Liturgical Representation: A Series of Mixed Media Pieces

This article is written by Julie Anna Johnson

I’m a grandma who can’t knit, can’t measure, and can’t draw a straight line with a pencil between two rulers. I heard early and often that I was uncoordinated and untalented in the arts and was kicked out of band in third grade because I was “..’or-e-bley.”

After years of wanting to be an artist I came to understand that we are all called to be artists and found freedom in mixed media work. It is in the genre that I learned rules can be set aside and I can play in glue, paint, glitter, mod podge, clay, chalk, ribbon, stuff from the backyard, and magazines and get as dirty as I want.

Many of my pieces combine my love of art with my love of my perfect parent. The liturgical series is my representation of the liturgical year in the Episcopal tradition.

This series has allowed me to live each church season in a new and child like way after getting my hands dirty with it. It has impacted my preaching and teaching and my ongoing identity as both an artist and a priest.


  • 2X2 MDF
  • Acrylic paints
  • Pastels
  • Embellishments
  • Gesso
  • Mod podge
  • Acrylic inks
  • Chalk


  • MDF was prepared with gesso. On some pieces words were embedded in the gesso.

Using Gesso

  • Once completely dry each piece was painted in one or more colors symbolizing the season.

Designing the piece   Julie Anna Johnson

  • Various embellishments were added symbolizing the season.
Adding embellishments
Finishing touches of color added to each piece with inks, pastels, or chalks.

Design for Christmas season  Design for Epiphany

Design for Lent   Design for Easter

Design for Pentecost Design for Season after Pentecost

The Rev. Julie Anna Johnson attended seminary at The University of the South School of Theology and received her Master of Divinity in May 2008. While in seminary, she also completed course work in pastoral care, community outreach, and leadership development. She also spent two years reading Greek and was selected to attend the Excellence in Preaching Conference. Mother Julie attained her undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Child Development at Humboldt State University in Northern California. She worked with the developmentally disabled for over twenty years before serving in parishes as a youth pastor in California and Indiana. She is currently the rector of a small church in a small town in Tennessee.

Mother Julie is married to Thomas, a conservation worker for the State of Tennessee Parks Department. They have three children and one grandchild and enjoy spending time camping, four wheeling, fishing, and kayaking. Mother Julie spends her free time gardening, reading, creating art, and gourmet cooking.

Her passion for ministry can be summed up in this prayer by St. Teresa of Avila:
“Christ has no body now but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ’s compassion must look out on the world.
Yours are the feet with which
He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which
He is to bless us now.”



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  1. This is so wonderful!! What a neat way to live each church season in a new way! So much fun. Thank you so much for sharing. That is a beautiful prayer! 🙂

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