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Art Journaling to Thankfulness

Updated on September 18, 2014
Gayle Dowell profile image

Gayle Dowell is a jewelry and watercolor artist. She currently teaches art to a homeschool co-op highschool class.

One Thousand Gifts and Art Journaling

I've been reading "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. Ann creates beautiful word pictures with her writing and I am in awe. I've been doing a lot of art journaling as well during this time and have enjoyed it very much. I started thinking about Ann's goal of writting down 1,000 gifts that she sees throughout her everyday. Gifts given by God that may be overlooked in our busy-ness. Gifts that she can be thankful for. She extends this challenge to her readers. To write down their 1,000 gifts as they come through the days, weeks and months of life. I get this crazy idea. How about doing an art journal that illustrates those 1,000 gifts. Can I do this, I ask? We shall see. If you would like to join me, come on along and journal with me as we take this road of thankfulness together.

All photos and artwork by Gayle Dowell

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

A way of living to be thankful in all things and live a life of joy...hat is a big feat, but one that when put into practice on a daily basis can reap huge blessings. Finding joy in life is as simple as looking around and counting your blessings for the simple things.

Make Journaling Manageable

Maybe 1,000 gifts are too many to illustrate. Maybe I can list 1,000 things and illustrate a few along the way. I don't want to get overwhelmed by it all and give up before I even start. What joy would there be in getting stressed about keeping up with the goal. Maybe I won't finish in a year, maybe I'll take two years. At any rate, I want to devote a scheduled time each week to do something. Only after being diligent at the start, can I develop a habit of being thankful that will last through to the end.

Visit my top recommended supplies for creating an art journal

Best Supplies for Art Journals

Share the Journey

I'm going to share my journey in this "art journaling into thankfulness" here. I would love for others to be inspired to join me and share their work and blessings that they encounter day to day.

Need more ideas for creating

art journal pages?

Visit Art Journal Prompts

One thousand gifts and art journal, entry one
One thousand gifts and art journal, entry one

The Moon, Finding Joy in Darkness

Joy can only be found in contrast to sorrow. If I never knew sorrow, joy would be meaningless. My first thankfulness entry is the moon. The beauty of the moon contrasted with the dark of the night expresses joy contrasted with the dark of sorrow. The moon's reflection of the sun assures me that the sun is still there and the moon is lighting my way through the dark. Much the same way as the Son reflects His Father's light and guides those in the darkness into the glorious light.

John 8:12 NIV

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."


A Night's Rain, Water for the Thirsty

After experiencing drought conditions, the sound of a steady slow rain is like a drink to a thirsty soul. Our lives at times can feel like a parched land left dusty and dry from lack of water, but when the rains come, new life emerges from dry roots and new growth begins again.

Isaiah 44:3 NIV

"For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants."

The Light of The World

Light breaks through all darkness. Staying close to the light keeps us from losing our way. Darkness can't extinguish light; light extinguishes darkness. So thankful for light...

John 12:46 New Living Translation

"I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark."

Lettering styles and ideas

for art journaling,

visit Lettering in Art Journals

Is There a Link Between Thankfulness and Joy?

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    • TransplantedSoul profile image


      5 years ago

      Yes for sure. I think that often one goes with the other.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I think there is...and these are two I would always welcome.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Yes, there is a big link between them. I started a thank-you-diary last year and life has been much lighter ever since :-)

    • grannyann lm profile image

      Ann Scaling Tucker 

      5 years ago from Enid, OK

      Neat ideas. Thanks

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      5 years ago

      Wonderful, inspiring lens. Pinned to two of my boards: art I love and gratitude and happiness, and out by g+.. Linked as a related lens to my own lens 365 days of gratitude. Oh, and blessed. :)

    • accfuller profile image


      6 years ago

      Absolutely! Think happy thoughts, and more happy thoughts will come ... :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, certainly! I have been wanting to start an art journal for a while, and this has inspired me. Thank you!


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