Watercolor Window and Roses
“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our window today.” ~ Dale Carnegie
Watercolor Window with Flowers(Click on thumbnail for high-resolution image)

Reference Photo Inspiration : Larissa O’Duffy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lariod/3551184572

Meet Violet Dahlia

Violet Dahlias3D

Princess, pixie, fairy, sprite, or heroine…

I haven’t decided yet.

Violet DahliasA

I had a tremendous amount of fun sewing this whimsical character, with her purple hair and big eyes.

I could definitely see her in a children’s book.

Violet Dahlia

 As of now, my daughter holds the key to her magical world.

She even convinced me to add eyelashes.

You can find this sewing pattern on Etsy at Fancy Dolls.

UPDATE: AMY O’NEAL is the winner!!! Congratulations. Stay tuned for more giveaways in the future.

I have an AGENT!!! It is official. I’ve signed a contract with Credo Communications, who will represent me to publishing companies. My agent has asked me to create an email list for sharing book release information. This list will be used very infrequently, only when I have important book-related news. If you would like to enter a drawing to receive a $50.00 gift card, please follow my blog via email (the widget for this is found on the left hand side of my WordPress home page). Or you can like my Facebook page  and message me directly with your name and e-mail address (www.facebook.com/authorjannavanderveen). I will pick the winner, at random, next Sunday (2/8/2015) at 8:00 PM. Thank you for your support! Please share to spread the word. You can also visit my author profile on Credo’s page by going to: http://www.credocommunications.net/authors/profile/?who=Janna+Vanderveen


Farmhouse in the Dell

A Tonal Watercolor Study: Farmhouse in the Dell

Fingers of fog,

Desecrate lightly

The farmhouse in the dell

Where silence walks

And stone walls talk

And darker stories dwell.

~ Janna Vanderveen

This watercolor painting of an English cottage is my second assignment in Peter Woolley’s Watercolor For Beginners DVD: Tone and Composition.

A Tonal Study(Click on thumbnail for high-resolution image)




(Watercolor: Girl with Red Umbrella)

A Poem of Thankfulness

Your love is everlasting
Your arms reach far and wide
You carry me in splendor
You never leave my side

Upon your winds of favor
You lift me up to fly
Your wings, beloved savior
A shelter in the sky.

Your gifts, they fall like raindrops,
Your water soothes my soul
You fill my heart with plenty
Your grace, it makes me whole

~ Janna Vanderveen

Watercolor girl with red umbrella

(Click on thumbnail for full-resolution image)

Robin in Snow

The Robin

The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then,
Poor thing?

He’ll sit in a barn,
And keep himself warm,
And hide his head under his wing,
Poor thing!

~ Mother Goose

Robin in Winter

(Click on thumbnail for high-resolution image)

Watercolor: Robin in Snow

Cabochon Necklaces

Craft day is always fun, especially when Grandma is involved. She researched ways to create cabochon/pendant necklaces, purchased all the supplies, and set up the creative day for her grandchildren to attend.

I suggested that my kids draw a picture which I’d watercolor.  Of all the necklaces they created, these were my favorites!

My daughter drew a doghouse with her puppy basking in the son. She also drew a self-portrait.  My son drew a hero character with red eyes and fiery hair.

These are keepsakes for sure!

Watercolor pendant necklaces

(Click on thumbnail for high-resolution image)

Watercolor Painting: Peace

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.”

~ Horatio G. Spafford

For Christmas I received Peter Woolley’s Watercolor for Beginners DVD. The first assignment…learning how to paint with washes.

Basic Watercolor Wash

This is what happened when I tried a new brand of watercolor paper (ProArt 140# Watercolor 6″x12″)….

1. The paper sloughed off when I ran my paintbrush over the center of the water-soaked picture.
2, The colors didn’t bleed together as they should have in a wash (the paper was soaked) and left streaks everywhere.
3. Any attempt to spread the streaks around resulted in torn paper.
4. The paper itself took over 5 hours to dry, seeping color through the back, which made both wet in wet painting and layering paint over dry color a nightmare.
5. Because the paper soaked up so much water, it warped pretty badly, even though it was taped.

Having said all that, I did have fun following Joanne Thomas’s line and wash tutorial.

Line and Wash Watercolor Painting

(Click on thumbnail for full-resolution image)

Watercolor Monster

I made a thank you card today for my mother-in-law who blessed me greatly over the last two days. I used a painting technique involving calligraphy ink and watercolor paints, having learned of it in a book called Pinterest Perfect, by Jamielyn Nye and Flora Chang.

This cute little watercolor monster is holding out her heart to share. Watercolor Monster Card

(Click on thumbnail for full-resolution)


Watercolor #24: Watercolor Hot Air Balloon: Reflections

“Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13: 12

Hot Air Balloon(Click on thumbnail for full-resolution image)

Watercolor: Sailboat

Sailing somber seas

Soft skies encroach muted trees

Heavy with sorrow

Striving, always striving…

Tear drops driving

A repeat of tomorrow.

~ Janna

Watercolor Sailboat(Click on thumbnail for full-resolution image)

Watercolor Matryoshka Doll

Watercolor #22: Watercolor Matryoshka Doll

  The beauty of the Lord is like a Matryoshka doll. At first glance it is stunning, but a closer look reveals a magnificent mult-layered gift, full of even greater splendor.

Matryoshka Doll Watercolor Painting(Click on thumbnail for full-resolution image)

Penelope Bloom dressed up as her favorite bunny for Halloween.

Penelope Bloom

Cute or creepy. You tell me.

Red Penelope Bloom Bunny

(Click on thumbnail for high-resolution image)

Handmade by Sweetheart by Janna

Watercolor Attempt #21

I cannot help but contemplate the work of God’s hands, while writing Lumen, the second book in my Eden’s Gate series.

Psalm 19:1 comes to mind and lingers…

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The skies display his craftsmanship.”

~ Psalm 19:1

jannavanderveen © 2014

(Click on thumbnail for high-resolution image)

The unhindered imagination of children produces the cutest things.

Yesterday, my five-year-old daughter created this drawing of herself, with brown hair (she’s convinced that’s the color it will be when she’s older), and a red, rocket backpack. But most notably, she’s flying.

At Disney World,  a shop assistant sprinkled fairy dust in my daughter’s hair and promised her that if she made a wish, it would come true. You can imagine what I was thinking as she spoke, my eyes large as I subtly tried to dissuade her from delivering this promise with a not so subtle shake of my head.  But the worker didn’t see me,  or maybe she just didn’t get it, and my daughter latched on to the thought with whole-hearted abandon. She confided with great confidence, that she wished to fly.

As the day progressed, her questions grew more frequent… “Mom, am I going to fly yet? When is it going to happen Mom. I want to fly now.”

I tried to dodge her questions with distractions, “Look honey, we’re flying on Aladdin’s Magic Carpet ride…we’re flying on Dumbo the Flying Elephant…your wish came true.”

To which she’d shake her head and stomp her foot. “That doesn’t count. I want to FLY.” An eye roll invariably accentuated her disdain for my suggestion.

Eventually I had to tell her the truth, and in doing so, I broke her little heart.  My explanation, that the  wish was make-belief and pretend, was met first with denial and then sadness. “But I want to fly Mom, I have fairy dust in my hair.”

Many more distractions followed and a lot of hugs. Thankfully, she forgot about the promise and her wish.

Or so I thought…

Based on this picture, I’d say she hasn’t given up on her dream.  Now she sees it as a challenge. Perhaps she will be instrumental in creating the next flying device designed for public transit. Or maybe, in the absence of that type of futuristic technology, she’ll develop her own fantastical world on paper, and live vicariously through the stories of her characters.

Either way, her curiosity and creativity are inspiring.

And, based on her character’s smile, I think I’d like to fly too.

Chloe Flying2

(Click on thumbnail for full-resolution image)

Kathryn leaned close until her lips were next to Eden’s ear. “Your beauty is taken from you, Eden. You have whored yourself out to sin and you will be a vile thing in my sight until you repent. You will not be my angel because you cannot be. You will be my demon, a twisted thorn in my flesh sent to torment me until the day you turn from your sin.” ~ Ted Dekker, Water Walker

Wow! This quote is LOADED. Whether it is read from the perspective of an abusive mother (Kathryn) to her daughter (Eden) or from the perspective of an angry God to his creation (man, the world–Eden, and his angels), it showcases a distorted image of God’s love that is filled with abuse, disgust, and hatred. Ted Dekker rips apart the lies that fuel spiritual abuse and exposes the faulty logic used to sustain them. And after walking us through the gamut of emotions that surround these beliefs, he brings us out the other side, to see a true picture of God’s goodness and his perfect love.

If you are interested in reading this book, click on the image below. But be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart.

Storybook characters really do come to life!

At least Snow White’s 7 Dwarves did at Walt Disney world.

Wait…is that Sneezy plugging his nose?

Is it possible that I stink?

Considering it was late at night, incredibly hot, and our wait in line to meet these guys was upwards of 75 minutes, I’d say it was possible.

Ha! I love how my daughter is holding Dopey’s hand.

These memories will last a lifetime!

Disney 7 Dwarves Chloe

The Neverending Story was one of my favorite movies as a child. In it, a bullied boy named Bastian, flees to his school attic to escapes the worries of his life. He enters a book and through that, the world Fantasia, which is in dire need of a hero and savior. Bastian learns to overcome his fear and triumphs in saving the land.

Having experienced some bullying in middle school, I related to this story on many levels.

And who could ever forget the beloved Falkor (the luck dragon)?

Apparently, not me.

I recently had an epiphany about my little Maltese dog, Lily.


Can you spot the resemblance?

Perhaps she’s my luck dragon.

Or not.

But regardless, I love her.

My daughter has been asking for a rainbow and pink Penelope Bloom Bunny for over a year.  Yesterday, I decided it was time to fulfill on my promise and make her one.

I checked on my daughter late at night, and noticed that she slept with her new bunny snuggled tight in her arms.

That made it all worth while!

 Pink Rainbow Penelope Bloom Bunny Standing


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