Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance

Angel Signs in a Brick (Or Am I Just Seeing Things?)


It started with this brick.

brick and pencil lines

My mission was to paint an angel on the brick to be added to the legacy walkway at the Forest of Dreams. Knowing that I sometimes see angels in wood, trees, and clouds, I peered at the brick for angel signs. Over the next hour, all kinds of things emerged in the brick. I penciled in the wings of the head angel and started a sketch of what I saw. It was an emotional experience bordering on mania. I have a reputation for calmness, so my mania could be another person’s normal. Who knows? But when I get in a drawing or painting zone, it feels kinda manic to me. I often talk to myself in this zone. When I was almost finished with the sketch, I started crying. I’m not entirely sure why, but it has to do with beginning to understand what was happening, even though I’m not sure what was happening.Β  But I can tell you that working on this project definitely had a supernatural feel to it.

brick sketch 1 (3)

When I do this kind of work, it doesn’t matter that the house needs painting, or that I “need” a new kitchen floor, or that my house is cluttered, or that parts of the bathroom floor feel slightly soft when I step on them. When I am lost in this process of discovery with art, it doesn’t matter that gravity is slowly drawing my body parts closer to the earth and that my thighs are lumpy. When I’m in the zone, none of this matters. As long as I can keep my vision and hold a pencil or a paintbrush for another 20 or 30 years, I’m happy.

The image in the brick was too complicated for the purpose of the legacy walkway, so once I got the sketch done, I painted this angel on the brick.

painted brick w angel (2)


A few weeks later, motivated by the local Silver Arts competition (part of Senior Games – omg that must mean I’m a senior), I started the painting. It’s not unusual for me to feel tired after a couple of hours in the zone. While painting the images from the brick, I felt more than tired. I had a lot of trouble with the faces, but I kept at it. Waves of exhaustion and subtle nausea passed through me. Maybe it was just low blood sugar. The first time I noticed this, I grabbed a snack, drank some water and kept painting. A little while later, even drinking water and listening to James Taylor didn’t help anymore, so I stopped for the day. The next day, the painting started to come together, and I was on top of the world. Good to remember how those feelings can change.

Β I wonder about the energy of the creative process. Have other artists experienced unusual exhaustion or surprising emotion while or after doing creative work?

Of course, the finished painting wasn’t exactly like the sketch. It took on a life of it’s own.

Welcome Home 2017

“Welcome Home” by JoAnna of the Forest/JoAnne Macco


I am so thankful God, the universe, and my husband have made it possible for me to stay home to re-discover my creative soul, work on the passions of my heart, and look for signs of angels.




Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

26 thoughts on “Angel Signs in a Brick (Or Am I Just Seeing Things?)

  1. OMG! What an experience!! Utterly fascinating!! πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–. And the angel at the end is gorgeous! πŸ’–πŸ’–

  2. This is lovely. EVERYTHING about this post is absolutely lovely. The process, the experience, the art, the journey. Beautiful.

    • Thank you! I appreciate your support and enthusiasm very much. It was a lovely and exciting experience. It felt strange to write about for some reason, but it was too powerful not to. It feels good to be understood.

  3. Both of your paintings are lovely! I don’t paint, but I know that when I’m in the “zone” writing, everything else around me seems to disappear. I’ve described it as falling through the page and being on the other side. It’s a high for me. I don’t want to leave! I didn’t see the angel on the brick until I saw your painting. Then I could see it!

    • Falling through the page to the other side is a great description! I’ve felt that high, too and not wanting to leave. It’s less intense than the high I get while painting. When I’ve been concentrating on painting for a couple weeks, I miss the more comfortable writing high. Hmmm. Time to write! πŸ™‚ I’m glad you could see the angel in the brick. Thanks for your perspective!

  4. WOW. Just wow. I love the final painting, with the branches as wing support. Obviously when you get into the zone, you have good reason.
    I love being in the zone, too. It’s not mania for me, either, but it does verge on obsession, like a high.
    I did see the angel in the brick, yes’m.

  5. JoAnna, this is a wonderful story, and the paintings are unbelievably beautiful! I could see the angel in the brick too, and where that took you, this is, is an exquisite place of creation. A little heaven in earth. Thanks so much for sharing. The whole thing makes me think of Liz Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love, realizing that “God lives in me, as me. “. Kudos. πŸ’

  6. I can see the Angel in the original brick! You are an amazingly gifted painter!! Thank you for sharing your process.

  7. I am in awe!!! Very beautiful and inspiring β™₯

  8. JoAnna, my mouth is in the shape of ‘O’
    so very glad that you did this! The idea of an angel on a brick – like an anchor or a solid foundation… (and your story leading up to your art on display in this post – the highlighted art).
    I enjoy drawing in a similar manner to you, when I do….
    Finding the shapes that make themselves, following the guidance. This is brilliant, and I think it’s my favorite of yours.

  9. Beautiful story and paintings JoAnna! I saw an angel in the brick too! πŸ˜‰ You are definitely channeling from the Divine ❀ xx

  10. I had an angelic experience once that I don’t share (few know of it), it is hard to put to words. I know as you were sharing what that feeling is like. Beautiful the way God manifests Himself and angels presence in a brick. The painting is gorgeous. You are incredibly gifted, and praise God you use your gifted hands, mind, spirit to honor him. Also you time!! Incredible in every way!! Angels are rapturous! Love your work!! β€β˜πŸ™

  11. OH WOW JoAnna this is incredible.. Its a beautiful painting.. and to read how it was inspired.. Well.. all I can say is the Angels were working with you my friend.. And I so love the finished result..
    And I know what you mean by being so absorbed while we paint.. Nothing else matters.. Its as if all else falls away..
    You are a very gifted artist JoAnna..
    I am delighted that you shared it with us.. and how it all came into BEing..

    Love and Blessings and Big Hugs my friend..
    Hugs Sue xxx ❀

  12. Lovely post and paintings Joanna! You are one talented and creative lady! I’m glad you wrote about this because I often get tired when writing and even when I paint furniture. I understand I might feel drained when writing but repurposing furniture is not spiritual – it’s often refreshing. But both are passions so maybe creativity is taxing to the mind in some way.

    At any rate it’s something to think about and be mindful of. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad to know it’s not just me:)

  13. Pingback: Interview with Writer, Blogger, and Author JoAnne Macco #amwriting #interview #nonfiction – Mandibelle16

  14. Pingback: Interview with Writer, Blogger, and Author JoAnne Macco #amwriting #interview #nonfiction | Go Dog Go CafΓ©

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