This 20″ by 20″ acrylic painting on canvas of a Volkswagen Campervan was a blast to paint. I loved working with several bright acrylics and a random assortment of ephemera. It made for a fun, colorful, and GROOVY, painting which is perfect for any room.

My Little Pony

I giggle. Seriously. This poochini brings me tremendous joy and laughter. When my daughter and I picked her up from the groomers yesterday and discovered her ombre ears/tail and green painted toenails, you can only imagine our wide smiles and peels of laughter.

“My little pony!” said my daughter with obvious admiration.

“Yup, we have a live one!” I responded.


I can hardly take the cuteness of my Lily Belle.


Recently, I lay awake in bed, convicted of a thought which would not release me to sleep. In the darkness of my bedroom, I slipped on a pair of headphones and began to listen to the song, Join with the Angels, by Planet Shakers. As the music played, I embraced the thought, and it embraced me. These words etched into my heart and inspired the painting, which I’ve titled, Refiner’s Fire. Maybe it will provide comfort to someone else today.

I AM an all-consuming fire. You are gold. Just as gold is made pure in fire, so are you. In my refining-presence you are restored. You believe my fire is punishment and you fear me. But do not be afraid, for my fire is love, and my flames heal. And I’ve promised to make all things new.  That includes you. All knees will bow, not in fearful submission, but in wonder at my goodness.  For just as nothing of value is ever thrown away, you will not be discarded, for your value is greater than rubies. Oh that you would see this and know it to be true. You see yourself as coal, but I see you as the treasure you are. For just as refined gold reflects light, so you reflect me.

If you would like to learn how to make a similar painting, please visit

I completed a second painting for a friend, in my series, “Be Thou My Vision.” I envisioned a girl holding a lantern, which cast light to dispel the shadows.

Be thou my vision,
Thy presence my light.
Guide me through sunshine,
And the darkest of night.

~ Janna Vanderveen

 Be though my vision 
When I cannot see. 
Whether waking or sleeping 
Reveal yourself to me. 
~ Janna Vanderveen

Like the tulip which lifts its head in silence,

Revealing blossoms the color of crimson,

Your beauty also shines forth,

Revealing your value and worth.

~ Janna Vanderveen

I took some time to paint this weekend, amidst the stress that broken bones and too much time spent in an emergency room creates.  After things settled, I contemplated the beauty of the setting sun, the majesty of towering mountains, and my thankfulness for the life we have. This painting is a reflection of that moment.

Scribbles and scratches. I’ve reopened my children’s books and am editing like crazy…always editing it seems. For me, taking a short break from writing often means doing something else creative, like watercolor painting. The activity seems to feed the ideas that swirl though my mind. This girl is scribbled and scratched, almost as an afterthought, but within her there is light, love, and a little magic. Stories, stories, stories….

Sorrow fills the silence 
When love’s sweet iris falls. 
Come gather scattered blossoms, 
And cradle petals strong. 
Let’s raise our valiant banners, 
And paint our tower’s tall. 
For Marianne, oh sweet Marianne, 
We’ll remember freedom song. 

~ Janna Vanderveen

Lily Belle

Lily Belle casts a ray of sunshine in our family. She soothes tears, inspires laughter, and spreads a whole lot of love with her unwavering loyalty and wet doggy kisses.  She boldly sports hot-pink tipped ears as well as a matching fuzzy matching hair bow. Just looking at her makes me smile. May she brighten your day as well.

My son Gabriel came home from middle school last week with an art assignment; to paint a Loretta Grayson style color theory tree. The project seemed a little daunting, so I offered to do one alongside him. Together we looked up Loretta Grayson’s web page and discovered that she had an on-line tutorial explaining how to complete this project.

We’d been told to use water medium paints for our own project, versus the Caran D’ache oil pastels used by Loretta, and soon discovered that it was much harder to create clean crisp squares with watercolor paints. However, we decided to embrace the difference, believing that our fluid lines would make our work unique. Intrigued by Loretta’s use of Zentangles my son asked if he could also incorporate them into our trees. I thought that was a great idea. After four hours of painting, my son’s project was  complete.


He did an amazing job! I am so proud of him. I love his use of vibrant colors and fun Zentangle patterns!

My own project took a little longer to complete since I painted it on a considerably larger piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper.  It reminds me of the stained glass windows which decorated my childhood church, and that makes me feel a little nostalgic.

All in all, it was a fun day.  I enjoyed the art lesson, but most of all, I loved spending time with my son.

Peace lingers in the valley 

Which was once filled with fear. 

Your oasis of beauty 

Holds my heart dear. 

~ Janna Vanderveen

Truth is the sorrow

which lingers in my tears.

Love is the compassion

Which erases all your fears.

You are not alone.

You are not forgotten.

~ Janna Vanderveen

It’s spring break, the kids are home from school, and writing is NOT happening. I should be throwing myself into book 2, but have decided to instead show myself grace by giving myself permission to do a few other creative things, like catching up on thank you notes. I followed a Danielle Donaldson tutorial to create this card, which combined my creative hobby loves – watercolor painting, sewing, and mixed media layering. It was fun! And through it all, I reflected on the blessings I’ve recently encountered in my life. There is truly nothing more uplifting than thankful reflections.

 My muse: Danielle Donaldson’s All Creatures Lovely and Small

“She holds galaxies in her gaze and dreams life into existence.” ~ Janna Vanderveen

My muse…Qinni. If you click on the word Qinni and follow the link, you will be taken to the artist’s YouTube page where you can watch a speed drawing of how the original artist drew this painting. This painting on my page, is my study of her painting, based on her speed drawing as a tutorial.

Let truth reside in your heart,

Wisdom on your lips,

Compassion in your arms.

And may you love with abandon.

~ Janna Vanderveen

She fell in love and marveled

At the beauty of it all.

~ Janna Vanderveen

A study of Jane Davenport art, an exercise in Wonderland.

With the final edits of “The Shrouded Planet” finally around the bend, I’ve begun to dream of nebulas and the worlds of wonder that they contain. Lumen is calling, and the story of Daeryn burns through my veins. I’ve never been more excited to start writing a second book. Here’s to hoping that the last six chapters of my first novel fly by with ease.

My muse…Tillith. This painting is a study of their work.

Welcome to my wonderland, where even the barns whisper of stories untold.

This painting is a study of Peter Woolley’s art.

When my love slumbers 
Burns out brighter than umber 
It births starlight for you. 

~ Janna Vanderveen

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