Several months ago I was honored to be asked by the lovely Rebekah Jones to be interviewed for her blog. I am reprinting it here.
Bible Art Journaling Challenge Participant Roundup Interview
BY REBEKAH R JONES ON JUN 23, 2016
Hello everyone! I’ve got a fun roundup interview today, of ladies who have all participated in the Bible Art Journaling Challenge! I’m bringing you Barbara Ford, Patsy McGehee Stowe, Elmarie Kruis and Barbara Rademacher! You may recognize them, or not, but I am certain you will just LOVE what they have to say and share today. You’ll be able to relate to them and glean from their own creative journey with God.
Be sure to share this with anyone who will want to hear from these lovely ladies and enjoy this post.
Before we get to interview questions, I asked each Bible art journalist to introduce themselves. May you be richly blessed by this post and we hope to hear from you in the comments!
Barbara Ford (aka Barbara Wilson Ford)
Location – We have two homes. My primary home (my home state where my roots are and where my daughter’s family lives): Missouri; my second home, so that I can be close to our son and his family who recently moved: Washington.
- Blog – scrappermamo.blogspot.com
- Pinterest – pinterest.com/bkford
- Instagram – @scrappermamo
- Twitter – @scrappermamo
- Random interesting life detail – Married for 50 years, daughter of a pastor, mother of a pastor, grandmother of a pastor-in-training at seminary.
- Art Journaling Bible – Midsize 400 Notetakers Bible, KJV. It has 11 point font and 2.5 inch margins. LOVE IT!
Patsy McGehee Stowe
- Location – Beaufort, South Carolina, USA
- Random interesting life detail – I am a wife, a mother of two daughters, and an art teacher.
- Art Journaling Bible – NIV Journaling Bible.
- Location – Centurion, South Africa
- Instagram – @elmarieellahx
- Random interesting life detail – I am a Pre-school Teacher, which challenged me to think creative, experimenting with new techniques and different kinds of mediums. All in God’s plan to prepare me for Bible Journaling!!!
- Art Journaling Bible – ESV Single Column Journaling Bible – Red. The Journaling Bible with a red cover is no longer available, but this is the black cover version of the same one.
- Location – Bentonville, Arkansas, USA – Home of Walmart. Bentonville is nestled in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains mere minutes away from glorious scenery and terrific boating, swimming, and fishing. Needless to say, I love it here. I teach math at the local community college, and attend Fellowship Bible Church in Lowell, AR.
- Blog – barbrad42.blogspot.com
- Pinterest – pinterest.com/barbararademach
- Instagram – @barbrad42
- YouTube – youtube.com/c/barbararademacher
- Random interesting life detail – I create math videos for my community college students and upload them to Youtube.
- Art Journaling Bible – Year 1 of Bible journaling: The Life Application Study Bible. Year 2 of Bible journaling: Inspire Bible.
On to these interview questions!
What drew you to start art journaling in your Bible?
Barbara Ford – I have always written in my Bibles (in every available space), including my thoughts, sermon notes, etc. But I am new at any form of “art” and only in recent years began art journaling. I do not remember which of my Facebook friends first mentioned that there was “such a thing” as BIBLE art journaling.
I followed a couple of links and absolutely and totally fell in love with the idea. Right away I found the Illustrated Faith Facebook page, joined the group (at that time only a few members, as I recall), and jumped in with both feet. I have found it to be a wonderful way to combine my newfound “creativity” (never thought of myself as being creative, much less artistic, and that’s the truth) and Bible study (always loved being a student).
Patsy McGehee Stowe – I was creating a coloring book based with uplifting scripture for a dear friend of mine who has breast cancer. As I was researching ideas, I came across Bible journaling as a form of worship. I fell in love with it, and have been a little OCD about it.
Elmarie Kruis – At the end of 2014 I found photo’s of Karla Dornacher ‘s faith journal. I was so amazed but thought I could never be able to do something like that. In February 2015 my sister-in-law introduced me to the Bible Art Journaling challenge Facebook page. I was in awe.
By March 2015 I found a Journaling Bible at our local Christian Bookstore (which is highly unlikely in South-Africa) I bought a set of 24 Faber-Castell Aquarelle pencils and started to follow Rebekah’s challenges.
Barbara Rademacher – One evening, a fellow church member who happens to work a Day Spring brought art supplies and led us in a Bible art journaling experience. I thought it was the strangest idea I had ever heard of, but I became totally addicted. God has used Bible art journaling to open my eyes to the wonders of His Word. For the first time in my 63 years (when I started), I ENJOYED reading the Bible.
How would you describe your Bible art journaling style?
Barbara Ford – My style is eclectic but always simple. Sometimes I sketch and paint. I am a beginner at art—didn’t sketch ANYTHING until 3 years ago and never painted anything before that (unless paint by number counts). So, even on the pages that might be considered “artwork,” it is simple, because that’s all I can do. Sometimes I just use text with color background (for text I sometimes trace around stickers and then remove the stickers, or use freehand—I am not skilled with script). I occasionally use stamps that I paint with watercolor. Sometimes I cover the whole page, sometimes just the margin, but I ALWAYS use transparent medium so the words show through. I either use a passage from a challenge, or a passage that is meaningful to me at the moment.
Patsy McGehee Stowe – Eclectic… I am a visual arts teacher, so I am familiar with many art styles. I generally research visual images that may have been used through the scripture passage and put my own twist on it.
Elmarie Kruis – I don’t think I have a specific style. Each inscription is very unique and I like to use different techniques and mediums.
Barbara Rademacher – I am eclectic, to say the least. I have watched hundreds of hours of Youtube videos dealing with art techniques since I began art journaling in my several Bibles last year. I do know I am not good at drawing yet. However, I am becoming much more adventurous; this month, for instance, I began wanting to hand letter in my Bible.
Of any of the Bible Art Journaling Challenges you have participated in, which is your favorite piece you completed and why?
Barbara Ford – One thing I appreciate about Rebekah’s challenges is that she does not require that you do exactly what she does, only that you use the same passage that she uses in that challenge. Sometimes I follow along with her, pretty much step-by-step, and that’s perfectly okay. Sometimes I use my own artistic interpretation of the passage, and that’s perfectly okay. I have several “favorites,” but answering the question here, this one is a favorite. It is from Rebekah’s Original Bible Art Journaling Challenge, Week 18, Hebrews 11:1. I used alpha stamps for the letters in FAITH, and I sketched and watercolored everything else.
Patsy McGehee Stowe – John 3:16’s entry is my favorite. I came across an image on pinterest by Erin Leigh. This particular folk art style appeals to me. I like the simplicity of the image, use of color, and the ability to get the message across to the viewer. I decided to use Erin Leigh’s style to depict John 3:16.
(Note from Rebekah: The photo inspiring Patsy is no longer available, but what a lovely depiction here that Patsy created after being inspired!)
Elmarie Kruis – May 2015, for me, ended with a HUGE storm. It felt like everything I knew and worked for was falling apart. Then Rebekah announced the WEEK 20 Bible Art Journaling Challenge. Psalm 42:7-8. I immediately knew the waves I was going to draw would represent the current spiritual storm I was going through. As I painted the curly waves I could feel God’s healing taking place. It took me almost three days to complete this challenge. As I ended this challenge I knew God finished what he started and I grew through this whole process.
Barbara Rademacher – The challenge that has moved me the most is the June 2016 Heaven is Calling prompt: Choose the Best Portion, Luke 10:38-42, the story of Martha and Mary. Of course, I have read the tale many times, but on this occasion I was especially inspired, possibly because I was praying for art inspiration. When God inspires, He inspires broadly.
I began thinking very deeply about Mary and Martha and their relationship to each other. I was so inspired, I wrote text in every available white area of the two pages. Then, the next day, I discovered that my new ladies’ Bible study was partly about Martha and Mary, and taking a deeper look – this was AFTER I wrote all the text. Clearly, God has decided to deal with me about my Martha and Mary characteristics.
One more thing: I was inspired to do something I have never done before, just use my own handwriting on the “art text” (I don’t know what else to call it.) For all the failures, all the lettering (except for the publisher lettering) is mine. God is truly amazing.
What are your top 5, favorite art supplies for your Bible art journaling process?
Barbara Ford – Art Basics Clear Gesso (applied with a foam brush), Derwent Inktense Blocks (often use a water brush directly bars to page), NeoColor II Crayons (often use water brush directly crayon to page), Ranger Heat Gun, Distress Inks (I prefer the bright colors and apply with Tim Holtz blending tool).
Patsy McGehee Stowe – I mostly use Prang watercolors, Prismacolor watercolor pencils, and Sakura Micron pens.
Elmarie Kruis – Derwent inktense pencils, Washi tape, Liquitex matte gel meduim, Sakura Pigma Micron pens, Faber Castell Gelatos.
Barbara Rademacher – I believe strongly that someone could begin Bible art journaling and spend almost no money using only Art Basics clear gesso and Ranger Distress markers. Everything else is icing on the cake. However, I am extremely fond of my PrismaColor pencils and Inktense pencils.
(Note from Rebekah: Barbara also mentioned her heavy-bodied acrylic paints to me, which I enjoy too!)
What is your top tip for Bible art journaling?
Barbara Ford – Remember that your work is just that: YOUR work. Whether, like me, your style is rather eclectic, or whether you use the same style most of the time, there are two main things that I try to keep in focus: (1) I want the page to reflect the meaning of that passage FOR ME; (2) I want my art journaling Bible(s) to be passed down to my children and grandchildren, so I try to make sure they reflect me and what I believe/how I feel (not so much about whether or not I was a great “artist”). With the passing of time, I think more about what “of me” will remain in the hearts of my children and grandchildren after I am no longer with them. This is not morbid; it is simply a fact that the value of “legacy” increases with time. It just does.
Patsy McGehee Stowe – Research images related to the scripture…once you find that image that speaks to you, research different ways that image may have been used throughout various art styles. I use Google images, Pinterest, Bibleartjournalingcommunity, etc. as resources for visual inspiration. Then take your inspiration and make it your own!
Elmarie Kruis – With one of my first Bible art journaling challenge inscription I copied someone in the groups page. It never grew on me… My top tip is always add your personal touch to an inscription and never be critical of your own work. God wants to communicate with you. He does this by inspiring you from choosing the verse down to the last pen mark. If you make “mistakes” always be open to learn a lesson. God communicates with us even through our faults.
Barbara Rademacher – Simply this: Don’t listen to the enemy when he whispers you are not good enough.
How has Bible art journaling most impacted your relationship with God and your time spent with His Word?
Barbara Ford – Bible Art Journaling gives me an additional reason to be excited about opening The Word. I enjoy finding a way to illustrate my “take-away” from a Scripture passage, making it more meaningful and memorable. Also, the “teacher in me” is always looking for ways to share life inspiration from meaningful passages. Sharing the art that I do on the pages of the Bible helps me feel like I am using two of my gifts: teaching and creativity.
I write a corresponding blog piece for each page I do (as well as for the Faith Art that I do). That gives me an opportunity to talk about the meaning the passage has for me. My blog posts are about the inspiration from the passage, not about the technique or supplies used. So, Bible art journaling has impacted my relationship with God, and my time spent with His Word, on several levels.
Patsy McGehee Stowe – Since my recent discovery of Bible art journaling, I have found myself more in the Word than I have ever been. I like how am focused on one message and do my best to illustrate it…hopefully to memory.
Elmarie Kruis – This journey has definitely deepened my relationship with God. If I page through my Bible, each inscription has a story and it is visibly clear that I have grown from the very first inscription until now. My Journaling Bible compares with my teen diary. When I look at the pages I remember exactly how I felt, and what I learned at each stage. This reminds me of God’s grace and how He will never leave me nor forsake me.
Barbara Rademacher – I became a born-again, evangelical Christian in 1996. Before that, I had occasionally attended church and read the Bible less. After becoming a Christian, I still could not enjoy reading the Bible; I prayed to enjoy reading it, but I could not convince myself that I liked reading the Bible.
Bible art journaling has totally transformed my relationship with God’s Word and therefore with God Himself. I forced myself to read the Bible before, now I look forward to spending time with God in the Bible. I look forward to the lessons I can learn and how I might express that meaning visually.
What would you say to someone who hasn’t yet gotten started with a Bible Art Journaling Challenge?
Barbara Ford – Most importantly, START. Do a page. For me, because I do not like bleed-through and I use different media (not all dry), I always prep the page first, using Rebekah’s method, with Art Basics Clear Gesso. If you do that first, it’s not so intimidating to start a page. Once prepped, it’s easy to start adding text or stamps or sketching and/or color. You do not need to be an artist; on the other hand, it’s okay if you ARE an artist.
Bible Art Journaling will deepen and enrich your relationship with God, and if you share your work, for example on Rebekah’s Facebook group, it will allow you to reach out and influence others in ways you could never have imagined. And, as I’m in my late 60’s, I’m always thinking about a legacy I can leave behind for my grandchildren, so as I do these pages, I have an eye to the generations to come!
Patsy McGehee Stowe – To someone who hasn’t gotten started with a Bible Art Journaling Challenge, I suggest making your entry personal in some way. On every entry I have completed, I have tried to apply the scripture to my life in some way so that the artwork becomes very personal to me. God gave me a love for making art, and this new art form for me has almost become a creative communication from me to God…
I have a habit of latching on to a hobby for a while and then all of sudden switch to another activity or hobby. I am thankful for this creative outlet that keeps me connected with God. I hope and pray that I will continue to think of it as a deeper connection with my relationship with Jesus and not a “hobby”.
Elmarie Kruis – Take the plunge. You don’t need the most expensive Bible or art supplies. God uses little things to create BIG miracles. All He wants is to spend time with YOU!
Barbara Rademacher – To someone who has not yet started a Bible Art Journaling Challenge, I would say, “Give it a try. What have you got to lose? Since so much of Bible art journaling is done with designs, you don’t have to have any talent. You can buy some cheap colored pencils and get started.
I have NEVER found a more inspiring pastime. My life is so much more passionate now than it was before, and I have made new friends. Thanks to Rebekah, I know God and art better than I have ever known either, even though I have read the Bible, attended church, and visited art museums before. Just do it!”
Is there anything else you would like to say or share with us?
Barbara Ford – I would encourage everyone who is receiving spiritual value from this activity (Bible journaling) to make it a goal to continue, to keep going, to keep it up. Sometimes a “trend” or a “fad” will fade with time. Maybe that’s okay, but if you are growing spiritually from Bible journaling, keep going. Even if you need to put it aside for awhile for various reasons, don’t quit. Allow God to continue to bless you through this application of His Word in your life!
Patsy McGehee Stowe – One of my dreams is to one day illustrate a children’s book…I wouldn’t be able to write it…as I am not a writer, but I do love to draw!
Elmarie Kruis – God has opened so many doors for me since I began this journey. And I have been blessed with new sisters from all over the world, sharing my love and passion. I am thankful and stand amazed. Our God is Great!
Barbara Rademacher – I enjoy the new journaling Bibles that offer pictures for coloring. I feel so free when I am using them: I can make my own art, or I can just relax and color. My experience with the new journaling Bibles is that I can have my cake and eat it too, as the old saying goes.
Thank you, Rebekah! I am totally honored to have been invited to participate in this round-up interview!