Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. ~ 1 Peter 4:10

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Hoping you and yours have a wonderful holiday!! 

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'"
~ Luke 2:10-12

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Autumn's Palette

Fun in the leaves!!

Now that we are approaching the end of September, Autumn seems to be finally on its way.  Here in Texas it stays quite hot into October, but this weekend we are looking forward to rain and cooler temperatures!  I can't wait!!  I just love this time of the year and all that comes with it!  The amazing colors alone make me so happy!  I've got my fall decorations out and I'm enjoying my new Scentsy Pumpkin warmer and yummy fall scents throughout my home! 

My daughter's cute Halloween Painting from PWaT last year!

The Painting With a Twist studio is even getting into the fall fun with Autumn paintings like this one I taught recently!

I've also been having fun playing in my art journal.  I've been wanting to start Art Journaling for a while now and I've finally jumped in.  I just found an old book at a resale shop and began painting pages for the backgrounds. 

For this page I just sketched on the book page words and all. I love the texture and interest the words in the background create!
Next I used my Portfolio Water Soluble Oil Pastels to add some color.

Finally I used water and my paintbrush to "paint" the oil pastels creating the colors of the tree. I don't think I'm finished yet. I'd still like to add some leaves with different types of paper.


Oh, I'm so in the mood to create some fun fall pieces!!  I want to paint pumpkins, and leaves, and cute little trick or treaters!!  How about you?  Have you been bitten by the "fall" creative bug?

Happy creating,

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Heart Has Fallen
Photo Source

My One Little Word for this year has been "heal".  After a tough and tramatic 2011 with our family facing unemployment, then a big move, and a death in our family, I felt I needed some time this year to focus on healing, resting, nurturing my heart and being kind to myself. 

Love NEVER fails.
Photo Credit 

One of the ways I've done this is to work on nurturing my creative soul.  I've gotten back to the basics and have been taking some wonderful online classes from Christy Tomlinson, Junelle Jacobson, Gritty Jane, and Jeanne Oliver.  I've been sketching and searching and playing and trying new things!  I've been allowing myself to rest and rediscover my loves and what inspires me.  I'm working on surrounding myself with other, like minded, kindred spirits who can love, support and encourage me and I them.

My heart in your hands
Photo Credit

I'm really looking forward to jumping back into my art making and creating now.  I feel like I'm ready to dive back in and create like hopefully never before!  I hope I will in turn continue to heal, grow, flourish, thrive, be strong in my life, and in turn encourage and nurture others!!

Do you have One Little Word that you've been processing, living and nurturing this year?  I'd love to hear about it!!

Happy creating!
♥ Jennifer

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Lovin'

Relaxing on the beach
Photo Credit

Summer is in full swing here at our house and boy do I wish this was my view!! :) We aren't at the beach, but the kids are home from school and we are trying to survive the hot Texas heat with fun activities to keep us cool.  It is nice in the evenings thankfully, and we've been able to grill and play on our new swing set!  Super fun!!!

I decided one thing to do this summer to keep us busy is to start doing some art journaling!  I'm altering an old book I picked up at the used book store and my kids are having fun with the Smash books from K&Company.  I found an awesome online class, Kidding Around 3, for them to take through Big Picture Classes that provides a journaling prompt daily.  They've been having a blast with it and it is a great way to get them creatively documenting their summer and practicing their writing skills!!  If you are interested in joining us, registration closes tonight at 10:00pm PDT, so hurry on over!!!

Are any of you avid art journalers?  I've been wanting to try my hand at this for awhile but have had trouble finding time.  How do you fit your art journaling in and still balance your other art creating?  Those of you with young kids at home for the summer, how are you keeping them busy so you can get some creative time in?  I'd love some ideas and tips!!

Happy creating,

Monday, April 16, 2012

You Make Beautiful Things....

Wooden cross in the prayer garden at our church

Happy Belated Easter!  I hope your holiday was wonderful and an amazing celebration of Christ's special gift of love and saving grace!  Our weeks have been full and busy.  I can hardly believe we are already halfway through April!  My, how time truly flies... 

I've been super busy creating the past few weeks.  I had the privilege of doing my first "live" painting during the Easter services at our church last week.  What an exhilarating, scary, but amazing experience it was!!  It was most definitely all God!  I prayed He'd show up and He never let me down!  It usually takes many hours to complete one of my artworks and when I was first approached I was thinking there is no way I can do a piece during the 3 to 4 minutes of a worship song.  But shortly thereafter, the ideas starting rolling and I knew God was speaking and gently pushing me to step out of my comfort zone!

 I knew I'd have to do a lot of the background layered work before hand.  The idea was to create as I usually do with multi layers of paint and collage elements but then leave some dramatic finishing touches to do while painting live.  I had to work larger than I normally do which was a challenge in itself!  I decided to use two (one for each service) 40" x 60" canvases.  Here is a peek at my process:

First layer of paint; getting rid of that intimidating blank, white canvas!

More paint (white blended into the center)

Both canvases in my studio

Collage papers

Placing collage pieces

Using matte medium to glue collage pieces down

A closer look!
I use found papers, scrapbooking papers, tissue paper and what ever else I can get my hands on in my collage work! 

Layering more paint and design elements

Notice the darker elements are around the edges and the lighter elements are in the center.  There is a reason for that....!

More layering

Here I'm adding actual bible pages from an old bible as collage elements

I love to tear my collage pieces!

My next step was to create a mask in the shape of a cross.  To do this I just tore poster board and taped it down with painter's tape onto each canvas.

My last step was to paint over the crosses to make them less noticeable. I also painted the outlying areas of the canvases a mix of black, dark crimson and red. I payed close attention to the edges of the crosses, making sure they were painted well and made sure some of the darker colors blended off into the surrounding background.

Now I was ready to paint live at the Easter services!!  I gathered up my paint, brushes, some printing supplies and a small cup for water and put them all into a black box to set underneath the easel on stage. Here is what happened next.....

Our worship pastor chose the song "You Make Beautiful Things" by Gungor and put together a wonderful arrangement that actually gave me around 8 minutes on stage.  It worked beautifully!

The paintings illustrate the separation between our sin and the saving gift of eternal life that Christ provides us with through the cross.  I wrote the words death and sin on the cross before pulling it off and revealing the pure, clean, softer colors underneath.  Hopefully the paintings share the true meaning of Easter with each viewer!

Close up after revealing cross

Me with my painting!! :)

I still need to add a few finishing touches to the paintings.  I always see areas that I feel need more layering or something else added.  I think I'll add some of the words from the song lyrics as well!  I'll post photos of the finished piece soon.  I think one will be on display in the church for a bit and then I'll put it in my Etsy shop.  The other one has already been requested for purchase!  Super excited about that blessing!! :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

My "One Little Word" for 2012

Photo Credit

Thank you so much to everyone who read my last post and for all of your kind comments, encouragement and prayers!  They mean more to me than you could know!!  I just love this blogging community and feel it is truly a gift to be a part of it!

As I mentioned in my last post, the last year, and especially the last few months, have been quite hard.  It has been a time full of heartbreak, loss, huge changes, growing pains and challenges.  But it has also been a time full of hope, answered prayers and the beginning of healing.  For this reason I've chosen Heal to be my "One Little Word" for 2012!

Heal the world !!!
Photo Credit

I want to take this year and focus on healing. After all we've been through I feel like this is a time to rest, breathe, listen, learn and heal.  I'm excited about this new word!  I've been pondering how I can focus on healing and restoring my spirit.  Here are a few things I've come up with so far...

First, I am a daughter of Christ and He is the Great Healer!  No healing will come except through Him!

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."  ~ Psalm 147:3

I'm so thankful for this, for a God that I can go to for everything!  It is so important to me to spend daily time with my God.  I want to meet with Him, pray to Him, read His Word and grow to be more like Him.  I don't pretend to be perfect, and sometimes my day gets away from me and I haven't had that sweet, quiet time with Him, but I always want to try!  I know this is the only way to truly heal my heart!!

Next, I am an artist! 

"Create" by Jennifer Snellings
Mixed Media painting

"For this reason, I ask you to keep using the gift God gave you. It came to you when I laid my hands on you and prayed that God would use you." ~ 2 Timothy 1:6

My art has always been so healing.  It is a place I can escape from the realities of life and focus on my passions!  It re-energizes me, reconnects me, and feeds that special place that God created in me as a creative soul.  My art is nurturing to my heart, so I hope to spend lots and lots of time creating this year!!  It is also my prayer that God will use my art, in His amazing way, to impact others.  Serving and helping those around me is another way to bring healing to my heart!!

Finally, of course relationships can be so healing!  My goal is to make extra effort this year to nurture those most important relationships, with my God, my husband, my children, my family and my friends.  I want to make intentional efforts to spend quality time together and not let the busyness of life get in the way!  After all, life is so short and we don't know how much time we'll have with one another!

It is my hope and prayer that 2012 will be a healing year for you as well! 

Happy creating,
♥ Jennifer 

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Was Fearless!

Things have been very quiet around here for the past few months. Sorry for that! Life has a way of throwing curve balls at you and it seems like the last year, especially the last few months, has been full of them! If you remember from this post, last year my “One Little Word” was Fearless. Never would I have dreamed how important that would be when it came to facing the year ahead.

Looking Down II
Photo Credit
 At first I embraced the word Fearless from an artistic and creative standpoint. I took the leap and focused on making my creative business and dream to sell my artwork a reality. I wasn’t going to let my fear get in the way!! I was mentored by the amazing and gifted, Wyanne. I revamped my blog and created my Etsy Shop. I even stocked it with some paintings for sale – be Fearless! (More paintings coming soon!!) I was able to start my youngest in a wonderful Mother’s Day Out program – be Fearless - that allowed me to focus on my business twice a week. I also had the great honor of being asked to join the teaching team at our local Painting With a Twist studio.

My "Whimsey Tree" Class

It was scary starting to teach again when it had been so long – be Fearless - but it has been the perfect part time job for me to stretch my teaching muscles and share my love of painting with others. This was all such a blessing and a very exciting time, but I had to be Fearless to push through and do it!

On a more personal note, my family had been going through the stressful process of a new ministry position/job hunt for my husband who is a Pastor. I had to be Fearless and trust God that He would provide for us while my husband was between jobs. (And He ALWAYS did!) The church interviews take months at a time and I often have to interview with him – be Fearless!! We knew God had a plan for him and a place picked out; the searching for that right place and fit is what can be so challenging.

After a very long process and interviews with countless churches, God led Matt to his new job and our new church home. In October he got the call, we traveled to house hunt, and moved from McKinney to our new home in San Antonio by the end of November – be Fearless. In the process we hit every speed bump we possibly could….from delays in preparing our house to sell (foundation problem, etc) to not being able to fit all our belongings on our moving truck – be Fearless!!! I was determined not to let the fear of the “what ifs” and “unknowns” get the best of me!! I tried to tackle each new problem head on and not give into my fears. God was with me each step of the way.

As we began to settle into our new home and face the challenges of relocating (unpacking, meeting new friends, settling into new jobs, adjusting to new schools, etc) we also were smack into the middle of the holiday season. Busy and overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to explain how I felt!! During this time I tried to keep things simple, take it one day at a time, and remember how excited we were to be here even though transition and change is often not easy – be Fearless.

But, even though it was the end of the year, the challenges were not over. In fact, I was about to face one of the biggest ones of my life…

My step-dad, affectionately known to my children as “Big Jim”, was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia four years ago. He and my mom have a special love story. You see, my dad died when I was 17, very suddenly, of a viral heart infection that damaged his heart. My mom found great comfort in a Widows Support Group, which is where she met Jim, who was also widowed. Three years later they married and have been now for 15 years. About a year ago we learned Jim was out of remission and had developed MDS. This past Thanksgiving he was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia and was in the hospital over the holidays. On December 27th, he met his Savior. We got to be with him before. We said how much we loved him; we said our goodbyes. Be Fearless.

"Big Jim"
 Jim was my 2nd Dad. He had been in my life as long as my real Father was. He was such a servant and a strong follower of Christ; a wonderful example of a godly man. He was there for my family always and while he never tried to replace my real dad, he did all the things my dad would have done had he been here to do them. Jim never treated my children as anything but his grandchildren. He loved us.

Big Jim playing!

He has met my dad now and I have a feeling my dad thanked him for his time with us. He took good care of us.

Jesus said, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” John 16:22

As hard as this past year has been, I know I’ve learned a lot! I’ve been stretched and God has been faithful. I am glad it is over and I’m enjoying the fresh start of a new year! I’m looking forward to 2012 being a better year! Although I’ve chosen a new “One Little Word” for this year, I’ll continue to keep Fearless close to my heart.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Be Fearless!!!!

Check back here soon to hear what my new “One Little Word” is for 2012. Have you chosen your word yet? I’d love to hear all about it!!