Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bible Art Journaling with Guest Artist Kristin Willimas

Welcome to Guest Artist Kristin Williams!!!!

StencilGirl Stencils – a Natural for Bible Journaling

As a “lifelong doodler, can’t sit still, learns way better when I’m doing something artistic kind of girl,” Bible Journaling is a meditative, active way for me to feed my spiritual side.  I have been teaching Bible Journaling at my studio & retail shop, Ephemera Paducah, and the response has been tremendous. The great news is you don’t need special tools to pursue this art form – you’ve got them now!

My journaling takes on a variety of forms from expressing my thoughts in hand-lettered text to graphically illustrating what I’m reading to depicting my emotional responses to passages. StencilGirl Stencils are a wonderful tool to help express my emotions, reactions, and thoughts while Bible Journaling.

Some folks have the response of “Eeek! I can’t mess up my Bible!” and are comforted when they learn there are versions specifically printed to be written in and used in this way. I’ve been working in The Single Column Journaling Bible that has a 2.5” margin on each page. (Vendors have been overrun with requests for these, and it is anticipated on sites like Amazon.com and Christianbook.com that by the end of June they will be back in stock.) But, you seriously can make any Bible do! Or, there are those who feel like their handwriting or illustrations or art is “unworthy” for Bible Journaling. I contend that if you are moved to do this, don’t let that stop you! This is your journey!

For all of the journaling pages I’m writing about today, I employed the same technique using chalk or stazon inkpads and a Sofft Sponge to apply color through the stencil. Daubing the sponge in the color I want to use at that moment (generally starting with the lightest color first and working my way to the darkest), I hold the stencil down with my left hand and apply with my right. To clean in between color changes I might wipe the sponge on a paper towel, but I tend to like the blending that occurs organically as I work. Easy Peasy!

The first example is a simple illustration of a verse in Matthew that references sparrows. Urban Outsider’s Stencil  is perfect to outline specific passage I want to highlight. I used it and Lovebirds  to represent the verse and added my thought as it relates to the passage picking the word, “gift,” found on the Fridge Poetry . Sticking to a limited color palette, I used the small Colorbox fluid chalk cat’s eye inkpads to pick up color with my Sofft Sponge (mostly Amber Clay and a little Dark Peony) before daubing into the stencils.

When thinking about the Garden of Eden I imagine a jungle of color and activity. Using Love Story Stencil I took advantage of the blank page next to the first chapter of Genesis to create a delightful entryway into my journaling Bible.

Again using my trusty (and pretty ancient) Colorbox Fluid Chalk Paintbox (Ocean Breeze) and a Sofft Sponge to use with my stencil, I dove into all the colors and worked all around the text, I picked up and put back down the stencil multiple times to fill all the open space I could to create that wild and luscious place I imagine Eden to be. I intentionally left a little room around the couple enjoying watching “Adam & Eve” stroll into my page. 

Finally, in reacting to a verse more emotionally than illustratively, I chose a verse in Ephesians that calls for unity, love, and peace. First outlining the passage with my Urban Outsiders Stencil I then picked up Tracy Bautista’s Love Collage Stencil as evoked the emotion I wanted to portray. The Colorbox chalk inks Dark Peony and Amber Clay helped set the tone as I daubed and let the colors blend on the page.

After getting the first layer of stencil down, I went in with black & white Signo pens to highlight some areas of the page – the circles and “Love” parts of the stencil. Taking advantage of the many different crosses found on the Our Faith Cross Stencil , I used my Sofft Sponge one more time to apply Stazon Grey ink – Cloudy Sky. This is a wild page, but one that speaks to me.

As I’ve mentioned, you have the tools from scrapbooking, mixed media, cardmaking and other crafty adventures to dive into Bible Journaling. Using the Fabulous array of StencilGirl Stencils available, you have a tool easily express your emotions and feelings in a meaningful way.

Kristin Williams has spent a lifetime playing with fabric, yarn, glitter, clay, rubber stamps, paper, paints, and glue. She opened Ephemera Paducah April 2013 in Paducah, Kentucky’s Lower Town Arts District and offers very cool art & craft supplies (like StencilGirl Stencils) as well as a huge array of classes in her workshop space. National instructors (like Mary Beth Shaw) are hosted monthly to teach, and local talent is well-utilized to share workshops in Mixed Media, Encaustic, Stained Glass, Jewelry-making, Collagraphy Printing and just about everything in-between. Art journaling, lettering, and an everlasting love of collage are Kristin’s current fascinations and basis for her artwork.

To find out more about Ephemera Paducah visit:

Stencils Used:


  1. Awesome post! This is a beautiful way to study the bible.

  2. I'm delighted with everything you've done, Kristin! And while reading your post, I learned the reason my journaling Bible has been on back-order for so long ... but thanks to you, I know to expect it sometime late this month. I don't think I've ever used the Sofft Sponge with inkpads in working with stencils, but I plan to give it a try now. I'm a little leery of trying to use any kind of marker, or other wet medium, in the journaling Bible.

  3. The stencils really do work well for Bible journaling! I especially love the use of the Love Story stencil with Genesis... beautiful!

  4. Lovely work Kristin. Thanks so very much for including my stencils in the mix.

  5. I did not know you could journal in a bible. Very interesting and surprising. Lovely work.

  6. Love how you used pieces and parts of some, mixed and matched to create just what you wanted!

  7. Fabulous! What a great way to use the chalk inks and stencils. I don't know why I never thought of it... :-)


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