the in-between moments…

Are you working from home right now?

maybe you find yourself there half-time, full-time, or no-time.

I know this Season has been hard in oh so many ways….and for so many people.

It has never been more important than now to care for our hearts…and CARE DEEPLY! Our personal soul-care is vital to our well being, both mentally and physically. It is from our OVER-FLOW that we are able to affect those around us…hopefully for their good.

When we are emotionally spent – which, haven’t we all been there a bit too often lately? – there is nothing left to give others. Not our families, not our friends….even our work people suffer at the hands of our personal neglect.

But filling up can be a challenge when we are faced with stress, job loss, money shortages …temper shortages. The negative culture around us can affect us so deeply if we allow it to. So I would like you to do something for me….for you….

Find Beauty in an In-Between Moment

Right now in fact… Stand Up and walk to the closest window…

What do you see?

Now look closer – notice something that you hadn’t before. What does it look like? What color is it? How does it move [or not move]? What surrounds it? Is it affected by its surroundings?

Now craft a little story in your head about this noticing.

Tell it’s Story

It doesn’t have to take long. Imagine you are telling a child about this thing. Everything has a story, even inanimate things. How does it look, feel, think.

Imagine the possibilities.

Taking yourself out of the auto-pilot moments of the day, and into creative story, helps you to find beauty in life. This practice can lift your Spirit, and bring you more in-tune with the present moments that you often can’t see because of busyness, obligation, and world view. As you fill up with these, your over-flow will change the culture around you.

Notice the change. It may be very subtle at first, but as you lift, so will the atmosphere.

Somehow we all need to find a disconnect….in order to reconnect – to what’s important, to the natural world around us…to our very Souls.

Take time today to find beauty in the In-Between Moments…

Make it a habit every hour or so. Stretch. Walk. Look. Breathe. Five minutes is all it takes to totally change your perspective. Over time you will begin to see your Spirit lift, your emotions settle, your mood improve, and your Creative Heart begin to soar!

As you transform, so does the world around you….for it’s good

WHAT do you see right now? I would love to hear it! Please leave a comment and encourage the world. We are all in this together my friends!

Don’t forget to share, comment and engage! I would love to connect with you

Peace and Love and Art! ~lisaellen

Creating from Deep Places

I am often asked what it takes to make great art

My first reaction is to say all art is great.

But that is often met with qualifying words of what they think is great.

Making any art in general, is directly related to; learning a process, practice, refining that process, more practice, changing that process to fit your “voice”, even more practice…practice, practice, practice. But even this, although true, is only part of the equation. It’s just the basics of what it takes to make art.

Great art on the other hand, comes from a much deeper place.

GREAT art is part desire, part suffering, a little bit of desperation, and a whole lot of SOUL.

Great art doesn’t just happen, it is born.

So what do I mean by great art….it isn’t what you may think. Sure, the Masters did their fair share of suffering, and created some of the worlds greatest masterpieces. Feeling is evident in the brushstrokes, even love, compassion, curiosity and a desire to know the subject matter more intimately. These are all qualifiers.

But just because you didn’t study under the masters, doesn’t mean that you can’t create a GREAT work of art.

Great creative works aren’t always born by the most gifted person, or even the one who has invested hundreds of hours into a creative piece or practice. It isn’t necessarily the most “beautiful”, or the most expensive, and they aren’t always found in galleries.

Truly Great pieces of Art make people feel.

They bring out emotion, memory and sometimes even tears. They are a culmination of what the artist feels deep inside during the creative process….often mirroring the heart of THE CREATOR, for it is in those deep places of the soul that ours touches HIS.

Heart beating fast, as the bush hits its mark with an accuracy you simply KNOW isn’t yours.

And then there is that one person who sees it and is overcome; sometimes with joy, sometimes with grief – and they experience feelings they often don’t understand. In this moment, that art, that masterpiece, that Truly. Great. Soul-work. is a conduit connecting the Creator to His creation; for that is what we all are, whether we readily acknowledge it or not.

It is a call to recognize that deep place, to “SEE” what only some will choose to see.

In that moment of clarity, all of our questions fall into place, and a knowledge that surpasses understanding finds its way into our souls…into those deeper places where art and creativity are born.

I invite you today to go deeper, to choose to see what is hidden deep inside of you, and to create that Great Work of Art that can touch the souls of others.

I would love to hear how you are connecting to that creative center of your being. What do YOU do to connect to your Creative Soul? Let’s start a conversation….this is a place of safety and love…your feelings mean something to us

with love and creativity ~lisa

feeding your soul….

it has been a long. hard. winter.




Most creatives can appreciate what I’m saying…even if your “winter” was 80 degrees and sunny. There are those periods of time (some longer than others) where you feel….. spent. Creative people tend to feel more deeply and process those emotions in artistic ways. writing… painting… making.

With the approaching spring, the ground begins to warm and leaves start to bud on the trees. The first blooms begin to peek above winters crust, and a sort of HOPE takes root. It’s time to nourish those frosty parts of you.

Feeding your soul has many layers

Religion would tell you that it comes through reading the bible and praying. Others would say doing all the things you love to do, or pursuing your dreams  is the ticket. Still more insist that reaching out and helping others will fill your heart.

I think the answer to this soul question is a bit more complicated than a pat answer can give.  They aren’t wrong…any of them. But your personal soul fulfillment is just that – Yours

No one can tell you what the answer is. What works for one person may not work for you. Learning to listen more deeply to our own needs is key. But I mean really listening. For me it is a one step at a time journey through which I seek to connect with the Eternal. See evidence of heaven here on earth. And hear what creation is telling me.

It includes scripture reading in those times that I don’t feel like I’m hearing properly or need something more visual to hold onto. Getting in touch with the natural for me is also key – seeing the evidence of vibrant life all around me helps to pull me out of a profound funk and brings my Muse home from that too long sabbatical. Sharing what is in my heart, both practically and emotionally has always been fulfilling in more ways that I can even list, and certainly is a vital component to the equation.


That is my guiding word for my life right now. Moving closer to what I already have. Looking closer at what it is saying to me. Living closer to what my heart tells me is my purpose. and seeking to BE closer to God above all else.

I process these things through creating, writing, and sharing. This is me, it’s how I roll. Maybe this is you too? Maybe not – only you know what your soul needs….and if you don’t know right now – ask. The Creator who knows you best will tell you. Are you willing to hear it?

Art Feeds My Soul

I’m participating in The 100 days project this year.  It began on April 2nd and runs through July 10th. A weighty task indeed! But….daily art practice feeds my soul – even when I don’t feel inspired. Work through it anyway. There is so much to learn about ourselves in this process.

You may discover a new process you LOVE that you wouldn’t have otherwise

Story happens when you engage your inner soul with your outer creative being. Even without words, your pictures can tell a tale of joy, heartbreak, loss, vision, growth….

It’s up to you

Would you like to join me?  I have a list of one-word prompts for each of the 100 days to help you on your journey of discovery. (the100daysproject PROMPTS) Use them how you like. take them literally, or figuratively….it’s your food.

Here is what I did this week:

Day 1: QUOTE from a famous artist




Day 3: HOUSE


Day 4: LEAF


They won’t always be perfect. You may not even think they are beautiful. But they will always be an expression of what you are feeling. Emotion is tied directly to Art. As Day 1 says: “art is not what you see, but what you make others see – degas”

I started with 100 pieces of cardstock, all the same size to make it easy. All I have to do is grab one each morning and paint, glue, write….whatever my heart desires. My only expectation is that they will be the truest expression of me in that moment. At the end of the 100 days, I am going to bind them all into a book. On the last day I will have a video of that process for you to follow. but do whatever your heart is telling you to create.

I’d love to see what you are working on. Use these hashtags so we can all find you: #the100daysproject #100daysofcreativefaith #creativefaith

Enjoy the Process. Connect with the Creative Part of Your Soul. See the Beauty in Life.

Stretching and other uncomfortable things (artist edition)

Muscles scream and bones protest as I bend in ways I haven’t in some time. My body feels the neglect, more than my mind knows it. …and honestly, I just don’t like doing it.

But here’s the truth…

I need it. The stretching. The moving. The moving outside of the comfortable. It keeps my ligaments flexible, joints from seizing from misuse, and helps to maintain a stronger core than I might have otherwise.

 …and I hate every minute of it.

So it is with an Artist’s life

If we don’t move beyond what is familiar and comfortable creatively, we won’t ever grow to discover who we truly are (this is assuming you are searching for that little piece of the puzzle) or could be.

I have spent the last year or so taking classes, trying out new supplies and processes, teaching and speaking (which is totally outside of my comfort zone) and growing into who I am as a creative.

I’ve learned what I like
what I don’t
And what I would like to explore further

I’ve dabbled

I’ve stretched

And I have discovered a few things about myself that I never would have known otherwise.

Was it hard?


Was it painful?

-Most definitely

But did it bring me closer to the creative soul that I long to be?

-without a doubt….

I’d like to encourage you to take a step of faith today. Creative faith.

Move out of your comfort zone

Explore something new

Venture into unknown waters

…you never know when the very thing you have been avoiding all along, will be the key to all you have ever dreamed of.

What one thing can you do to stretch yourself creatively today? 

Encourage another creative: leave a comment.



Spirit Led: the art of worship

Have you ever experienced that sensation of wonder over something you’ve created? Beauty is upon the page but you aren’t quite sure where it came from.

Words, color, or creative expression evident, but how did it get there?

If you’ve come over today from A Beautiful LifeWelcome! I am so glad you have decided to stop by.

Creativity and art is not everybody’s cup of tea – heck, even self-proclaimed artists sometimes have trouble claiming it. But what do you call that fantastic meal you just created for your hungry family, the enemy slaying prayer that manifested on your lips – making all the difference in someone’s life, or the time carved out of an overly busy schedule to meet the needs of another?

I call it a CREATIVE use of what the CREATOR has given you. It is your worship!

Not everyone will have gifts that fall into the artistic realm. But, we are ALL, each and every one of us, CREATIVE. How can we help it? We have the breath of a creative Eternal within us. We are made in His image, made to reflect who He is. And that reflection is CREATIVE.

As of late, I have been intensely interested in Spirit led art. Are you familiar with it?

It is the practice of allowing the spirit within you guide your thoughts, your hands – your unique expression of creativity.

It is mysterious, invigorating, and enthralling, all rolled up into one.

I love how the spirit connects with its Creator to bring about something deep and unexpected. We can learn so much about ourselves and our Maker by engaging spiritually. The important thing to remember is that it’s not about the end result – it is absolutely about the process.

Here are some ideas to get you started in a spirit led practice, whether you are a writer, photographer, artist, cook, prayer, or creative entrepreneur…we all have that Spirit connection within us that will engage us on a much deeper level, manifesting things we never thought possible. These are just some initial things to try. Ultimately the Spirit will guide you as to how to proceed, but the idea here is to just get started. The more time you take exploring this practice, the closer your spirit will come to the Source and the deeper your outpouring will become. Take five minutes today to explore this, ten tomorrow. …and keep increasing your time to whatever you can afford to do. This is a great practice for right before you work doing whatever it is that you do.

Spirit Lead Me…

  1. Gather a few favorite supplies – limit what you take, this isn’t about exploring new techniques or supplies. Use what you already know so that figuring things out doesn’t factor in. Here are mine: arches hot press watercolor block (small) travel box of watercolors (limited to paynes gray, sepia, burnt orange and raw umber), white and black acrylic inks, 1 piece of willow charcoal, stabilo pencils in black and sepia.
  2. Find your quiet place – this should be somewhere free of distraction. I have to go where the dogs are not J I love their snuggly tendencies, but not while I am forming a spirit connection! This might be in a garden, walking in the woods, or in a room of your abode near a bright window. Your choice – do what works for you. Just make sure that you won’t be disturbed for the set period of time you have chosen to start with. I will be sitting near the big window in my studio today, as it is still quite cold outside.
  3. Engage with creation – The Creator is present within all of His creation. Being immersed in it will help you to visualize being where He is. Bring in some flowers from the garden if you aren’t sitting in it. Branches and pinecones you picked up on a walk works, as well as flowers from the store. Try to surround yourself with anything natural you can gather. I have a terrarium full of things I’ve picked up on walks. Empty robin’s eggs, acorn caps, moss balls, twisted branches. These kinds of things inspire me
  4. Have a backdrop of tunes –Does music inspire you? It does me. Choose something soothing and keep the volume low. Here are some of my personal favorites for this particular type of journey: bethel music, hillsong united, sounds of nature cd’s. These are just to get your soul singing. Sometimes words from the songs will pop vividly into my mind, demanding to be recognized. I often find that these are clues from the Eternal – words just for me.  Recognize them, make them heard on your page!
  5. Close your eyes to “SEE” – Sometimes seeing isn’t about the visual world. Sometimes it is about seeing with your heart, with your soul. When my eyes are open, I tend to see what I want to, but when they are closed my heart is much more open to the whisperings of the Spirit. When you close your eyes, what do you hear? Can you see a color? An image? A shape maybe? I often see circles – they find their way into my art a lot! What types of things do you do over and over? Pay attention to them. If you find that it is always the same thing, look up the symbolism of that shape, word, image. Listen to what your Spirit is telling you about it.

Journal what you are learning.  After several sessions, you may see a pattern, or discover something new….

  1. Allow the inner to connect with the outer – Whatever you are hearing or seeing during these precious moments, allow that inner voice to move your outer hands in a way that describes what you are hearing or seeing. I know it sounds confusing. I’m often confused during this carved out space in my life. But let your hands give expression to what you feel. Don’t over think it – you are not creating a piece of artwork that you will hang on the wall – yet. In these beginning sessions, it is about learning to listen and respond in whatever way you are compelled to. String lines together…or words. Let what you are experiencing on the inside flow through to the outside.  Just let it go! It doesn’t matter what it looks like.  It isn’t about anyone seeing what you see – only You and the Creator

Maybe you are sitting in a garden and watching the wind move some dried winter blooms.  Video tape them. Watch how they sway. They are responding to the external as well as the internal. They are doing exactly what they were made to do in every stage of their life.  They recognize how they were made. They know what to do.  They worship with their whole being!

It may be a stretch to think about things this way, but give it a try. Recognize the Creator spirit in all that surrounds you. See the world in a different way and renew your mind.

When we do what we were created to do, our very being becomes worship. Who we are reflects the Spirit of the Creator and shows the incredible glory that He is. This can make our whole life become a beautiful work of art – on or off the canvas.

 Keep your heart open to the possibilities, and you will see amazing things!

I hope you are inspired to begin today. Seek the Creator in all of His eternal glory.

Bring about the “ART” you were born to create!

Join me on this journey of discovery. sign up for emails straight to your inbox!

Juices for Creative Cooking  

Different perspectives are important in cultivating a well rounded creative experience and beautifully colorful life.

At least once a month I would love for you to see how others are using their creative gifts.  Today is one of those days!  I am so pleased to introduce you to a woman who’s friendship has meant the world to me.  She is kind, understanding and a fantastic listener.  Her perspectives help to keep me grounded when I have trouble seeing past the difficult days.  She is a godly woman and uses the creative gifts that God has given her to bless her family and others.

Please help me in welcoming Barbara Koob.

Blogger, author, and globetrotting, God loving creative soul!

don't forget to check out the link at the 
bottom of the post to a wonderful recipe 
that you are sure to love!

Juices for Creative Cooking  

By Barbara Koob

My husband often asks me, “Did you follow the recipe?”

“Of course not” is my answer for I know myself too well. That would be so boring. Do you love to get crazy in the kitchen like me? I have so much fun experimenting until I get a recipe just the way I like it; however, I must admit… things don’t always turn out the first time.

When Lisa first asked me to write and share my cooking handiworks on Creative Faith, I thought I can’t. After all, I am not an artist, nor do I consider myself creative. Interestingly, as I gave more thought to this idea, I discovered I am more creative than I realized, and cooking is just one of my innovative outlets.

Do you know what your outlet for creating inspiration is? It could be music, gardening, home decorating, various hobbies or even building projects. The list could be as varied as the personality types out there. Truly, God created every single one of us with creative gifts and talents. We should always welcome those imaginative ideas to make something new when they come.

God, our creator, loves it when we create. It can even be therapeutic when we share our gifts with others, and them with us. However, we have to be willing to get out of our comfort zone and take chances.

Do you love to take risks in the kitchen? I do and always remind myself that the worst that can happen is that no one likes to eat what I made. Of course, they don’t have to let it touch their lips. My mom always said that if you don’t like dinner, you can always have peanut butter and jelly. (Haha!) But seriously, if that does occur, I simply go back into my ingenious cupboard and frig, and start again fresh.

Thank God that He is always making things new, and I believe this includes me and my crazy cooking creations. (Hope that makes you smile.)  2 Corinthians. 5:17 tells us that old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. Our Heavenly Father, our brilliant Creator delights when we design, craft, fashion, invent, build, and produce.

I believe our beautiful creations give Him glory for we using the talents He has placed in us to display His splendor. They can also be used for good works that He has already prepared for us to do as described in Ephesians 2:10. It is actually healing too, both for us and for others when we share what we make.   

Recently, I had the tastiest treat while traveling to Germany with my husband. Can you guess what this is? It’s not a pizza, but uses a very thin cracker-like pizza crust. Since I couldn’t buy it here in the US, I knew I must learn to make it and share it.  So are you open to trying something new in your kitchen?
I tried various versions of this recipe, tested it with my family, and modified it to my personal taste and budget. Then, I invited all my friends to sample this tasty treat at a small get together at my house. I also asked them to assist me in crafting this creation, if they felt led.     

We had such a great time.
This is what creative faith is all about – sharing your gifts and the fun!


Would you like to know what I created and served? It’s a scrumptious snack that I encountered during my visit to Cologne.  It can be used as a light lunch or dinner, and it originated from the Alsatian region of France. Click HERE to find out more and to get the recipe.

Happy Creating in the kitchen my friends!


5 flowers blooming in my garden right now


You can smell it in the air

Tiny green buds appear on each branch of every tree along my walk – evidence that a blooming is about to take place. Yet I find myself impatient. As much as I love those first signs of spring, the green that begins to break through the ground and on the trees in my village, I long to see the full bloom of the flowers in my garden.  Too long have I looked at dried up stems and wilted brown leaves. Too long has snow covered up what I know will be beauty come summer in my garden.

But the ground will not be rushed. It will be what it was created to be – but in its own time.

So as I wait with the impatience of an artist, I create my own beauty, my own blooms, to get me through this time that is needed for the real thing to make its appearance.

Maybe you would like to create a blooming garden too?

Here are 5 flowers that you can make “bloom” right now, to get you through the anticipation of color coming back into your little part of the world:

Flower Doodles: doodle yourself a garden. Use pictures of real flowers from a magazine or other reference to give you ideas of shape, form and variety. They don’t have to look real, only give a suggestion of color and joy, like that of a truly blooming patch of flowers. Use simple lines, and in lieu of coloring them in, use patterns to fill the spaces, creating texture and depth. doodling your flowers can open up a whole new genus to fill your “garden” (do you like this doodle?  It is available in my etsy store as a download 🙂

Collage Garden: What a great way to create something unique and colorful than by gathering a stack of colorful papers and cutting them into flower shapes. Try cutting circles and triangle, ovals and squares. Arrange them into groupings that suggest a blooming patch of flora. Choose colors that make you happy. Vary the types of patterns utilizing both geometric and floral filled. Put them together in a pleasing way that suggests the presence of order and purpose. You can even add a few inspirational words to your “painting”. Then sit back and enjoy!

Watercolor Blooms: I love the light washes that give only the impression of flowers. The colors flow from one right into the next, insinuating that where one ends another begins with no end to the blooming colors. Each flower is unique in its own right, yet they are all flowers. There is a certain symmetry and synchronicity to them all, and watercolor blooms are the perfect way to exhibit that conformity in a way that doesn’t conform to any rules.

3 Color Monoprint Flora: Have you ever tried monoprinting? Not only is it easy, but beautiful as well. There are a few specific tools that you need to engage in this creative practice, but it is well worth the investment as the possibilities of what you can do with these incredible prints are endless. It is one of my favorite things to do when I simply want to be creative yet don’t have a specific project in mind.  I’ve created hundreds of prints using just a few of my favorite colors, stencils, cardstock and my gelli plate. I’m sure to have a future tutorial on this amazingly satisfying practice. Today I used my hand cut flower stencils and my favorite cool color palette. Use whatever you like to create your garden, after all, it’s yours!

Mixed-Media Bouquet: Combining different mediums into the same piece of art serves to create depth, texture and vivid color-combinations that would not otherwise be possible. I just love the combinations of paint, paper, fabrics and even pieces of metal or string, that make their way into some of the projects I’ve created. The process of working them into my art enhances my problem solving abilities and keeps my mind fresh. It helps me to think beyond what I see or even know. What a wonderful way to be able to look at the world! I like to start by gathering all of the mediums I have that are within a specific range of color.  I usually limit the colors to two or three  similar with an addition of 1 complimentary color to give the piece “pop”. As I add them all in, the fact that they have something similar about them helps to unify the otherwise opposing mediums. Creating in this way has changed my view of what it means to create, and makes me feel freer in other areas of my life as well.

I hope you have enjoyed this walk through my “garden”. I would love to see what you have come up with to help your little corner of the world bloom with color! ~lisa

I have a devotional running today on a beautiful life about how to look past the lack of fertile ground in your life,  and anticipate a blooming anyway. We all have those periods where we lack inspiration and become stagnant. Getting past that is tough, but doable if we keep just one thing in mind – Jesus!  Read that here: “blooming even in infertile ground”

Or if you like short stories, I have a story posting this morning on my personal page ( It is called “Eglantine” I would love for you to stop by and give it a read, then let me know what you think!  I look forward to meeting you there!

Are your layers showing?


layers post

I don’t know about you, but I would love nothing more than to be able to sit down and in 1 hour create a masterpiece full of depth and significance. I often approach my faith in this way as well. Who wants to spend hours, days, or even years in God’s refining grace becoming the masterpiece He insists we are.

We want instant – well, I do anyway. Can you relate?

But instant just isn’t possible.

So much goes into the process of creating a painting as well as having a beautiful life – things that aren’t necessarily seen in the end result. Not readily, anyway. The many layers of color and texture, heartache and experience that makes up an incredible work of art takes time and persistence.

A true artist is always working the layers to develop something more beautiful than what they are looking at in that moment. Just as God is constantly refining us with lessons and daily experience, so do we as artists constantly refine our techniques to reveal the beauty that we know is possible.

My abilities are constantly developing, as are the things that I create.

I find immense joy in the process itself:

exploring different mediums

finding what works together

and yes, even making mistakes.

All of these things work together to weave a canvas of beauty in both our life and our art.

Everyone’s experiences are different, as are the tools that we will choose to use, but some rules even though quite often broken, can serve to guide the artist and seeker to success.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind while working on your project that can take you from ho-hum to a masterfully created work of art:

  1. Start with the right foundation. Building anything upon a substandard foundation can cause weaknesses in the structure of your art. You wouldn’t paint with watercolors or acrylics on printer paper because eventually the paper below would turn to mush and rip, buckle or disintegrate as you add in more and more layers.

In faith, this foundation is Jesus. Without this secure footing, our life would be unsteady, changing with every tide that washes up on our shore.

Similarly, as an artist we must choose the right foundation for the job. If you are going to create using paper, glue and heavy bodied paint, use mixed-media paper or a heavyweight watercolor paper 240lbs and up. This will hold up to the gluing, painting, and anything else that you want to throw at it. On the other hand, if you simply plan to sketch and color with pencils or charcoal, a much thinner paper will suit that process just fine, although Bristol paper or others made specifically for graphite pencils and pastels will give you a much nicer surface for blending. Research the type of mediums you plan to use.

There are many product sites that will offer suggestions on how to use their products.  I’ve found that this is the best place to look for advice. They want you to succeed, so giving the proper information is vital. There are also many artists who offer great tutorials on the use of various mediums. They are more likely to think outside the box when it comes to creative uses for products. But always remember that their experience might not end up being yours. By all means take their advice, but explore on your own. Who knows, you may end up creating your own tutorials from the experiences.

  1. Use color creatively.

I love to use a wide array of colors in my work…and then sometimes not. Building up separate layers of cool and warm colors sounds like it would become quite busy – and it does. But as the layers build upon each other, something magical happens in the interaction of strokes and color. They begin to hold hands companionably and although the busyness that occurs can be a bit much, something is created within these layers that cannot be made any other way.

Then there are those times that limiting your color palette to a few, and even one color can yield impressive results. Some of my favorite paintings were created simply using one basic color, black and white. Try it! Often, the process of limiting colors will get you to think more creatively about how to use them.

  1. Be transparent.

If you are always using opaque mediums, you will never have the opportunity to show the beauty of what is beneath the surface. There are many beautiful colors that will give an almost sheer view of what is underneath, yet enhances what might otherwise fall flat. I love the transparent colors that Golden Fluid Artist Colors makes – particularly Nickle Azul Gold, which is a dirty gold hue.  While it’s certainly not the cheapest paint I’ve ever purchased, a small amount washed over a surface of various layers can change the whole feel of a painting, giving depth of color and tone.

Similarly, when we are transparent in life, especially with the dirt of our past, its overlying effect can be glorious. Hiding everything under a mask of perfection will just make us look flat and one dimensional. But if those hurts and failures are covered in gold, even if the gold is dirty, it gives depth and meaning to an otherwise bleak existence.

  1. Don’t forget definition.

Unless you are creating a washy abstract, defining areas in your piece will help to give it a focus. The layers you spend time building will create the depth that you need, to give the impression that there is more to it than meets the eye. But without a focus, somewhere for your eye to rest, the observer will have a hard time figuring out what it all means.

If all you show people are the painful experiences of your past without defining what those experiences have created, it will simply look like a dirty mess.

Even pictures without a definable object have meaning. Sometimes it is the color, or lack of it that will tell you what the artist is trying to say; the story behind the art. In that instance, the color is carefully chosen for a specific purpose, it is placed right where the creator wants it in order to have the greatest effect on the observer, and to create the most profound beauty. We see this not only in art, but also in how God defines our visible selves. We are far from perfect, but even the imperfect places color us with salt and light that shines and flavors the world around us. It is the mistakes we make that allows us to have better perspective.  I don’t want to be defined by my choices or mistakes for sure, but if they can be used to make my future self, more beautiful, I am all for it!

  1. Finish well.

Completing a picture, or even knowing when it is done, can be one of the most difficult parts of our creative projects. Unlike our lives where we aren’t done developing that canvas until we have gone to be with our Savior, a painting at some point needs to be completed in order for the rest of the world around us to appreciate it.

But it’s the knowing when that stumps us.

Sometimes you just know when it’s done, and other times we simply have to let it go. And that is a different kind of knowing.

Knowing when enough is enough.

Knowing when things are getting muddy and we need to just walk away before things get ugly.

Knowing when our piece has reached maximum impact, and even though it’s not perfect, we allow the imperfections to speak a whole new story.

The point really is to finish the race, both in life, and in art. Create something that will impact and change the world around you. And when it is done, there will be a beautiful picture of your accomplishments both creative and experiential.

Remember: Each day is a canvas of possibility.

Create something beautiful!