Purpose By Design Girls retreat 2019-BLUE SKY DREAMS

This year's art worship used acrylic pour painting as the medium to listen to what God is saying to them.  The first step was for the girls to do a group pour paint canvas in order to leave negative emotions or fears on the canvas before they did their own canvas.  This year we had 30 girls, coming from Riverwoods Christian Action Center and The ARK of St. Sabina of Chicago.  We broke up into 2 art worship sessions.  The first group took turns adding paint and then tipping the canvas to let the paint move.  The second group added their paint one by one on top of the first group's paint and then tipped the canvas in order for the paint to continue to move.  The lesson was to watch everyone's mess which was put on the canvas be turned into something beautiful when we allowed 
God to take control and move the paint.  The result was something beautiful!

The next step was for each girl to come to her own station and canvas and select paint from a palette of blues to pour into a cup for a "dirty pour".  Since the theme for the retreat was "Blue Sky Dreams," we used dark blue, light blue, teal, turquoise, purple and white to begin to dream and teach the our minds to imagine the possibilities of the future.  Even though the palette was the same for each girl, each canvas turned out surprisingly very different just as each of us, though human, are all unique.

After lifting the cup, the girls were able to tilt the canvas until they were satisfied with the canvas coverage and design.  They were then able to further manipulate the paint by their breath and straws.  It is a fast process, yet it slowed the girls down to watch and develop patience and observation.  They realized that even though they thought that they had control, the paint continued to move and change and develop cells because of the added drops of silicone.  They were told to observe the finished product because it would continue to change over night as it dried.

Day 2 was the analysis and listening prayer of the art.  We tried to come up with questions that would lead the girls through steps of looking at art and developing their imaginations.  Because of trauma in our lives or environmental living situations, some imaginations are shut down and depressed and hopeless.  By coming up with open ended questions, and taking the time to write the questions and thoughtful answers in their writing journals, the art will be able to continue to speak to the girls even as they go home back into their environments.  Hopefully, the questions will also give them a framework for looking at all art in the future and observing what the art has to say to them in that moment.

Reflective Questions:

1.  In your paintings, you had the choice of 6 colors, all different shades of blue: teal, turquoise, light blue, dark blue, purple and white.***
What is the dominant color in you painting?  If there are two, which one is most important to you?

2.  How does that color make you feel?

3.  What shape, pattern or color stands out most to you in your picture and why?

4.  How has your picture changed from when you last saw it and how much did it change?

5.  What section of your painting do you like the most?  Why?  Identify the top of the painting.

6.  Is there a design of anything you see in the picture?  What is it?  Describe it.

7.  How do you believe God is represented in your picture?

8.  Did you ever feel you were not in control of the outcome of this creation?  How did it make you feel not knowing the outcome?

After writing in their journals, we told the girls that we were going to create an art gallery that evening where their art would be displayed for all to see.  We explained that in an art gallery, each painting has a label next to it with the artist name and date it was made.  We asked them to write a short description of their art and the inspiration that it gave them and/or what they learned from God by reflection of their art.  We are always amazed at how God speaks to us through art.

After dressing up for a nice dinner, we were invited to the art gallery.
The girls entered the art gallery that evening to a surprise of the display of their work.  Their posture and smiles changed as they entered the space and saw their art.  They spontaneously went quickly to where their art was hanging and started talking about their art without our direction.  Their pride was apparent and all of the 30 girls participated and felt a part of the group.


                                          Arianna is an ARK mentee/participant @www.thearkofstsabina.org

The following is a gallery of the girls art and their inspirations:



"My Painting"

This year we had 30 girls and 20 women leaders from across the country.  After the girls had their two art worship sessions, the leaders took a turn at the art of pour painting, using all the colors that were left.  Their work was amazing and healing for each one of them.


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