Friday, February 17, 2012

PAJWLH- Discernment Part 1

 Discernment. What is this word exactly? I honestly can say that this word was not an active part of my vocabulary till about 15 years ago. I guess as a kid growing up, you never really have to think to much about discerning..or making the right choice a lot of grace is given when you are younger because well... when you are young you are still learning. To me, the word discernment has become pivotal these last few years. These last few years have been tough on me, but the one thing that I can say it that my definition and sense of discernment has been heightened. I know that the optimist will argue that in every trial there is still a lesson to learn, or at least there is hope of a brighter outcome, but going through the trials and the muck... the optimist in us generally is a little  quiet. Even in the toughest of times, the tightest of deadlines the one thing that I have learned to appreciate is TIME. I have learned that TIME is MINE to control. In any situation, I have the ability to take control of MY TIME. It might be tough in some situations, especially when you are dealing with others, but in reality we all have the ability to work towards making time our own again. This is the one thing that I am so grateful for when dealing with transition or painful times. Taking the time to heal, to think, to process... it is so tough when we are right smack dab in the middle of our situation. Sometimes clarity comes when we can walk away and clear our heads. This is the time that I find that my discernment is strengthened. I treasure this time to process things and to figure out how it is that I could better myself from the situation and as well decide just how much weight I am going to allow for this to take effect on to my life and what I have to offer. During times of discernment, I can process my emotions, my thoughts re-evaluate my actions and decide how I can learn from the situation to better myself and my decision making. I have seen so many relationships deteriorate because this time of discernment (cooling off period) was not allowed. This is something I have had to learn the hard way. I am not always the most level headed. I am a tender person and have sometimes jumped to the wrong conclusions because I have let my emotions make decisions for me. Being able to process my thoughts and emotions has helped me so much in evaluating my judgement on situations and how I handle them. Another thing to consider in your discernment is the value and weight of opinion that you allow some one to hold over you.  In the past, I have often blamed myself in some situations because of the trust that I put into those who were around me. This is something that has thoroughly helped me when I consider the situation that I may be in, as well as the value of the opinion of those that I may be in a misunderstanding with. It is so easy for someone to define what they think of you, the hard part is trusting yourself to discern the worth of their opinion. Most of the time these nay sayers have a 0 value of opinion, but because someone...ANYONE would quantify your value verbally... we take 100% offense to their opinion. Remember, their opinion... is THEIR OPINION. It is not truth, sometimes there might be a bit of truth that we can learn from, but that does not mean that 100% of their opinion needs to rest on your shoulders. Discern the true weight and value that YOU see their opinion as, take a truthful look at yourself and decide just how much is their opinion truly worth to you.

This idea of discernment has helped me tremendously. So much that I have a second part of this segment that I will share on Monday along with my page using today's prompts.

For today's art journal prompt I want to share a series of elements that we can use together to create a page.SO I guess this will work more as a challenge as opposed to an actual step by step. So here it goes!


For your page- USE A CLEAR ITEM. You can layer the clear item on top of other elements or use it by itself.

Some ideas for your base surface:

  • plastic wrap
  • sandwich bag
  • acrylic page
  • acetate
  • page protector
Because this is a non porous surface, you will want to use elements that work well with this. So a few ideas are:

  • acrylic paint
  • alcohol inks
  • markers (permanent, solvent based)
  • ink pads (Staz-On- Solvent)
Some techniques to consider:

  • crumble your plastic
  • add a little heat to contort your plastic
  • twist your plastic
  • punch shapes or holes in it with die cuts or crop-a-dile 
 Now that you have your surface and elements. Here is a twist.... Now this is mostly because I just had the most amazing time in my sketch class... but for this page, let's give a try at sketching/drawing. There are tons of tutorials on You tube so I won't bore you with my beginners knowledge but I will give you a tip that helped me IMMENSELY with my recent sketch I did for class. When I was having a tough time attempting my sketch (see below image of my daughter), My teacher suggested that I do some larger strokes to outline my direction, he also had me identify my mid point of my subjects face as well as draw a semi-circle defining the view point of my subject as well as the position of the eyes. From there you continue to do loose sketching adding cheeks, ears, and other features until you get a basic face form that you can then start to work some detail in. I used a 2B graphite pencil for my sketch as it is a light pencil and easy to erase. Here is my beginning sketch as well as my final attempt for your reference. Oh I almost forgot... another great suggestion that my drawing teacher gave to me was to PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! He told me to try my sketch at least 10 times so that I felt comfortable with it. This totally helped me, as it really helped my brain to process and memorize the image I was attempting so that when I went in to finalize the one I liked best, I now knew my image really well so I could catch mistakes as I made them.

This might be a tough idea to process but it is a FUN FUN FUN technique to know. I would never have thought that my illustrations would go anything beyond what I learned in 1st grade, but allowing myself to try and not doubting myself really helped me to bridge the gap in my confidence. You can do it too. remember, no one ever needs to see this if you don't choose to let them. Even so, we are usually our toughest critic, so if we can get over doubting ourselves... chances are other will be blessed by your work.

 Here is my final sketch, I used only the 2B pencil, so I might go in with some darker valued pencils later. Overall I am really in love with it :)

 Here is the original, you can see that my daughters perspective is a bit different in the sketch than it is in the original. Eh... it's a little thing, but I notice in hopes that it will train me and refine my skills.

 Here is how I started my sketch, this is the loose drawing AKA gesture drawing that my teacher suggested. This totally made my work a ton easier, I highly recommend using this idea when attempting a face.

  And here are my practice girls. This is a full page of attempts. I highly highly highly recommend practicing as it honestly helps so much in refining your skills as well as allowing you to better understand your figure in which you wish to illustrate.

Since our surface is clear, I would suggest placing your sketch behind your surface and working onto of the clear surface as not to effect your sketch, but this is totally up to you... I am excited to see where you take this :) As always, if you have any questions about the prompt or sketching (again, I am beginning so please don't take my advice as what you would a professional, lol) just email me. I truly look forward to chatting with you and working along side you on this project.

Thanks for being a part of this fun project... I hope this message blesses you and that it encourages you to create something beautiful this weekend. I will go ahead and post my page on Monday with the second part of this prompt.

Thanks again, See you Monday!



  1. What scares you? the sketching? Just remember that it doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't have to be a face. It can be flowers, or even just simple daisies... anything that grabs your attention. If you need me, just email me :)

  2. I like big interesting words too. Thanks for the personal glilmpse and the permission to just say no, thats not who I am or who you are trying to make me appear to be to suit your purposes.
    On a side note....loved this challenge right up sketch? do know I am the comic relief when we play pictionary...I kid you not, tears in the eyes of my co-players when I finally have to tell them what I am drawing...Just saying hope this is a laugh free zone.

  3. i really think you're trying to fully test us with this assignment...but I went ahead and completed it tonight. Overall, I was surprised by my sketch as I don't do much drawing at all. My sister loved the page :)

  4. i so did this!!! i used something clear AND i sketched something!!!! i am so very excited!!! as soon as it dries i will post a picture. thank you very much Liz for this prompt!

  5. Okay, I did it !!
    I really did do it.
    Thanks Liz, for making me push into an area i stay away from on purpose. You can see and read about it here

  6. HERE IT IS!!!! thank you liz for this scary fantastical prompt!!