Reflect & Renew

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hi Everyone,

As a faith-based artist, few things give me greater pleasure than creating designs to celebrate religious holidays. This week, I wanted to share some of the Easter and Passover designs I have been working on.

I was honored when our local Jewish newspaper, The Heritage, asked if they could feature one of my images on the cover of their Passover issue. I sent them several options, and this is the design they chose:

Jerusalem is an appropriate theme for Passover because the Hagaddah (Passover Prayerbook) ends with the line “Next Year in Jerusalem”. Here is a close up of the design:

Another theme which truly expresses Passover to me is the Exodus, when God parts the Red Sea. I combined the parting of the sea with the Jerusalem scene in the design below.

For Easter, I’ve been working on a series of crosses with the text “He Is Risen”. The design below was originally created as a greeting card.

I like the tone-on-tone background, and the way I was able to write the word Believe on the cross, but since I love dangling, I also wanted to experiment with a Zenspirations® Dangle Design cross. Below is my Dangle Cross in progress. 

I’m not sure if I’ll letter Believe in this one, too, or leave the center blank. As always, I’d value your opinion– please leave a comment to let me know what you think. I’m open to using a different word if you have an alternate suggestion.


Since many churches hold sunrise services as a way of recognizing that by sunrise on Easter mornning Jesus no longer lay in his tomb, I wanted to try a design which incorporated a sunrise… the piece below is just a sketch, but I think it is detailed enough for the concept to come across. 

One of the things that both Passover and Easter allow us to do is to take time to reflect, to savor, and to renew ourselves spiritually as we embrace the true meaning of the holidays. Both holidays are celebrated with festivities, food, friends and family… but there are many people who don’t have friends and family nearby, and face spending their holiday alone. I know first-hand that holidays are especially hard when you’ve recently lost a loved one, and wanted to reach out to you– my wonderful Zenspirations blog readers– with a special request. If you are hosting a Passover Seder or an Easter Dinner, would you please consider inviting someone who may not have anyplace to go to celebrate the holiday with you? Reaching out to others can make a huge difference in their lives– and in yours.

Wishing you and your family joyous holidays; may they be filled with hope and happiness, laughter, light and love.

Stay Zenspired,


17 thoughts on “Reflect & Renew”

  1. Dear Joanne, thank you for sharing your once again amazing talent, all the pictures are so beautiful, God gave you such an awesome gift, we are so lucky to have you, your caring words are also uplifting and inspiring, you are always thinking of others, please be sure to be also kind to yourself and take a little time for you, some days l would love to reach through the computer screen and give you a a huge hug, its very hard to chose which picture is the best , l love everything about the cross with the flowers, but the dangle cross is beautiful too, but l think it does need a word in the middle, it looks a bit unbalanced, l'm thinking maybe ALWAYS written on the first angled line , then BELIEVE under it ?, whatever you chose it will be beautiful, Happy Easter to you and your family………xxx

  2. They are gorgeous Joanne! I appreciate so much how you share your art and faith, in such inspirational ways! I do find my eye is drawn to the center of the cross, with the dangles, making me feel like there should be something there…?
    I know whatever you decide will be spectacular! Wishing you many blessings in the coming week!

  3. I'm a new fan having found your work through It's going to be fun following you! I appreciate your work and your faith, the way your express that is beautiful, Happy Spring!

  4. I would like something in the middle. I liked the suggestions for Hope and Always Believe or Believe. Your work is just lovely….there is nothing quite as rewarding as faith-based art! Thank you!

  5. I am so enthralled with your work. Thank you for sharing with us. Your heart is evident with each peace you post. Thank you! And GOD bless you. You make me want to go SQUEEE! with Joy and excitement!

  6. 'Faith Based Art' … what a fabulous 'job' you have. I realize there is a lot more to your 'job' than just creating all day, but what you do for me, and for all your followers, speaks to our heart. It is obvious it also comes from your heart. In my mind, I am constantly dreaming of perfect swirls and letters and dangles and enthralled with your ability to swirl perfectly. Such a gift you have. I have found a new awareness of pen and paper that I didn't know existed. Thank you.

  7. I love the Passover Illustration for the cover of the Heritage Jewish News! It is so beautiful. I love the colors and how you combine them.

    And I adore the Zenspiration Dangle Design Cross! The little hearts on the dangles are perfect. If I were going to suggest a word for the middle of the cross, it would be: Alleluia! In the tradition of the Christian church, this has very special meaning in the religious calendar in that the word is not said in the liturgy at all during the entire season of Lent. There is a "blank" space in the service where the Alleluia is missing. On Easter Sunday, the Alleluia is back because He is Risen.

    You are such a beautiful soul and giving heart and your art reflects this as usual. You remain my dear friend and role model, my friend. Have a Wonderful Passover with your family and friends!!!

  8. Hi–i love your work and have many of your books. i made a copy of your Easter design (the one with He Is Risen on the side of the cross–beautiful. going to color and give to my pastor. i like the Believe in the center boxes and will add that. i started working on a Zentangle design this afternoon for my husband's birthday card, the 9th. it's a harder one than i have done before, however, he loves on i did on tile, so should like this one also.

    thanks for sharing your beautiful artwork, have a great day, Jo Anne

  9. Love, LOVE this, JoAnne. Perfect in every way. What an encouragement you are – how profoundly God is using you in the art world. He is risen indeed!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your art. I like the Dangle cross just the way it is, but I think including word(s) would be just as wonderful. Some words that come to mind are Faith, Trust, Prayer, or even including a name.

  11. This post captures the nature of the religious holidays. Thank you so much for your inspiration. I genuinely love your work and have learned so much by reading your posts. I hope you have a meaningful holiday.

  12. Hi Joanne,
    Your holiday art is always so inspiring, beautiful to see and delightful to copy, color or decorate. I love your interpretaions of the Easter designs. Easter is the happiest of all Christian celebrations because of the message you have so beautifully inscribed. One of the favorite traditional Easter hymns repeats the word Allelujah! (means the same as Hallelujah!) over and over as a chorus beginning each verse. There are about five verses! Maybe that would be another word to use appropriately with "He is Risen." It might appear both before and after : "Allelujah! He Is Risen! Allelujah!" This is commonly spoken or sung in Christian liturgy. It would seem familiar and a correct expression. Along with your original idea of "Hope," "Salvation" is another word associated with "He Is Risen." Personally, I prefer "Allelujah!" for its celebratory intent.
    So there's your Sunday School lesson for this week. Ha! you could probably teach me more than I could you! I like that you share your sentiments which overlap other faiths. I believe we have more common universal beliefs than absolute differences as creatures of the same planet with our shared evolutionary beginnings. Our Christian heritage has its beginnings in Judaism, and I'm sure you already know that.
    Thank you for all your inspiration and dedication to your craft. It is such an art! Libby

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