Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Combining Faith and Art

My Creative Bible
For Mother's Day this year, I was gifted a beautiful art journaling Bible from my son & daughter-in-law, Todd & Rhonda. Also gifted from my daughter and son-in-law, Cassandra and Mick, was a large set of Prismacolor Premiere Pencils to use within it.

The Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils that I love are oil based and need to be final finished set or they tend to smear, so they are not a viable option for use with my Bible.  The Prisma's are wax based and self-sealing as a result of that binding agent, making them a perfect pencil medium for the Bible art.

I'm delighted to have a new venue to combine my faith and my creativity!
 
The Bible's pages are made of very light-weight paper so potential bleed through is also a concern.  I was happy to discover several bleed-proof markers and hi-liters made especially for Bibles! Do a search at Amazon on "bible markers" and you'll find a number to choose from. :D Gel pens are also a lovely medium to use within the Bible!  I've several sets of pens and find each offers colourful creative play.

There are almost 400 illustrations within the Bible varying from a fine-art style to doodled scripture text -- all of which allow you to bring your own creative style.  Each page within the Bible has wide lined margins where you can create your own imagery or journal personal thoughts as you delve into The Word.

My Creative Bible
I am so excited to share my first completed pages - the inside front covers.

Surprisingly, I've taken a wee bit of heat over this among my art friends when I shared those first completed pages above.With all of my health issues constantly at my door, my creativity has become limited, narrowed and funneled down to a handful of mediums and methods for which to find an outlet, so I was absolutely delighted to have this Bible gifted to me as yet another venue of creative play.  To have anyone toss in anything negative about it, both shocked and hurt me deeply. It has taken me a few days to wrap my head around that feedback and put those heart thoughts into words.

I heard several artists say they were raised to believe the Bible is a "faith icon" and should not be blemished in any way.  Different churches teach different things based on the religious practices, doctrines, creeds and tenets of their General Synod or affiliation. While the remark(s) were tempered with a "Oh, I'm not judging you!" follow-up, it was clearly a judgement of disdain or of being horrified based on their religious upbringing or they would not have felt it important to comment as such on my post and photo.  Subtle it wasn't.

I heard another artist friend, when asked to show her art journal Bible and colourings within it (during her recorded U-Stream) say several times "... but its not the Bible I read!"  Frankly that shocked me even more than the "faith icon" status -- as if the illustrations meant to be coloured within the Bible somehow made The Lord's Word any less valuable and viable.  Ummmm WOW.  I don't even know what to say about that ridiculousness. 

While I can certainly appreciate my Bible as "The Holy Word of God", it is that very appreciation of His Word that helps make my Bible (any Bible!) truly something personal to me as a valuable tool in my walk of faith.  A tool that I can and should take personally to make my walk of faith stronger.

My son-in-law Mick and I were discussing that attitude of a Bible being solely a "faith icon" in terms of my father.  Daddy walked and talked his faith every day.  He guest pastored wherever requested and served the Lord in ministry through song as well. His Bible was well loved and used during his life time and Mick referenced the ways in which one could follow specific sermons Daddy had spoken through the personal notations and hi-lites within his Bible.  Our family will tell you its one of our most precious keepsakes.  I hope someday my new Bible will also become part of my artistic treasured keepsakes left to my family.

How sad that there has to be any contention at all about something as wonderful as an art journaling Bible.

How wonderful that Christian publishing companies have created a variety of  art journaling Bibles made specifically to draw a soul even more into The Word of God through creativity.

I am happy to say there are other artists who also share this joy. 

There are artists in my circle who have this or similar art journaling Bibles and also love them like me.  

Does this make me or them better than those who've expressed negativity over these Bibles?  

No.  

It simply means some of us are enhancing our walk of faith through a creative Bible ... and there's simply NOTHING wrong with that!

Don't let anyone take away your enjoyment of it either ... that's theirs to own, not yours.