When making visual blessings for people, sometimes I know who it is for, more often I don’t know until I feel led to give one, and sometimes I find out part way through the process of making one. That was the case with this visual blessing. It just flowed, words popped out that seemed to “want” to be included. I asked God for a word the person needed and got “conqueror”. Then the verse came with the same word. I love when it goes like that.
The background for this one was a demo from one of my workshops. I tend to use these quite a bit as a starting point. They are 5″ x 5″ watercolor-type paper. I first put a coat of gesso on the paper and then use various acrylic painting techniques, experimenting with color, texture, etc. Sometimes I use leftover paint to make backgrounds out of leftover watercolor paper or mat board and set them aside to use later. I like the collage aspect of visual blessings because it is a lot like life: bringing together various seemingly random things to make a meaningful message. Even the process can be important and I often tell the process I went through in making it because it can relate to what the person receiving the blessing is going through. I really try to let go of what I think and look and listen to God’s leading. Then I begin. It’s humbling, and sometimes bumbling and almost always messy and seems to take too much time. Sometimes I wrestle with feeling foolish about it. But then when someone is blessed and God uses a blessing to encourage someone, it’s worth it.
In my last post Cindy asked about how I make both sides of the blessing. When I began making the blessings, I didn’t want them to be a piece of art that I would normally make and hang up, sell, frame or whatever. I also didn’t want it to be like a greeting card that I opened up. I wanted it to be more like a postcard. Ever since I was a teenager I would say, “I just wish God would send me a postcard and tell me what He thinks about this, or what I should do, etc.” And a postcard combines images and words. So I think making the blessing on the front and the back of the watercolor paper or mat grew out of that. In making them, I simply apply paint and collage pieces to the back of the same surface I use for the front. Another reason I do this is so people will interact with them differently and pick them up, turn them over, move them around, consider the message. Even though I make the blessing, I often don’t know the personal significance of what is on the blessing. I have to be content to only know in part, and sometimes, not at all. It is a great encouragement to me when I find out that something I put on the blessing was especially meaningful to the person. Then I know it wasn’t just me doing it, but a collaboration with God who loves and knows each one of us.