choose what is better

Welcome to

Kirsten’s Art Studio

Here you will find my eclectic collection of artwork

Genesis 1: 27 says:

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

It is in our spiritual DNA to be creative.  Creativity runs through our veins as God’s children.  So, it makes perfect sense that we have the urge to create.

I’ve loved to create since I was a little girl.  My imagination never shuts down, literally!  I loved creating stories as a child.  And then when I hit the 2 digit age, that creativity branched out into artwork.  My urge to create went on hiatus during my teen and young adult years.  But when I came back to my relationship with the Lord in my 30’s, my desire to be creative returned.

The Creativity

Here on the Galleries page you will have a chance to see a variety of the different types of visual creativity that I pursue.  Ranging from traditonal art forms such as photography and watercolors to digital art forms including digital painting and 3D artwork.  

I will also share some of the stories that have had their creative roots in an image I have created.  Sometimes when I’m creating an image, a character bio or a short story will begin to form in my brain.  Other times, I will be writing a short story that then begins to form as an image in my mind.  Creativity is a two way street in my imagination.  When you click on the images below you will either simply view the image in a larger size or the image along with a writing will pop up.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure through the eclectic creative imaginings of my brain.  I hope you enjoy our journey together.

Works in Progress

My mind is constantly imagining new characters, stories, props, scenes, and etc.  I often have several projects (aka works in progress) going on at the same time.  I decided that I would share some of those with you here in this space.  Some of these are really rough first drafts.  Others I have been tinkering with for quite awhile.  And some are basically finished, but I’m taking a breather from them to get a fresh perspective before I finally publish them.  I find it fascinating to see the artistic process of other artists.  So, I decided that you might also find it interesting to get a glimpse into my process.  
Click on the image to view it at larger size and/or read about it.

DazStudio

This gallery is a collection of 3D artwork created with DazStudio software and postwork done with Photoshop and Procreate.  Click on the image to view it at a larger size.

Scripture Inspired

This gallery is a collection of 3D artwork created with DazStudio software that was inspired by Scripture verses or Biblical concepts.  
Click on the image to read the writing that accompanies it.

Q

This is for all my friends who have been fighting battles for such a long time that it feels like they have been down in the trenches forever. Many have watched as the others have left them or they’ve lost them to their own battles. Regardless, they feel like they are fighting the battle all by themselves. Stuck in the trench with no hope in sight.

There is good news for them. In Deuteronomy 31:6 we are told:
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

God goes before us in our life and our battles. We can stay strong and be courageous because He has promised that he will never leave us. He will be right beside us, fighting for us, as the bombs drop (e.g. a bad diagnosis, losing a job, betrayal by a loved one). He will stand in front of us protecting us from the bullets flying around. And He will never leave us alone in the trenches. He will help us defeat the enemy so we can step out the trenches walking victorious.

There is a lot of symbolism in this image. I used my “modern Jesus” again for this image. He is wearing the red jacket to represent His blood that saves us. The woman praying is wearing a combat uniform because she is in a battle. She is in her battle stance – prayer. The lightning represents the storms in her life. The firey rain represents the firey darts the enemy uses to try and destroy us.

End of the story: The enemy is defeated. The woman is set free. She gets out of the trench. And lives happily ever after in the house the Lord built her.

Until next time blessings and healing

Q

 

Today’s artwork was inspired by a song titled: Surrounded (Fight My Battles). There is line of the song that always gets stuck in my head when I hear it: “It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You.”

Here is the link to a version of the song if you’d like to hear the song.

The above image is what came to mind when I heard those lyric. All the darkness surrounding and pressing in, but the Lord has placed His angel in the midst with us to surround us and fight for us as we praise and pray.

I didn’t want the “darkness” to have a definite form so I made them blurry with only hints of their form. In the left bottom corner you can see vague images of legs. And on the far right (3/4 up from bottom) you can see the vague outline of a face. I was going to have the young boy inside of the angel, but it just didn’t look right.

The Scripture verse to go along with the song and artwork is Deuteronomy 20:4 For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.

Until next time blessings and healing

Q

 

The other day I was listening to a devotional based on these verses from 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 ESV:

You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

In my mind, I saw this image of person sitting at their computer typing on the keyboard. And I wondered, “what letter is he typing to the world? When they read the letter he is typing what do they see?”

Then I began to think, “What letter am I writing to the people I have had contact with over the years?” Is it a letter that shows them Jesus or is it a letter only showing them me? I think at times I have done both. I am sure we all have. But I do know that in my heart, I want to be writing letters that are from Jesus to those around me! I want the letters I write to leave the fingerprints of Jesus on their hearts.

I don’t know about you, but thinking about this makes me want to pray about how I’m living my life and the letters I’m writing. I want the love, kindness, gentleness, joy, and hope of Jesus to be what others read. I want people to see Him.

So, today I invite you to join me in asking the Lord to help us write His letters to everyone in our circle of interaction with others. May our letters always lift people up, not tear them down. And may Jesus love others through us.

Until next time blessings and healing

Q
This week for Scripture Sunday, I have combined two Scriptures together to form the Biblical concept of Jesus as the the Creator and the Potter.
In John 1:1-4 the Bible says that Jesus is the Word and the He was with God in the beginning. And that all things were made through Him. In Him was life and that life was the light of all mankind (paraphrased). Then in Isaiah 64:8 it says, “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
This artwork is a visual concept of those two verses. Jesus sitting at the potter’s wheel creating the earth and everything in it. In the background you can see the images of lakes, mountains, and forests with trees and animals on the shelf. And there is also a shelf filled with people that He has created. Remember this is a concept, not a perfect recreation. Those people on the shelf are just a representation of Jesus creating humans. (He doesn’t have a human processing plant where dolls sit on a shelf to be boxed up. :-))
This art celebrates the Lord as our Creator and Potter gently molding us and shaping us into the human beings He created us to be. He has a plan for each of His children, a wonderful plan to prosper us not harm us to give us hope and a future!  Jeremiah 29:11.
Until next time blessings and healing

Social Work

This gallery is a collection of artwork that addresses and explores human issues through visual narratives.  Click on the image to read the writing that accompanies it.

Q

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

In College, I was working on getting my Masters in Social Work.  During that time, I did my internship at BETA which is a home for pregnant teenagers.

Many of the young women there struggled with low self-esteem, were addicts, and were filled with fear about their futures.  I could really relate to them because I had been one of them.  In fact, I had lived at BETA myself as a pregnant teenager.

This artwork was created to remind myself and others who were struggling that when we give our lives to Jesus we are new creations.  Jesus considers our old self and lives gone.  We have a clean slate.  We are created brand new in Him.

While we might know this is true mentally that 18 inch journey to our hearts can be a long road.  That is why I showed some of the words with an erased line drawn through them.  Those issues are the ones that are currently being worked on with Jesus for healingl.  Once those are finished then the other issues will be worked on with Jesus too.  But what we need to remember is that we are the new creations even if our bodies haven’t caught up to the spiritual healing that has already taken place.  This is represented by the butterfly flying into the light and the butterfly blouse on the woman.

So, remember you are a new creation in Christ.  You can start brand new today.  His mercies are new every morning!

My prayer is that this artwork will give you hope. Hope for a future that will be better than your past. Hope in the midst of your struggles and battles. Hope for each day.

Until next time blessings and healing

Q

This image was created after hearing of the struggles many of my friend’s kids were having with bullies online. Even though the bullying was happening virtually their children felt physically attacked. Meaning they were having the same symptoms physically and emotionally that kids bullied in person have. It was literally like the other kids were reaching their hands through the computer to bully them.

I had the young girl sitting in the chair pushing against the desk and twisting to get away from the bully’s grip. All the little people are the others that join in on the bullying. I think sometimes they join in because they are scared if they don’t then they will become the bully’s next victim.

While the internet can be used for good things, as parents many are concerned how the buffer of the internet seems to have brought out the bullies in full force. It is much harder to monitor what is happening online than in the schools. And now the bullies have a much larger audience to watch them harass people which makes them feel even more powerful.

Anyways, I will now step down off my soapbox 🙂

Until next time blessings and healing

Q

“God hath given you one face, and you make for yourself another.” ~ William Shakespeare

Are you true faced or two faced?  Ponder that question for a few moments.  Put down your phone, stop reading this post, and be still.  Let me ask you again, “are you true faced or two faced?

I don’t know what your answer was, but I know mine.  I lived a two faced life for many years.  It started out with me donning the “happy face” mask when I could barely quell the sobs and tears racking my body.  Then I had my “work face” that I put on every day I went to work pretending that everything was fine and that I had my job completely under control.  Then there was my “good girl face” that I put on around my family and childhood friends to hide my serious alcohol and cocaine addictions.

Those are just a few of the faces I put on to try to survive my life day in and day out, month to month, year to year.  After being two faced for so long, I no longer knew what my true face looked like.

My story in not unique, many people put on masks each day to survive abuse, addictions, loneliness, depression, illness, and much more.  This artwork shows a woman who has lost the knowledge of her true face.  A woman who has hidden behind many masks.  A broken woman.

However, there is hope for her, for you, and for me.  And that hope is a person Jesus Christ.  He knows exactly what my true face looks like because He created me from head to toe.  When we enter into a relationship with Jesus we can start taking our masks off.  We can let Him show us our true face.  No more brokeness.  No more masks.  Just the face that God loved so much that He created it (and you) with His own hands.  You are wonderfully and marvelously made by your loving Father.

If you are feeling like that woman in the artwork today, I invite you to join me in asking Jesus to reveal your true face to you.  So that you no longer have to wear masks to hide behind.  You can leave that two faced  life behind.

Until next time blessings and healing

Q

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4 ESV

I don’t know about you, but many times when I have had issues in my life they have seem like big bad beasts/monsters trying to take over my life.  Whether it was addictions, health issues, or relationship issues the more I focused on them the bigger and badder they got.  Until they became a fire breathing beast that seemed determined to burn up my life.

And here is the thing, if we are completely focused on the issue/problem it does become bigger and bigger.  But if we turn our focus to Jesus we will quickly see that our issue/problem is not the fire breathing beast it appeared to be.

God’s Word in 1 John 4:4 tells us that we’ve already overcome the issue/problem because Jesus, Who is in us, is far greater/stronger than the one (our issue/problem) who is in the world.

With Jesus fighting with us we can tame any beast that tries to come against us.  Even if it is a huge scary fire breathing beast.  We can be like the young woman in the artwork, holding up our hand taming the beast.  Overcoming the issue/problem with God’s strength.

So, stand strong knowing that Jesus in you is stronger than anything trying to come against you in the world.  Lean into Jesus letting Him be the strength that wins the victory in your life today.

Until next time blessings and healing

 

Surreal

This gallery is a collection of surreal-ish artwork.  Some of these are quite bizarre in appearance, but they have really good stories that go with them.  
Click on the image to read the writing that accompanies it.

Q

Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night…
Philippians 2:14-15 MSG

Each of us has a message that we carry around inside us wherever we go.  Often times, it is an unspoken message that we broadcast through our actions.  Other times, we verbally broadcast this message to the people around us.  Regardless, if our message is unspoken or spoken, we are constantly broadcasting our message to the world around us on a daily basis.

Over the past couple of years, I have been shocked by the anger that is being broadcast by so many on social media.  Before anyone points a finger at me say, ‘judgmental, much?” Please know that after thinking that thought, I immediately I asked myself this question,

“Kirsten what are you broadcasting to the world?”

Am I broadcasting judgment, hate, anger, and/or lies? Or am I broadcasting love, patience, hope, compassion, and/or joy.  Does my broadcast lift people up or tear them down?  When people come into my space do they immediately know that I am a follower of Christ?

I can’t control what others broadcast, but I can choose what I am broadcasting to those around me. So again, I asked myself that question, “What am I broadcasting to the world as I go through my day?

This led me the idea of what would people hear or see if everything I was thinking, saying, and doing was televised?  Because I think like most people, I’ve gotten really good at hiding my faults and shortcomings from others.  However, sooner or later who we are on the inside comes crashing out to become the broadcast the world hears and sees on the outside when they spend time in our presence.

Today, I encourage you, to take a moment to ask Jesus what you are broadcasting to the world.  I don’t know about you, but I want my broadcast to show people the love, hope, and compassion of Jesus.  I want my broadcast to uplift them whenever they are in my company.  I want them to see Jesus, not me.

BEHIND THE SCENE:  As the questions and thoughts swirled through my head, this surreal image was born. I created a literal interpretation of my idea of my thoughts and words being televised.  Since the whole concept was born out of my frustration at the anger and hate talk on social media, I depicted a woman who is broadcasting her anger to all the people around her.

Until next time blessings and healing

Q

Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
Psalm 96:1-3 NLT

When circumstances in our lives are going badly it is very easy to sing the woe is me song. That was a song that I sang for most of my teenage and young adult years. Struggling with drug and alcohol addictions, I didn’t experience many moments of joy. In fact, I wore a heavy coat of despair that matched my song.

I think we can all agree that music has the ability to change our moods to some extent. Several studies have shown that when we listen to upbeat, happy music it can actually make us more positive about our circumstances. A study by the American Music Therapy Association in 2015, revealed that people who listen to music before, during, or after surgery had less instances of anxiety and pain than those who didn’t listen to music.

Based on that information, imagine what happens when we are constantly singing the woe is me song to ourselves. For me, my negative song kept me trapped in dark places where I felt like there was no hope of better days.

When I gave my life to the Lord at 33, there was a change deep within my heart. Where there had only been darkness and dread for my future, I now felt hope and a light spreading through me. I felt a new song bubbling up within me. A joyful song that cleansed me from the inside out. I realized that my entire body was becoming an instrument of praise to the Lord. My words, my actions, and my reactions were all songs of praise that I could share with others.

What song are you singing today? I encourage you to find moments throughout the day where you can praise the Lord with your song. Sing to Him a new song.

Until next time blessings and healing

Q

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10 ESV

I sometimes think I came out of the womb predisposed to being a people pleaser.  It seems to be my default.  It is a behavior that I’ve struggled with a majority of my life.  And when I did find the backbone to not please the people around me it never ended well.

When a die hard people pleaser stops pleasing, the people who are used to their behavior tend to get bent out of shape.  They have gotten used to the people pleaser’s life revolving around making them happy.  It can often be a bitter pill for them to swallow.

But here is the thing, we were not created to please other people.  We were created to be pleasing to God through an intimate relationship with Him.  That is why being a people pleaser is so draining.  It is us trying to do everything in our own power all the time.  It is us taking on the weight of the world on our puny shoulders.  We simply don’t have the strength to maintain that kind of effort.

When I returned to a relationship with the Lord, I felt led to stop my people pleasing behaviors.  But it was a process for me, it didn’t just happen overnight.  I had to choose to have my behavior and response be pleasing to Jesus not to the people surrounding me.

I had to say “No” to some things my friends were doing because those things were not going to draw me closer to God.  I still have to battle with people pleasing on occasion.  Sometimes I lose the fight.  That’s when I have to ask the Lord to forgive me…and He does.

This “surreal-ish” artwork is a visual representation of the battle that happens when we are people pleasers.  The more people we are trying to please, the larger our burden grows.  The people become dead weight that we are forcing ourselves to carry around with us.  Pretty soon we are forced to our knees as the weight of them becomes too heavy for us to carry alone.

Here is a little secret: We are NEVER going to be able to please everyone all of the time.  The harder we try the heavier our burden becomes.  Instead we need to pass the dead weight of those people to the Lord.  He will set us free from this vicious cycle of seeking approval from others.

Until next time blessings and healing

 

Q

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

In August of 2019, I suddenly no longer had a job.  I had been in full time ministry for 15+ years.  And I truly believed that this job was my forever job.  So, when the job ended I felt like my whole world had suddenly been flipped upside down.

That is when I discovered that my entire identity had been wrapped up in that job.  Who was I if I wasn’t in full time ministry?  What was my purpose in life, now?

Those questions (along with lots of others) began running on a ticker tape in my brain…non-stop.  I felt like I was free falling faster and faster towards the ground.  That is when this image came to my mind.

As I created the artwork, I began to think about the fact that my job ending was not a surprise to God.  He wasn’t sitting up there with His jaw hanging open saying, “What just happened?”  No, He was reaching out His hand to me leading me to the Scripture in Jeremiah 29 to remind me that He knows the plans He has for my life.  And He promises that the plans He has will not harm me, but they will give me hope for my future.

If you feel like you are on a free fall in an upside down life, I invite you to re-read the Scripture above.  Draw comfort from the fact that Jesus has wonderful plans for your future (even if you can’t see them right now).  Put your hope in Him and His plans.

Until next time blessings and healing

Digital

This gallery is a collection of digital artwork created on my iPad mini with the Procreate application.  Click on the image to view it at a larger size.

Traditional

This gallery is a collection of photography, acrylic, and watercolor artwork.  Click on the image to view it at a larger size.

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