Beyond the Brushstrokes

The artwork and thoughts of Laura Juranek

"The more I think it over the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people"
-Vincent Van Gogh

Switch to Photography

As the holiday season approaches, it always seems that there is less free time to paint but thankfully because of designing Christmas presents and free lance projects, I've had a lot of time to work on photographs that I've taken throughout the fall. One of my favorites (on the left) is from a recent trip to Ireland. My sister is walking through Clonmacnoise, a monastery on the Shannon River. The site is home to many ancient cathedrals, crosses, and cemeteries.  Other recent photos are at the top of the gallery on the Photography page and include more Ireland photos, a recent wedding, NeedtoBreathe concert, and church service for work. Feel free to check them out and send back your comments. Merry Christmas!

posted 12/10/2009

Night of Worship Summit

Last weekend, I joined a group of college students from the Milwaukee area for the Night of Worship Summit.  The students spent the afternoon talking about different ways of worship and I jumped in the end of the night during the large group time of musical worship together.  Even though the images changed from the beginning of worship to the end, the idea still centered around giving our worship as one group to God.  Originally I thought I would be painting many different hands of all different sizes and colors but as I got started, I really felt God showing me a different image of just three hands but the hands coming together as one big arm raised in worship.  The hands are worshiping together even through the storms clouds on either side begin to crowd around them.  I met most of the worship team a few years ago and just like in the painting, it was great to worship together again.

posted 11/18/2009

Cross Training Conference

This past weekend, November 6 - 8, I was in Green Lake, Wisconsin for Intervarsity's Cross Training Conference.  The annual conference brings 700 - 800 college students to Green Lake to take different seminars covering a bunch of different Christian topics.  I was able to help out with the God at Work in the Arts track for the weekend and was really excited to lead the artistic part of worship on Saturday night.  I participated in Cross Training while I was in college, so it's always great to come back to a place that has a lot of great memories.  It was during my sophomore year that I took the God at Work in the Arts track, and God opened my eyes what it means to worship through the arts. It was an amazing experience to help and watch other college students find the freedom in worshiping with their artistic gifts. 

The highlight of the weekend was Saturday evening's worship time, where a large stage was covered in white paper for people write, draw, and paint on. Myself and another college student were helping lead by starting painting and throughout the night lines of students made their way to the stage.  I looked around in awe by the end, as I was surrounded by students who took the risk to share their gifts with others.  I'm looking forward to more times like these in the future!
posted 11/10/09


This newest painting is called Intersections.  During the spring, a bishop came to the seminary where I work to speak on spiritual journeys, and how the past moments of our journey effect how we see what happens next.  I was really inspired by his description of people entering our lives as their paths colliding with ours, and this painting came from there.  The lines were very intentionally placed to represent how relationships enter, exit and make an imprint on our lives.  Bible verses related to community and in the white spaces and small pieces of a road map are scattered throughout.  Road maps and relationships are so similar: sometimes roads cross for just a moment, some times the cross again and again, and sometimes they merge together. 

posted 11/10/09