, cut text from a magazine, or stamped letters, and then collage anything that answers that statement for you. It could be found scraps from around the house, images printed off the web, or text from catalogs. Color or paint around the pieces, or doodle, or scribble. Drip coffee. Or even trace your hand with sharpie over the collage. Anything goes. Make it you, and make it healing. Be honest and real and true.
Guest Writer Christine Heister:
is ‘a homeschooling mom of four beautiful and unique children, cherished wife to my perfect match, musician, singer, writer, and most importantly, a follower of Jesus, though I stumble on my way.’ She writes about whatever’s on her mind at her blog: Fruit In Season. Find her on Twitter @FruitNSeason and Facebook, and don’t miss checking out her art journal photos on Instagram @fruitnseason!