I tried something a little different over the last two weeks – tried to do a messy type of watercolor painting, with more intuitive painting and expressive strokes. It was hard to step back and let loose. I almost threw the painting away, a place I find myself frequently, but I embraced the mess, entered the chaos, and found beauty within. It helped to spur the thoughts of the poem below…. When… Read More

Hope dwells in this gardenWhere all are welcomeAnd none are denied.Its inhabitants baskIn the wonder of every fulfilled hopeAs they remember from where they came. Their jubilant songs of gratitudeInfuse the airLike the sweetest incense,As they revel in the truthThat all are restoredJust as was promised. For having stormed the gates of hell,Their healer took back the keysAnd saved all,Proving with finalityThat not even the grave nor hellCould separate them from his… Read More

You welcome all, In this garden with no walls, Where flowers bloom At your gentlest touch And life thrives At the faintest whisper of your song. You awaken peace In the most fractured hearts, Promising belonging and acceptance With arms spread wide. You knit together broken souls Using words that restore. Your breath is a soft exhale, Water that heals, Quenching the most unbearable thirst. Your fire refines, A final, most powerful… Read More

She never gives up, For her love is relentless. She cradles the world in her heart And awakens transformation with her breath, For her song cannot be unsung And the light of her existence cannot be extinguished. ~ Janna Vanderveen

She enters the shadowlands, Transforming darkness into light And wasteland into beauty, For her love liberates the deep And there is no wound she cannot restore. ~ Janna Vanderveen

She comforts those who grieve and cradles the wounded for she knows that love heals and that every journey deserves to be heard and every story believed. ~ Janna Vanderveen

She wears her love like flower petals, and beauty blossoms in her heart like incense, filling this garden with the heady aroma of her unconstrained joy, and no one can deny their worth. ~ Janna Vanderveen

She waits, her gaze eternal, as she welcomes all, for nothing can destroy her love. ~ Janna Vanderveen

She embraces the universe and cradles the tiniest particles of life with compassion because she knows that this action matters, and that her love will heal the world.

She sings and the birds join in For they recognize her song as love, And they know they belong. ~ Janna Vanderveen

She is brave and speaks her truth for she matters and her worth is beyond measure. ~ Janna Vanderveen I have been participating in, studying, and utilizing Internal Family Systems Psychotherapy (Parts Theory) in my life, both personally and as a therapist in my job. While I painted, I contemplated this process of healing which involves identifying, understanding, and interacting with the different parts of ourselves (wounded/exile, protective, firefighter, and core-self parts)… Read More

She is fearless. Her love is a light, Which makes all things flourish. Her home is a sanctuary, A garden filled with life, And no one is turned away. ~ Janna Vanderveen

Watercolor and Pastel Painting | Illuminate. I am continuing to learn new techniques of painting, some whimsical and detailed, others abstract and intuitive. This painting may look more lifelike in comparison to the more illustrative paintings I’ve been painting recently, which might make one think that it was more of a drawing study and more detailed. However, this type of painting embraces the fluidity and uncertainty of watercolors and allows for an… Read More

Watercolor Painting | Broken yet Beautiful. What a gift we have been given, to be a light in a broken world, to surrender to love and compassion, to embrace the opportunity we have been given to choose to lay down our lives for our neighbors when it both does not suit us and is downright uncomfortable, to selflessly put others first for their benefit and not our own, and to surrender to… Read More

“You are no stranger to the scarSo you can have my wounded heartYou weren’t protected from the painSo you can hold me when I breakYou seek me out and find me hereWith a love that knows the taste of tearsSo I will trust in who you areYou’re no strangerNo stranger to the scarYou are no stranger to the stormYou have calmed these winds beforeYour voice still whispers, peace, be stillAnd the waves… Read More

Watercolor Painting | Hidden I am drawn repeatedly to paint women peering through secret gardens, as if they are inviting me to enter their sacred sanctuaries where suffering, striving, competition, and inequality no longer exist. They live there, not because of something they have done, but simply because they “are.” In this haven of light, where love is the water of life, all are welcome and none are denied.

Watercolor Painting | Purple Pansies May your roots sink deep Beside crystal streams. May your leaves climb high In sun-kissed bliss. May your blossoms spread wide Releasing sweetened breath And may you dance In windswept ecstasy. ~ Janna Vanderveen

Watercolor Painting of flowers: Lily of the Valley

Mixed media painting of whimsical girl in garden of roses.

I almost…almost threw away this painting. It’s ugly stage lasted way too long, and I thought it was not salvageable, especially since I was trying out some new art supplies to go along with an art course, She blooms in Ink, by Tamara Laporte. Refusing to give in, I doggedly persisted. I have to admit, I like how she finally turned out. For this painting, I used Tombow watercolor markers, Jane Davenport… Read More