Wednesday, June 25, 2014


2014- current blog website link:

pocket edition
published June 2014
by the author Diane J McGarel

This book is available for sale at the Blurb Publishing Website and also available at selected book stores.

Diane McGarel
Greater Chicago Area, IL

Until one accepts Christ, he/she is incomplete. In-Christ we become whole.  

Process:  About two years ago, I began experimenting with poetry. By combining this poetry with Photoshop images, paintings, and/or photography, I created a way of documenting and creatively expressing my growth in-Christ.  

Influences: Artistically, I have always admired artists such as Henry Matisse and Chuck Close. Towards the end of his life, Matisse couldn't paint anymore, so he developed his Cut-out Series as a way to express himself artistically. Chuck Close suffered a stroke, and instead of giving up on painting, he found a way to create art in spite of his physical disabilities caused by the stroke. Recently, I heard about the artist Phil Hansen, who gave the talk at the TED conference, entitled, 'Embracing the Shake."  Hansen developed a shake in his drawing hand, which limited his way of creating art, but opened his mind to think of art differently. He created different styles and mediums of art. This is what all these three artists have in common. When faced with adversity, each artist accepted their limitations and also embraced, adapted and enhanced their creativity. They made their weakness their strength artistically.  
Spiritually, I would say one of my biggest influences is the Church@Southland, who I consider my church family. Its pastors and members continuously provide me with love, patience and guidance. I listen weekly to the broadcasts of James MacDonald and Louie Giglio.  In addition, I also read, watch and seek various sources online as a way of spiritual growth.  Of course, my biggest influence is the Bible. It's where and when God speaks directly to me, for me.    

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

mcgarelgraphics books

These last few months I've been working on books that document my own journey as a Christ follower.  I hope to lead others to Christ.   This new creative adventure began when a friend at church asked for pictures for his website.  He wanted pictures of beautiful landscapes to attach biblical verses to help spread the message of Christ on his website.  I worked up a few images then quickly sent them off to my friend.  It was then, after I began googling that I discovered most spiritual websites looked about the same using this same format.  Although I did like these sites, I thought maybe there should be something else out there?  About this same time, I was experimenting by writing some poetry.  I thought, 'how would my poetry look with a graphic?'   As I decided on the graphic, which one would look best with the poetry that I just written, I also began searching more websites, books and even traveled to a book store.  Yes, I actually went to a book store!!  Granted the digital age is great but isn't it sometimes so nice to actual feel the pages of an actual book?  Naturally I went straight to the 'Spiritual/Religious' section in the store, only to discover that what I envisioned wasn't already out there.   I would like to say that when I was first creating, picking out the biblical verses and designing the photographs/graphics for the books all that I created was amazing.  The told be told, it was just down right awful but I kept working on it.  I knew God was leading me somewhere.  I knew I would get better in time and I did.  Soon what I envisioned came to life.  As of today's date, I have written four books.  First beginning in the format of 7x7 and then changing to a pocket version.  I like the pocket version so much better.  I am learning and growing as a Christ follower.
Listed below are links to the books that I have created.  Two of the books are available as a PDF.

More by Diane J McGarel
Self Published on Blurb's website
MORE book link

12 Month Calendar
(a collection of poetry)

In Christ I Am...
© 2014 DJ McGarel
Pocket Book available on Blurb
In Christ I Am... LINK

Complexity Through Simplicity
© 2014 DJ McGarel
Available on Blurb
Link to Complexity Through Simplicity 

As I reconstructed the book, Forever In Christ, making slight variations and I will be soon updating Blurb's website with its new version, here is the note to the reader that I wrote.  I do wish to  say "thank you" to my niece Ali who has been a big help to me.  

link to mcgarelgraphics blog:

Note to reader:  ( this note is in the book, Forever In-Christ) 

"Today I’ve been working on an art project to teach a group of seniors touring an art gallery. The exhibit currently on display, called Entrances and Exits, deals with opportunities granted, lost and/or explored. In other words, the exhibit illustrates the doorways or entranceways into someone’s heart.  Jesus enters our hearts when we ask.  He first chooses us, but we must, in His timing, open the door for Him to enter our lives.  To me, this happened in my late forties.  One doorway for me was the Church @ Southland.  This is the church I have always dreamed of, a place with contemporary worship music and relatable bible based sermons preached meaningfully with love and truth.

This is my fourth book and perhaps it is time for me to introduce myself, tell you who I am.  Basically the answer to that particular question is simple, I am a Child of the King.  With Him these books are possible.  
It’s my way of using artistic talent to help give my testimony.  I show my love for Christ in books by combining poetry and graphic art that expresses my thoughts and concepts. The concept of these books is very simplistic as well; we are all incomplete until we acknowledge Jesus as our savior.  Similar to puzzle pieces, we are shattered, and almost shattered into a meaningless existence, without the love of God.  Throughout all four books, I have displayed pieces of a puzzle. We are not whole without Christ’s love.  

So perhaps this book is your doorway, your entranceway into accepting Jesus into your heart.  If so, then my prayers have been answered.  Regardless of your intentions, this book should turn out to be a pleasant read: large print, enjoyable graphics and complex concepts disguised in simplicity.  

Enjoy, and God bless as you open the doorway, stepping forward towards Christ."