Tag Archives: painting

How Can I Balance my Life in This Day and Age?

33 Dots: Balance

I am still challenging myself to draw 33 random dots on paper; then connect the dots without intersecting any lines; then paint. Today it turned out to be the theme of balance.

This challenge has me inspired. I never know what I will see.

This time was very different. I couldn’t see anything for a while. First I saw a foot but it looked like it was stepping on the head. Why would someone be stepping on a head? I didn’t like that. I saw the little dog but wondered what he was doing up there at the top of the page.

Step 1: Connect the dots to make contour lines.

balance

Outline when I connected the 33 dots.

Do you see anything? I turned it around and around but kept coming back a foot, a head and a dog. At one time I thought I saw a whale’s tale but there was no whale.

Step 2: See if I can make anything out of this.

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The outline of the picture as I saw it. 33 Dots.

As I looked at my rough sketch I changed the bows on the triangle on the dog to make it a real bow. I erased some lines and added some.

Step 3: Draw with micron pen and paint.

This is the final outcome.

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The final picture for 33 dots – Balance

Step 4: See where God leads my thoughts.

Balance:

This year is the first time I have found a balance of how to write, paint and enjoy retirement. I have focused on God for the past 17 years but have been balancing ten times more things that I had to.

My Focus:

To me I have learned balance by learning to focus on the one thing I heard God say to me. And that was: “Encourage believers to read their Bibles and pray.”

That also has led me to try Bible journaling and getting out of my shell and talking and listening to others. God is teaching me to become a spiritual mentor.

Here are a few of the latest Bible Journals from our study of Proverbs in Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group. Join us.

balancebalance

Listen to God:

In this study of 33 dots, Instead of just “painting” listen God before I paint. He helps me connect the dots. Then after I paint I see what He shows me – the meaning of my painting. By doing the 33 dots challenge it forces me to trust God and it makes me look, and create.

What this painting means to me:

The person at the bottom (me) is learning to carry a heavy load as well as balance a dog on a poll. I think the standing person represents my work in writing and painting. It is steady on its own. The little dog is the rest of my life. It moves around so I have to watch it carefully so it doesn’t topple. But it’s the fun part. Even though my “work” of painting and writing is delightful I can also take fun in the other people in my life and the experiences around me.

And the Holy Spirit helps keep all things in balance.

Notice how the person at the bottom is looking forward. And that’s where I am looking. Not down or up but following God on the path He is leading me. My word for this year is “Go Forth” and as I pray and listen to God I am willing to change my direction. The things I am balancing are light because Jesus is right beside me or should I say inside me.

Jesus is my strength. He leads and guides me. I do what He tells and shows me. I listen.

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

“The heart of man plans his way,
    but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Are you struggling to find more time with God? Where is your path headed? Do you want to feel His strength in your life?

CALL TO ACTION

Are you feeling disconnected from God?

Is your art or writing suffering because you are struggling do work on your own?

Do you want to tap into God’s unlimited creativity?

If you want a safe place to connect with other believers, to grow stronger in God’s Word and learn to listen to Him, please visit us at Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group. We would love to have you.

It’s Amazing How Different Things are When You Look Closely

This was going to be a different Friday as I had decided not to write. Ha ha. Me? not write?

different

Photo by Cody Davis on Unsplash

So I am taking the required 5 minutes to write on the word “different” for Five Minute Friday. If you are a writer and just want to write for fun and link with others to encourage them, join us.

If you need help or encouragement just ask me. I’m right here to help you. Email Janis.

5 Minutes: GO

I thought of many ways I could approach the word different – how changed I am from the way I was last year, to how I was 16 years ago- to today. I thought of how life is better and different when I am with God than when I am not.

But I decided to take a look at my journey in art. When I first took a watercolour painting course in 1996, I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know.

Not about art – but about seeing.

Yes my eyes were closed to the world around me. Through my subsequent art lessons I learned to see.

I remember when we were taught to look at a distance and see the atmospheric conditions – how there were grays, and not blues, how the trees where not green but they could actually look blue.

different

Photo by Sergei Akulich on Unsplash

And then to look at trees on the side of the road – to really look at the different greens. There are deep greens, lime greens, all interspersed. Can you see the difference?

different

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

I started to look. And as I started to look closer I really saw the difference.

I had to be careful when driving on the country roads that in my desire to see, I didn’t take my eyes off the road.

Now to look how this affected my life.

I really hadn’t seen how different God made his creatures, his plants, his flowers. When I saw a flower up close it looked incredible.

I started to take pictures. I bought a good camera and for a long time I took many pictures.

different

Photograph by Janis Cox – Butterfly Conservatory

different

Photograph by Janis Cox – Butterfly Conservatory

My thought: When you take time and look, things can be different. (click to tweet)

The same is true with my faith. I didn’t really think about my faith before. It was there. It didn’t mean anything to me.

But then I started to look – to ask, to question, and eventually to pray.

I now know I am different than I was in 1996. I have seen into the spiritual and as I study, pray, and listen to God I see it more and more.

Now I also do Bible Art so I can see what God is speaking to me. Here are 2 versions of 2 Corinthians 3:17.

different

Painting by Janis Cox from 2 Corinthians 3:17

different

Bible Journaling by Janis Cox 2 Corinthians 3:17

Call to Action

If you are looking for a way to connect with God deeply and creatively. If you are tired of scrolling through Facebook pages and getting nothing of value….

Please join us at our interactive Growing Through God’s Word Private Facebook Group.

We share. We learn. We create. We connect. We grow.

Janis has a free book, called One Word at a Time.  If you like short devotionals you will enjoy these 4 devotionals with questions and a place to journal.

Embrace: Five Minute Friday

The word for Friday at 5 Minute Fridays was embrace. I couldn’t put together 5 minutes to write since Friday. Now I have those 5 minutes and I will try.

Here goes:

When I saw the word embrace my first thought was a hug. I love hugging – my family and close friends. I’m not as keen on hugging strangers but it’s getting easier. There is something better about a hug than a hand shake. And probably less germs too.

embrace

But then I thought of the word embrace to reach out, grasp and make it my own. That has happened this past year. Before I did things but never really put my whole heart and soul into it. This year I doing that.

When I start my day, I ask God to show me people, events or even news items that He wants me to deal with. Sometimes it is in prayer. Sometimes a word. Sometimes an email.

As I go about doing my “stuff” I try to focus on what I am doing – not let my mind wander in all those other directions that it tends to do.

Focus – embrace. I think they go together.

This year I hired a coach. I needed to learn to focus on certain things. We talk about that. We pray about that. Then I get down to business.

Two books have made an impact on my focus. The Art of Work by Jeff Goins and The Story of With by Allen Arnold. Both say to me that God can inspire me and can lead me where He wants me to go.

embrace

Iridescent flowers by Janis Cox

I have been embracing my art, both watercolour and writing, – the gifts God has given me. I have been practising to make them better. I joined #ScribblePicnic to help with my art inspiration. I said yes to Brenda Poulos to do the illustrations for her new book coming out soon. I published a Bible study that has only been available in PDF.

So I embrace all of life – all that God is offering me.

I want to embrace my Saviour with my heart, mind, spirit and soul and in that way embrace the life He has given me. (tweet this)

Time’s up. Your turn. What do you think of when you hear the word “embrace”.

embrace

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Pictures Can you see them in Scripture?

Pictures Can you see them in Scripture? – Hope Stream Radio Podcast

I see the Bible as pictures more and more. Because I have been making colouring pages and painting in my Bible, scripture is coming alive. I’m able to memorize passages.

Pictures - in scripture

On Hope Stream Radio yesterday I talked about this. You can see the show notes below or listen to the podcast How I see Pictures in Scriptures.

Logo-HopeStreamRadio

Here are the show notes:

Hope Stream Radio How I See Pictures in Scripture.

The three scriptures we reviewed last week on Word of God Speak were 2 Corinthians 4:17-18; Isaiah 40:8; Hebrews 1:10-12.

All three point to eternity with God. They remind us how temporary our lives are here in this world.

Being an artist I see pictures in scriptures. (Tweet this)

Listen to this one:

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I see light and momentary troubles as balloons. (click to tweet)

They will be gong – either float away, deflate or be punctured.

Pictures

As I picture what I see as troubles I put them in balloons, I can release them – and watch them go. If they are worries I can stab the balloons with a pin.

Peace comes when I can see all earthly things as temporary. (click to tweet)

To fix my eyes on the unseen – on Jesus – helps me to remain in this peace even when the seen feels powerful and unyielding. The peace of Jesus can overpower the troubles.

Isaiah 40:8 talks about how grass withers and flower fall. I can picture the seasons – the grass withering in winter, and the flowers falling. But I also know that spring comes next and with it new life. I see this and I know it. And the new life will in me and it will never end when I trust in Jesus.

Isaiah-40-8-web

Hebrews 1:10-12 talks about creation. But it says that all that all will perish but God will remain and His years will never end.

I see creation as formed by God. I see God’s work. But I know that this will change too. God will always be the same but He will wrap creation up like a robe and then bring forth a new creation, like He did with me. God will remain the same but He will change you and me.

hebrews-1-10-12

Where do you need to change? Ask the Lord to show you.

I have loved reviewing these passages and painting pictures and making colouring pages to help me memorize God’s Word. Join me on Facebook Called Word of God Speak Community.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord, we know we need to change in order to be more like You. In each of the areas we need change, please show us so we can work and pray to make ourselves have a closer connection to You. Thank You for being unchangeable. You are our Rock. We are eternally grateful. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Until next time, bask in the thought of God’s promises, and how His Word will never change and never fail us. Be in the Word.

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Living-Life-CoverWeb

Creative Tuesdays – Old World Christmas

Creative Tuesdays – Old World Christmas

Surprise! Michael is back with his Creative Tuesdays and I didn’t know. So I am joining with a short post.

I didn’t have time to make a fresh painting but awhile ago I painted my OLD WORLD FAMILY CAROLLERS for a Christmas card.

Christimas carollers Janis Cox

Since Michael was away I started a new Tuesdays’ post called Scripture and a picture. I have been posting that every week. I am glad he is back so I can get back into painting to a prompt. This week’s on Scripture and a Picture is called Where Can We Show Love this Christmas. If you have a favourite charity – go to my blog and enter the link for the charity. This linky will stay open until Christmas.

As I look at the old fashioned Christmas picture I see the dress that the woman is wearing. That is what I am doing this December season. I am wearing a dress a day to advocate against human trafficking. You can see more at Monday Musings One Can a Dress Save the World? and Two – It breaks my heart.

Here are the Carollers on our front lawn. Sorry they are blurry. I’m on a timeline.

Carollers

Blessings,

Janis

The Life of an Author – Guest Posting

The Life of an Author – Guest Posting

Tadeo and stuffed Tadeos

Today I am a guest poster on Emma Right’s blog. Emma is the author of many books. Her most recent ones are a children’s series called Princesses of Chadwick Castle Adventure Series.

Emma asked me to tell about a typical day as a writer. Yikes – there is no typical day but I gave it a try.

To see more go to: In the Life of Author Janis Cox.

Blessings for a wonderful day.

Janis

Do You Put God First?

Do You Put God First?

by Janis Cox

Psalm-40-8

I delight to do Thy will, O my God (Psalm 40:8, NIV).

As I joined a blog hop for writers, most of whom are Christians, I was surprised to find their goals were directed at doing things and not listening to the Holy Spirit first. Maybe they do listen first but didn’t write about it. I don’t know the answer to that. I truly believe that we could make such inroads into the lives of others if we would only start with God first.

My writing started after I had lived quite a few years – so maybe that is why I truly believe that God needs to be in our lives every minute. I loved how one writer put it today – that no matter what she does God is a part of it.

I always start with a prayer for wisdom, and courage both when I write and when I paint. And when I talk to someone, when something is lost, when I work on any project – just anytime.

If we claim to be Christ followers and not fans (a great resource for this concept is Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman), then why don’t we start with our Leader. Every time – could we do this?

I don’t think it matters whether we are writing Christians, or Christians writing, we need to begin with Him.

I paint my best when I don’t try hard, think too much – but when I relax, ask for His guidance and rely on Him.

As I do this more and more, I find He never leaves me – He is always there right beside me.  His love never fails.

If you are trying to do life on your own – stop and think a bit and start looking to your Creator, the one who knows you and can help you do your very best.

God has to destroy our determined confidence in our own convictions ~ Oswald Chambers.

Have I been persecuting Jesus by a zealous determination to serve Him in my own way? ~ Oswald Chambers.

Here is an acronym to help us remember: OPEN

O – Open your eyes

P – Pray first

E – Enter His Presence

N – Nearness – now you can do His will

Let’s connect with Jesus. Right now. Would you pray with me.

Prayer:

Lord, we want to do it our way. We sometimes think we can do everything on our own. But when we realize the path is less steep, less rocky and straighter with you, we will put down ourselves and join You in every pursuit. Help us to remember that. Help us to be followers and not fans of Jesus. In His Name. AMEN.

Tweetables:

No matter what I do, let me ask God to be a part of it.

Are you a fan of Jesus or a follower of Him?

Contributors

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild and Inscribe Writers Fellowship.

Creative Saturdays – Mixed Media Tadeo Turtle

Today I am going to add a linky at the bottom of this post. If you have art ideas for kids please link your post. Please only link kid friendly art ideas – no recipes (unless a specific recipe for children to make) or adult crafts. I will have to remove anything that does not follow this rule.

Thanks,

Janis

Creative Saturdays – Mixed Media Tadeo Turtle

This week we moved to our winter residence in Arizona. I found a few minutes to have fun – real fun. I found some scrapbooking papers that I had picked up at a garage sale and wondered what I could do with them.

This is what turned out.

MM-finished

Materials:

      • papers – all sorts
      • scissors
      • watercolour paper
      • paints and brushes
      • salt
      • podge or white glue

Instructions:

Decide on your animals, fish or plants. Cut out from the papers. I decided on Tadeo and made three of them.

MM-the-scrapbooking-paper

Put your pieces together to make your figures.

MM-cutting-out-my-turtles

On the watercolour paper apply water using a brush or spray bottle. Drop colours onto the wet paper. Sprinkle salt.

MM-applying-the-background-paint

Let dry.

Decide on your pattern for the figures. I tried several placements before I was happy with the result.

 

MM-another-placement

 

MM-placing-turtles-2MM-placing-the-turtles

Now paste the figures onto the dried watercolour paper. Then paste over again all over the picture. This was fun.

MM-applying-podge

Wait until completely dry. I added more watercolour on top of the pasted paper. This turned out to be interesting as the colours were different and I saw shapes appear.

I added the eyes and toes with black marker. Additional details could be added to the picture as well.

MM-finished

Don’t forget to send me your child’s pictures. Send them to Janis Cox and I will put them up in the Children’s Gallery.

Please check out more about my book Tadeo Turtle on Tadeo’s Page. You will find more activities at the back of my book. And a 24-page curriculum is available if you ask.

You can use Visa when you click on the Pay Pal Icon.

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Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox

 

To find more craft ideas from He Cares for Us go to Crafts for Kids.

I sometimes link to:

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Please link your kid friendly posts below. And please visit the person before you so we can make a community of friendly people here.



Creative Saturdays – Foam Print Tadeo Turtle

Creative Saturdays – Foam Print Tadeo Turtle

foam-print-making-Tadeo-Finished-Janis

This past week my granddaughter attended a course at Haliburton School of the Arts, run by Erin Lynch. She had a wonderful time. Erin is very creative and the kids made fantastic projects – including a bird banner – that was something. I forgot to take pictures again!!!!

But one project fascinated me. Using styrofoam the kids etched a picture and then printed  it.

So I thought I would try with my 4-year grandson. I didn’t have any styrofoam but I did have foam sheets. I wondered if they would work – and they did.

I made mine first to see if it worked. Then my grandson wanted to make one.

Materials:

            • styrofoam or foamy sheet
            • pencil – sharp
            • paint of any colour
            • tin sheet
            • brush
            • piece of paper

Instructions:

On the styrofoam piece etch a picture or design. My grandson did not press very hard so I went over his drawing so it would be deeper into the foam.

foam-print-making-etching-design-Tadeo

 

Put paint into a tin pan or anything that will fit your foam. Use a brush to spread it around.

foam-print-making-paint-Tadeo

 

Place the foam upside down in the paint. Press down.

foam-print-putting-on-paint-Tadeo

Place the stamp that you made on a piece of paper. Press down firmly all over the foam.

foam-print-pressing downTadeo

 

Lift off carefully – and there is your picture.!!! I asked my grandson what was different between the stamp and his picture. He couldn’t see until I asked him where the head was in each picture. “Oh it is backwards,” he said. We needed to pick up his sister from camp so I forgot to take a picture of his print.

Here is the print of mine.

foam-print-making-Tadeo-Finished-Janis

 

I washed off the foam and it could be used again. You could put different paints onto the tray. Here is the foam pad of my Tadeo print.

foam-print-making-Tadeo---the-printer

My stamp of Tadeo

 

We had lots of fun!

Please check out more about my book Tadeo Turtle on Tadeo’s Page. You will find more activities at the back of my book. And a 24-page curriculum is available if you ask.

Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox

For more craft ideas from He Cares for Us go to Crafts for Kids.

I link to:

We Made That

HappyandBlessedHome.com

FridayFavorites

BowDabra Blog

I Choose Joy!
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Sugar Aunts

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If you want to purchase a signed copy of Tadeo Turtle click on the Paypal icon. It will direct you to the PayPal site where you can choose PayPal or a credit card.

Creative Saturday – Four Essentials of Composition

Creative Saturday – Four Essentials of Composition

This week I took an Experimental Watercolour Course – it was excellent. One day we talked about 4 essentials for a good composition. I decided to paint them so I would remember them. And as an aside – you don’t need all of these in one painting!

Here they are:

Size of the Elements:

Vary the size of the elements in your picture

composition---size-of-elements

Negative Shapes:

Make use of the edges of the paper. Vary the size of the negative shapes.

composition---negatives

Dissonance:

Have something that is not like anything else in your piece. This could be colour, shape, a different element.

composition---dissonance copy

Hierarchy of Focal Points:

Watch where your eye goes first. That is the first focal point. Then where does your eye travel? The goal is to get the eye to roam around the page. Do that by making a hierarchy of focal points. Make things of interest in different areas of the page.

First the eye looks at TAD – the printing is dark; red pulls the eye

Next the eye finds the biggest object which is Tadeo; he is turning around so your eye follows that movement.

Your eye looks up to SQUIRREL or down to CAT –

hierarchy-of-focal-points

 

I  hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I learned much from this course. I hope to share other ideas in the weeks to come.

Please check out more about my book Tadeo Turtle on Tadeo’s Page. You will find more activities at the back of my book. And a 24-page curriculum is available if you ask.

Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox

For more craft ideas from He Cares for Us go to Crafts for Kids.

I link to:

We Made That

HappyandBlessedHome.com

FridayFavorites

BowDabra Blog

I Choose Joy!
Virtual Refridgerator

 

Sugar Aunts

Sharing Saturday Button

Grab button for Money-Saving-Monday

If you want to purchase a signed copy of Tadeo Turtle click on the Paypal icon. It will direct you to the PayPal site where you can choose PayPal or a credit card.