Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Keeping it Simple - by Karen Herrick

I would love to have the time to spend lots of time with a Bible, coloured pencils and paints but the truth is…I don’t. I love to see other people’s beautiful work…and that in turn inspires and speaks to me -but that doesn’t work for me.
So rather than not dwell on God’s Word at all, I try to keep it simple...REALLY simple.
I don’t journal every day. I don’t journal in one place. Sometimes I journal first thing in the morning before I get up; more often in my studio before I start work, sometimes on the settee, or even in the car…
What? You have a studio…and you don’t take advantage of all those materials you have there?
Well, no actually…because if I got the coloured pencils and paints out I probably wouldn’t start work!
So I asked myself what I could actually maintain as a creative practice whilst exploring God’s Word. What would I actually transport; use wherever I am? I have journaled using the written word for many years now, so always have a pencil or pen and my journal, so I decided to stay simple.

I use this….

And these…

Yup, that’s it!
I could get complicated- but for me, it works like this. The simplicity of the materials stops me from being afraid to make mistakes. In fact, when I recently visited the Treasures Room in the British Library in London, I was really struck by the fact that many famous songs, pieces of music and ideas for books were conceived on the back of envelopes, programmes, serviettes! This is how I work!
Many of the doodles that I have done, end up eventually (and by eventually, I mean several years later!) as completed textile pieces. Many don’t…and never will. It is when I go back to the drawing that more reflections occur and as I stitch detail into the work, I meet with God again as He teaches me, encourages me, admonishes me gently and enables me to share His Word with others.

What is important, is that whatever creative practice we choose HELPS us draw closer to God, and doesn’t hinder us. God loves us to spend time with Him. He doesn’t mind how we do that. We don’t need the fanciest art materials, just a willing heart to be with Him and to sit at His feet and listen.
So, I would like to encourage you to be able to journal well with a style that suits YOU. If that is with coloured paints, pencil crayons, gesso…the whole works… then brilliant! Go for it! If it’s in your Bible: great; in a notebook-that’s fine too. If you like to journal creatively with words, pictures, collage, stitch, whatever it might be, then “Hallelujah!” Our Creator God created us all differently and it is amazing that we can each express and explore our relationship with God through our individual creativity.
What are you waiting for? Pencil? Paper? Back of an envelope? Chalk & pavement? Go for It! Put the kettle on…grab your Bible…God’s waiting for you!

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