Sunday, November 29, 2015

The glicee print pictured is "The Holy Thing" by Bruce Manwarring. Sadly Bruce has passed away but his evocative Advent  image remains. On this first Sunday of Advent, behold him, the King who is coming, the long expected Jesus, growing within the womb of the Virgin.What do you grow within your heart? What expectation this holy season? Come Lord Jesus!
From the  Arts and Crafts Society of Central New York:  In Memoriam
Bruce Manwaring, 1940-2009
Bruce Manwaring born in Middleboro, MA was 68 when he suddenly passed away on February 7, 2009. Bruce received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1962. Traveling to California, he attended the Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont University) studying painting at Scripps College where he received a BA. After serving as Chairman of the Art Department at Jamestown College, he continued on to receive an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Massachusetts. In 1970, Bruce was hired as an Assistant Professor in Printmaking and Illustration at Syracuse University where he helped to build up the Printmaking Program as part of the Experimental Studios Department. This Department, which he chaired for five years, became the present Studio Arts Department. He and his wife, Nicora Gangi, are co-partners of Machaira Studio, which was formed in 1986. Bruce has served as Area Coordinator of the Printmaking Program and has taught courses in Foundation Drawing, Lithography, Relief, Monoprint, and Stained Glass. He retired from Syracuse University in the spring of 2007 after 43 years of teaching. Bruce’s prints have been exhibited regionally, nationally, and internationally in numerous juried and invitational shows.They are in the collections of the Free University in Amsterdam; The Munson Williams Proctor Institute; the Tyler Gallery at SUNY Oswego; the Scripps Gallery in Claremont; and in numerous private collections in the US, Canada, England, Germany, and the Netherlands. Bruce was a member of the founding board of the Arts and Crafts Society of Central New York and a familiar face at our events. His soft spoken gentleness will be missed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Inspirational Cards

As a gift to yourself or someone else try making an inspirational deck of cards or bookmarks. This is a fun project offering  you a way to combine scripture and the wise words of saints and create fifty-two or three hundred and sixty five individual pieces of art. These small cards can be created on a daily basis,  one to three cards at a time during your devotional time.  I often keep my finished cards in various places in my home or desk at work to remind me of the simplicity of my faith and to provide inspiration, strength and hope.

What you will need:
  • 3x5 index cards, blank or lines, whatever you prefer, or repurpose a deck of playing cards, or cardstock cut into 1 1/2 x 12" strips.
  • scrapbook paper
  • strong-hold tacky craft glue or rubber cement
  • scissors, cri-cut is handy if you have one
  • alphabet and decorative image stamps if you like to use them (not necessary
  • black ink pad (in a pinch you can use a waterbase marker if your stamp pad is dry)
  • Pigma Micron fine-point pen, fine point Sharpie or any fine point pen brand you prefer
  • paintbrush (small and high quality)
  • inspirational books, magazines, used greeting cards
  • sandpaper, fine grit 
  • embellishments (glitter, yarn, jewels, stickers,etc)
  • tote or box to keep your supplies collected 

2. Prep all of your cards with scrapbook paper. First, brush a layer of craft glue on one side of the card. If you use sandpaper to lightly roughen the card first, it will provide the texture needed to firmly adhere the paper and glue to the card.

3. Place the card on a piece of scrapbook paper. Repeat until the paper has as many cards as will fit.
Repeat with the entire group of cards.

4. Allow the glue to dry and cut out the cards. You can work with one card at a time or prepare multiple cards at once.

When the glue has set, let your heart guide you, finding words, scripture or inspirational phrases that inspire you. Let the designs evolve. You are creating these cards for you; whatever may be holding you back from creating freely give to God in prayer. Play with the materials, make designs.

5. Cut out small pieces of paper with different shapes matching the scrapbook paper backgrounds. Glue one to the center of a card or slightly to one side of a card.Use a large rubber stamp and black ink to add another design element on top of it all. Rubber stamp designs such as feathers, leaves, birds and flowers will add a unique touch and contrast to the card. If you don’t press hard enough with the stamp, you can fill in your letter with a black pen.

6. Cut out words from a book or use word stickers to add inspirational phrases along the side of the stamp. If you do not have the word you are looking for, use your rubber letter stamp set on your card or hand write or print the word or phrase. If you make a mistake you can cut out a mini piece of paper to cover that area and then stamp or write again on top of it.

Inspiration Words:
Abba Father
Living Water 
Holy Spirit

7. Accent a word by placing it farther away from other words and drawing an arrow to it, or drawing a box around it with a black pen.
Keep these cards around your house, in your car or at work to inspire you, or carry them with you to share with others.
You can attach these cards to your business card with a paperclip, or even frame a few of them together to create a piece of wall art.
 This tutorial was previously published in the book Art Journal Art Journey by Nichole Rae, copyright 2014. and North Light Books.)
and adapted by Art As Prayer.
Image lifted from: Check out her site, many awesome ideas for this project!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fraktur for the Faithful

Pennsylvania Fraktur was an illuminated folk art created by the Pennsylvania Dutch (also known Pennsylvanian German). Most work of this type was created between 1740 and 1860 by teachers or pastors seeking to supplement their meager salaries. The manuscripts, scribed in ink, were sometimes colored with watercolor. The illuminated book below is an example of Vorschriften (writing), single page birth and baptismal certificates, marriage and house blessings, book plates, and floral and figurative scenes were referred to as Taufscheine.
Pictured below in color is the work of Johannes Ernst Spangenberg (1755-1814) a Northampton County Pennsylvania schoolmaster. He was much in demand for his Fraktur and was known as the “Easton Bible Artist.”
Fraktur also refers to a Latin Blacklettering text style created in the early 16th century by Hieronymus Andreae for the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I for a new series of books. Blow in black and white is an example of a Bible done in this manner.

Original preserved examples of Fraktur Americana folk art can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art as well as in private collections.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Making Praise Cards, the inspiration of Cheryl Cope

If you are looking for some interesting ideas related to Creativity Coaching, Weight Loss and Women's spirituality you might find the blog sight of Cheryl Cope interesting. Here is the link:

One of the things she talks about is making "praise cards" and gives some lovely 

examples on her site. She also talks about her experiences with prayer journaling.
For those of us who have minds that tend to wander creating praise cards or actively
journaling is one way to stay on focus while spending time in reflection on a passage
of scripture or a thought a theologian has had.

I have a journal and use it, although not with the regularity I should. It is helpful 

when I maintain that spiritual discipline. Part of my hang up, my journal is very private.
I worry that it will be read by unwelcome eyes. when I go back to read things I had read
and reflected on in the past it is always amazing to discover the insights I had 
gained and see the growth and prayers answered.

 I am going to give the praise cards a go and see if they help me with my 

reflection as well. Enjoy the inspiration of Cheryl Cope's Praise Cards. 
Check the link above to see examples of her work. 
Why don' t you give them a try too?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Art of Small Groups

One of the blogs I follow listed their small group offerings with meeting times and places. If I lived on the 
West coast and worshipped with this community of faith, this is the group I would choose join.   
 Since I live technically in northern Appalachia, I may have to start a group of a sort like this 
myself. Something to pray about.

Visual Journal
Group Facilitator: Martin French
Location: Imago Art Space (downtown)
Day/Time: Wednesdays at 7pm
Working with prompts from history, theology, and culture to craft a personal artistic voice.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Are You Ready for the Truth?

Tina Allen, African American sculptor (1948-2008) created in bronze larger than life figures of many notable African Americans such as: abolitionist Sojourner Truth,author Alex Haley,scientist George Washington Carver and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., as well as many unknowns. Her talent for sculpting was evident in her early teens when during her art class in public school she sculpted a bust of Artistotle instead of the assigned ash tray in clay. She felt that it was her mission to be "writing our history in bronze," and as such did extensive research into the lives of her subjects, interviewing them and their friends, using many reference photgraphs and pictures, if the subject was deceased, to capture the essence of the individual. She said of her work, "I'm trying to infuse a soul into these objects." Her agent, Quentin Moses, said that "once she got her hands into the clay, her subjects started talking to her." As her hands molded and fashioned the clay into the desired image, it seemed to breathe.

Sunday, December 09, 2012


This is an advent, an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming" of more thoughts and ideas of what prayer and contemplation have to do with art. This blog has been silent for too long and the ideas are starting to flow again. Wikkipedia's definition of writer's block as "a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work...It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at handIn the sweet shadow of Thanksgiving I am giving forgiveness to everyone I thought had ill treated me. I want to enter the Christmas month with a clean slate. I want to think that everyone I know can enter the last month of this year free of any ill will between us. Let us all go into December 2012 free, giving and expecting the good thing.At the other extreme, some "blocked" writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers" gives a thoughtful account of anyone involved in a creative process,writing notwithstanding. So it is with other creative endeavors, the visual arts, music, theatre, dance, the culinary and homemaking arts,and so on. A number of years ago a friend and I attended a retreat entitled Art as Prayer. During one of the solitary prayer times witting with a paper and box of crayons I heard God's audible voice call softly to me asking" who told you you couldn't do Art?" In my mind flashed the portion of the sistine Ceiling painted by Michaelangelo where Adam and Eve discover they are naked and try to hide. The art making, creative process is a process of laying bare and not everyone can bear being that exposed. It's all about shame. Who shamed you? who made you feel small unworthy, unable, unwhole, useless, and as one shamed, who have you shamed? Maya Angelou recently entered this thought on her wall on Facebook, it has become my prayer: "In the sweet shadow of Thanksgiving I am giving forgiveness to everyone I thought had ill treated me. I want to enter the Christmas month with a clean slate. I want to think that everyone I know can enter the last month of this year free of any ill will between us. Let us all go into December 2012 free, giving and expecting the good thing."