March —Valerie Sjodin
I love painting, and teaching, sharing in the joy of the “aha” moment. For me, making art is a combination of being and doing, a collaboration and conversation between me and my Creator; a form of prayer and worship. My favorite mediums are acrylics and mixed media acrylic and collage. Currently I paint, make books and teach art journaling and mixed media painting workshops in my studio. For more information please visit my blog:
For those of you interested in my professional experience and education, I’ve been drawing, and trying to make things beautiful ever since I can remember. I’ve attended numerous workshops and am a graduate of Marylhurst University with a BFA in painting. I taught at Heritage Christian School for about ten years. I have had featured articles in the Art Journaling and Somerset Studio Magazines. Four images of my paintings are featured in the Mosaic Holy Bible. This year I my first book was published and available, Paintings, Prayers and Passages.
Portals of Prayer
My hope for the “Portals of Prayer” series is to convey the connection we can have with our loving Creator, between the infinite and the intimate. This series of six paintings are autobiographical visual prayers that portray searching, being grateful for inspiration, praying, agonizing desperation, and the joy of revelation. The patterns, palettes, and architectural styles are inspired from times and places around the globe to reflect our human commonality and uniqueness.
I began to look at these paintings differently when some new friends came over and asked me about the painting titled “Revelation.” I told them I painted it as a hopeful prayer for revelation rather than having received revelation itself. Then it became clear that between the time I had painted it and when they asked the question, God had answered my prayer and had given me revelation, inner healing, opening my spirit up to His Spirit in ways I had only hoped for before.
I finished the sixth and final one early in 2012 just over two years after the first one. Oddly enough, the one I just finished is not the last in the series, but the second to the last. “Transition” shows the figure going down the hall. The doors on the sides have all closed. Included are trees, as a symbol of the Pacific Northwest, my home, and the sky as a symbol of God’s presence. The heavens are open through the whole journey, but the only opening from the ground is the light beckoning from the doorway at the end of the hall – the destination: intimacy with God. “Jubilation” was the last one I finished late in 2009. Although African patterns are very appealing to me, and the colors used are some of my favorites, I never really connected with that one until now. Now I feel I am at the threshold ready to take the next step into what God has for me, a new season, a time of freedom, adventure and exploration with Him.
Psalm Visual Arts Gallery Archive (2012-2013 school year):