Paintings, Prayers, and Passages, Book available now!


It’s finally here. It has felt like a birth of sorts with it’s hope, anticipation, pain, relief, and joy. 


A number of people helped me with proofing, editing, copyright info, coaching in publishing, marketing etc. Thank you Keith, Katie, Merri, Kimberly, Janis, Mary, Anneli, David, Carol, Rick and Wendy! 


Here is the cover image again, the page beginning the “I AM” section, and the page beginning the “Woman at the Well” section of the book:


Copyright Valerie Sjodin 2011

What the Woman at the Well left

   In March, during the time I was working on the woman at the well journal, my friend Mary George-Whittle asked Keith and I to come to church with her and Bill. She was giving the homily that day on the woman at the well. I love when things like that happen. God just keeps on giving and sharing to and through people. Mary pointed out something I hadn’t thought of even though I had already made the image shown above. She told of the significance of the woman leaving her water jar at the well as she excitedly went… Read More

We are the Woman at the Well

copyright Valerie Sjodin 2011     I love this story (John 4 in the Holy Bible). It always speaks to me, reminding me of God’s love for each one of us and how He seeks us out, right where we’re at.     This page was actually my first page, but I forgot to put it at the beginning of the Woman at the Well series I posted. But I suppose it also fits here too because the Lord is drawing me closer and wants to be close to us all the time.       I painted over the original background because… Read More

We are the Woman at the Well…part 6


love the picture of “Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.” When I read this invitation Jesus gave, my heart says, “Yes, I am coming…”I had originally illustrated the heart with flowing water and the outline of the person drinking in my visual prayer journal in colored pencil along with my research for this “Woman at the Well” journal. This was painted with fluid acrylics and outlined and lettered with a Faber-Castell Pitt pen.

We are the Woman at the Well…part 5

       These pages were done as a simple prayer, made even more beautiful when prayed both on an individual level and in community. The vessels are in shapes of various water jugs from around the world, each an individual. The transparent boxy pedestals represent different places in life and personal journeys. For me the illustration is a symbol of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-23 NLT: “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for  all who will ever believe in me through their message.  I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I… Read More

We are the Woman at the Well…part 4

For this spread I used collage material from book on Egypt, cover of sheet music, sewing pattern, painted and stamped paper (leaves), decorative papers and stained tissue paper.  I took visual inspiration from Jane Davies blog Collage Journeys, February 22nd.  I know the Samaritan woman was not Egyptian, but seeing the women with their water jugs I was reminded of the universality of women getting water, especially in arid regions of the world. I quoted the verses from the New Living Translation (John 4:28, 39-42). This part of the story reminds me that God really does surprise use sometimes, and… Read More

We are the Woman at the Well…part 3

    Toward the end of the conversation, the Samaritan woman turns to the subject of worship and the differences between the Jews and the Samaritans. Jesus breaks down the barriers by redefining worship from a physical exterior location and ritual to an interior heart-felt worship of the Father in Spirit and truth, our spirit connecting with His Spirit, agreeing with Him. In verse 24 Jesus says, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.      The Greek word for spirit is pneuma (wind, breathe, invisible, powerful. It also means that by which a person perceives,… Read More

We are the Woman at the Well…part 1

     Recently my favorite story in the Bible came to life in a new way that is more experiential. It is the longest one-on-one conversation recorded in the gospels between Jesus and another person is found in John 4, the Samaritan woman at the well.    I try putting myself in the story as this Samaritan woman, a kind of outcast, having to go and fetch water every day and dreading it for a number of reasons (the five husbands, the gossip, the possible ex-wife of the third husband etc.), not to mention the physical aspect of carrying heavy… Read More