Life Lessons in Art Journaling * Pause and Paint

Life Lessons in Art Journaling

Because we are so present when we create we can experience life lessons while doing art journaling.  When we live in the present we can reflect on what is happening now so we may be able to auto-correct our mistakes as we go along while learning valuable lessons in the process. Here’s a short video about  what happened when I made a mistake with oil pastels and how I fixed it. Most importantly the valuable lesson from this is really cool and relatable. I thought I’d tell you the story…

A few weeks ago, as I was filming this art journaling session, I was also facilitating an art workshop at the same time. It’s always a little stressful to record live while teaching a class. Half way through, I started to have a stomach ache. That’s never good when you are teaching! I drank tea, had a little Perrier lemon, nothing worked. I thought I was going to have to stop my art workshop but I didn’t want to, so I pressed on!

We were almost done with the art workshop when, instead of pasting my verse on my page, I decided to use a paint pen to write the Bible verse. I don’t know why I didn’t follow my own teaching as it was a very simple step! This was a bad idea because the paint pens were not working over the pastels and it looked awful! I had 2 choices, 1) stop the recording of my  art workshop or 2) fix the area I didn’t like.

I quickly grabbed a black pastel and I started to cover the bad lettering but at the same time I was covering my pretty rainbow and it looked even worse!  My friend  looked at my artwork with a funny look on her face and said; “what happened, weren’t we suppose to simply paste the bible verse on the page?

Life Lessons in Art JournalingNeedless to say her painting looked just fine because she listened to my recommendation and glued the verse on her page.

Why I didn’t apply what I was teaching remains a mystery!

I am glad I didn't quit when things looked bad. I'm happy with how my art journaling page turned out.Click To Tweet

My Main Takeaway

Sometimes it’s hard to be attentive to God’s voice when we are going through challenges. Whether making a mistake while doing art or blaming ourselves for some reason or another, the negative chatter in our mind can take over our thoughts and create havoc. The key is to stay calm and quiet your mind. This is how you can hear God’s whispers become louder and clearer as  you accept the events as they unfold…even if it’s not what you had envision.

As I am reading the Bible verse I chose for my art journaling page, I now see it in a whole new light! This experience was a good life lesson!

And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: ~Revelation 14:2 King James Version (KJV)

Here’s a little bonus!

5 Tips When Things go Wrong With Oil Pastels

Below are a few tips how to fix oil pastel mistakes (unless you prefer to keep your art the way it is!)

  • Tip #1 – When you make a mistake, stay calm and see if you can erase it with a wipe. Often the colors will get really light and you can just wipe the mistake, wait 5 minutes so it’s dry and add your oil pastel over it.
  • Tip #2 – If the pastels doesn’t cooperate even when trying to erase or blend it, use a darker pastel color to cover the area you don’t like and blend well to get a smooth finish. Add a coat of varnish over the dark oil pastel so that you can play with other medium over it. Paint pens are great to add details. You can also decide to soften the dark area with new brighter colors.
  • Tip #3 – Add swirls, stars or designs over the darker areas to create a brighter feel to it. Adding details with metallic paint is always a win.
  • Tip #4 – Have fun with the new direction your art is taking. Go along with the changes and be curious of what the outcome will be!
  • Tip # 5 – Continue to add layers on the blended pastels. This will deepen your page and create cool color transitions. Embrace what you create. If you need to, take a break, have some tea and come back to your artwork when you feel relaxed.

Extra Tip – Add glitter paint to your coloring page! Make it shine a little. You’ll love it.

Lastly, If you live in the New England area join me for a painting workshop or an art workshop! I offer painting classes and painting fundraiser! Find more information on my calendar!

If  you live anywhere else I create video tutorial so please come by my YouTube Channel and let’s create!


Filmora Editing Tool – C’est La Vie


Nathalie Villeneuve is a Canadian-born visual artist. Her paintings are best described as Expressionist meets Parisian chic. Villeneuve’s, strong influence of Franz Marc, a German printmaker considered a pioneer of the German Expressionist movement, creates a series of heavy lines contrasting bright colors fading into soft brush strokes on canvas. Her body of work depicts women in dance, cinema, photography and even the mundane such as sitting at a Cafe or by the beach. The scenes she creates on canvas consists of elegant, long-legged feminine figures gracefully perched and seem frozen in time during moments of peaceful reflections. Villeneuve, a Meriden resident has shown her artwork at various galleries and venues in Connecticut and Canada. She now has a growing body of collectors throughout the U.S. Northeast. Ms. Villeneuve studied at the Dicksen Art Center/UCLA under Professor Roger Herman towards receiving her Bachelor’s of Interdisciplinary Art. For more information:


  1. Kathleen O'Keefe-Kanavos /

    Nathalie, what a great lesson you teach not only with how to use Art Journaling but how to incorporate a mistake into your artwork because truth be told, don’t we have to incorporate our daily mistakes into our life? You cannot erase a moment in time, you have to find a way to paint it into your life-picture.

  2. Suzie Cheel /

    Love this especially the bible verse, Yes when we listen within closely magic happens
    Thanks for sharing xx

  3. Nathalie Villeneuve /

    Thank you for your comment Suzie. Yes, the Bible verse is the star of the show!

  4. Nathalie Villeneuve /

    So well said Kat! Speaking of painting pictures, you definitely know how to paint pictures with words!

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