Welcome to Journey on Canvas

Spiritual Journaling Can Help You Find Hope on Your Journey! 

Creative expression has power—power to help us find hope as we wait in life’s most challenging places and spaces. It can give us peace and hope no matter how hard our present place in time and space may seem. By sharing the challenges of your own journey, you can encourage others. Everyone's story is different and has the unique ability to be a source hope for others. This site is all about releasing that hope. At Journey on Canvas, you will find suggestions to join me on a hope sharing journey. I will share through words and images. I will share things I have painted, written, tried, or considered. Regardless of how I share my story, you will find hope to help you on your journey. I pray you will join me in finding ways to share and release the hope that your own story has to give. 

Spiritual autobiography can be an amazing way to discover the hope inside your story. It can also help you find ways to share that hope with others. Dancing in the Doghouse is my spiritual autobiography. Sharing my spiritual memoir is about my desire to tell my spiritual story today as a source of hope to others. It's about other things too, especially the ways God was with me- even in the really hard places. It's also about encouraging others to tell their spiritual stories to reduce isolation, heal, recover, and give others hope. Spiritual autobiography can be about all of these things and so much more. 

I can’t tell you what spiritual autobiography, or spiritual memoir, will mean for you. You have to figure that part out for yourself! But, I will help you get started, and I will guide you in looking for hope within your story. That’s what Journey on Canvas is here for!

What is spiritual autobiography? Simply put, it's telling the story of what God has done in your life. It's an invitation to share your God story. Spiritual autobiography is also an invitation to receive the God stories of others. As we share our stories of God's faithfulness amidst our struggles, we are reminded that God has always been present on our journey. As we hear someone's spiritual autobiography, we remember that God is with all of us as we journey. This act of giving and receiving each other's God stories is hope, and it is the gift of spiritual autobiography. 

You can begin sharing your story by interacting with this site in several ways: read the entries here, enjoy the art and the descriptions that go with them, test drive some of the journaling exercises, contact us with questions and suggestions, learn more about Dancing in the Doghouse (and its author) by reading and clicking on the links, check out our Resources and share using the Journey On Canvas Blog. Sharing your story is an incredible experience that will give hope and help others heal! Don't miss out on this chance to give and receive. Choose a way that you can begin to share!

Writing my spiritual autobiography was an incredible experience. One of the most incredible parts of the experience was the way God led me as I journeyed though the pages of my story. He led me in a way that made sense for me and brought me down my own personal road to freedom. The way I organized the time periods of my life, the categories that I chose, and the words that I selected were all God assisted just for me. It was a life changing and life touching experience that is difficult to describe to someone else. I'm going to do my best to describe my experience, though. I'm going to describe it because of what I believe: I believe that writing and sharing our stories is a gift that builds faith, encourages, and changes lives. I also trust that tremendous hope, healing, and spiritual growth can be the direct result of simply reflecting on one's God story through journaling and prayer.

I'm committed to the gift of spiritual autobiography. I want to share my story, and I want to encourage others to do the same. That's why I have written my spiritual autobiography and shared portions of it on these pages. It's also why I have created this website to include questions and suggestions that worked for me as I organized, documented, and shared my journey. It is my hope that what I have shared here will become hope for others. I also pray you will find encouragement to begin telling your own story. It's why I welcome you to Journey on Canvas. 

Launching Your Spiritual Autobiography:

When I wrote my spiritual autobiography I tried to find themes. I used these themes to organize the content of this web site. While this organization made sense for me, it might not make sense for you. You might choose to group the time periods of your life quite differently. It's likely that the headings I chose, which held great meaning for me, won't fit with your journey. Be open to adjusting the content and suggestions you find on Journey on Canvas.

There's no static set of rules for writing a spiritual autobiography. It's a God breathed and God directed experience. That's why I figured it was best to stick to my own experience and trust God to guide yours. What I share here is the best I've got to offer you: what worked for me. I pray that you will be able to find ways to make it work for you.

Ways to reflect on your spiritual journey can take a variety of forms. One way the expression of one's spiritual journey can begin is with a simple commitment to journaling. Within the pages of a journal a journey finds a quiet, private place to be explored. Some journal using words, diagrams, photographs, sketches, quotations, scripture, or memorabilia as a springboard for writing. In my case, I used my own artwork to guide me as I shared. Some journeys are documented in chronological order with the writer exploring the mountains and valleys of their spiritual journey using family photographs and letters. These are just a few of the many ways to organize one's spiritual autobiography. Regardless of your approach, journaling can help you begin telling your own story, so you and others can experience life change and hope.

If you choose to journal you will likely discover themes that weave through your journey. These themes can be used to help organize the journey and help the spiritual autobiography take form. A great tool for uncovering the major themes of a journey are really good questions. Questions that help the journey be seen from beginning to the end, questions that make us consider what we value, and questions that give us a good look at what we believe can help a storyteller decide how to best tell their story. You can use this website to assist you as you seek an expression for your spiritual autobiography. It's full of questions, examples, and suggestions for sharing your story. All you need to begin sharing your journey is a journal, a pen, a prayerful heart, and a willingness to honestly explore what you will find on these pages. May your journal become a place to see God's constant presence in your life, experience the healing touch of your creator, and discover an avenue for sharing your God experience with others. May He be with you and be your hope on this exciting journey!

Spiritual Autobiography Angels

Sky Full of Angels
Age 34

Sharing My Journey: Journaling in a Way that Works for Me

I like to think that angels are everywhere. Maybe they're God's emissaries? Maybe they're the glue that holds me together? I paint them to remind me that things aren't random. I paint them to remind me that God has a plan. They are my hope.

I don't know what angels really look like but that makes painting them more interesting. I like to imagine that they really do have wings. Today, I decide they will have huge wings and halos like the angels in storybooks. Maybe angels don't have halos? Maybe they're much different than I imagine them. Still, when I paint them I feel like they're everywhere. I feel like God has sent them just for my family and me: especially when we most desperately need them.


Sharing Your Journey: Journaling in a Way That Works for You

Commit to reflecting on your journey. All you need is a journal, a pen, a prayerful heart, and a willingness to honestly explore the questions and suggestions you will find here. May you discover ways to reflect on your own spiritual journey and find unexpected hope.  

I pray that Journey on Canvas will help you find an expression for your own spiritual autobiography. I pray that as you explore within your journal, and look back on your entries, you will see your own journey take shape, discover countless ways you’ve grown, and find tools that bring you peace. Before you commit to this exciting journey, please accept my very best advice; let God be your ultimate guide. Invite Him to walk with you as you explore, share, and find freedom you’ve never known. You can't find your story apart from Him. God is where you begin!      

Alisa's New Journey Towards Peace and Hope

Spiritual Autobiography Event Calendar!

View Ongoing and Recent Spiritual Autobiography Events

The Journey on Canvas Spiritual Autobiography Event Calendar is a place to check out recent spiritual autobiography events! Find out about spiritual memoir, spiritual writing and writing memoirs at the Event Calendar!

Alisa's Art Takes a Journey:
Small Works National Juried Exhibition!

December 2019 through February 2020

323 Buena Vista, NY is about a door and the people who have entered it. Painting it helps me in my process of accepting—accepting that I won’t be able to use this door for very much longer. I paint to continue turning the knob of this door, and the knobs of the doors beyond this door, so I can see what was once on the other side. I am stuck here, so I paint it over and over and over again, so I can find my way back.

Click here to visit the Small Works National Juried Exhibition: 


323 Buena Vista, NY, 2019

Recent Showcase!

Reflections Magazine
Cover Art

Yale School of Divinity Shares
Joined Together

Our Stories: Anyone Can Do It

Crossroads Community Church, South Lyon, MI

Sunday, July 15th, 2019

Alisa Shares Her Story and Encourages Others to Do the Same

Episcopal Church of the Visual Arts Open Studio 2012 Exhibition

See Spiritual Autobiography Art:  “Self Portrait” Mixed Media, by Alisa E. Clark


Click Here to View the Entire Exhibition:


Writers on the River: A Michigan Author Event

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Meet Alisa and 50 Michigan Authors at the 13th Annual Writers on the River

Click on this link to learn more about this event:


Kerrytown Bookfest Exhibitor Alisa E. Clark Shares Her Spiritual Autobiography

September 11, 2011

Meet Alisa, the author of Dancing in the Doghouse: Sharing God’s Presence in Everyday Places, and learn about spiritual autobiography.

Click on this link to learn more about this event:


Episcopal Church of the Visual Arts Open Studio 2011 Exhibition

See Spiritual Autobiography Art:  “I Get to Choose,” Mixed Media, by Alisa E. Clark


Click Here to View the Entire Exhibition:


Codependency and My Journey: Alisa Shares Her Story

Thursday, November 11th, 2010 at Life Care Christian Center

Calvary Missionary Church 6 Mile Rd just West of Middlebelt in Livonia, Michigan

Your Story, My Story: The Life Changing Power of Sharing Our Lives

Thursday, January 6th at 7pm at Calvary Presbyterian Church

What do with a life that isn’t easy? Author Alisa E. Clark shares the ups and downs of her life through her spiritual memoir, Dancing in the Doghouse. Hear about Alisa’s journey and discover ways to comfort and encourage others with yours. Save Thursday, January 6th, and come to Calvary Presbyterian Church for an evening of hope and the hope of sharing. Q&A will follow the seminar.

Calvary Presbyterian Church is at 2727 Fernwood Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48104

For information on Calvary Presbyterian Church visit their website at http://www.calvarya2.com/

Alisa E. Clark and Spiritual Autobiography at the Gala Book Fair:

Changing the world, one life at a time through the power of the written word!

Meet Alisa, the author of Dancing in the Doghouse: Sharing God’s Presence in Everyday Places, and other Christian authors with a mission and a message!

Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 - Sunday, December 12th, 2010 from 5-9:30pm

Episcopal Church of the Visual Arts Justice and Peace 2010 Exhibition

“Joined Together,” Mixed Media, by Alisa E. Clark


Click Here to View the Entire Exhibition:


An Evening of Book Discussion:

Dancing in the Doghouse by Alisa E. Clark

October 5th, 2010

Join us as Alisa discusses her spiritual autobiography and answers reader's questions!

Crossroads Community Church @ 28900 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, MI  48178

Michigan Literary Network and Dancing in the Doghouse

Host Sylvia Hubbard Interviews Alisa E. Clark on Blog Talk Radio

Wednesday April 21st, 2010

Click on the link to hear the interview:


Dancing in the Doghouse Readings by Alisa E. Clark

Hear excepts from Alisa's spiritual autobiography at


Read Dancing in the Doghouse:

Find New Ways of Telling Your Story!

Technology has given our stories a powerful voice which reaches far beyond previous borders. On-line chat rooms are filled with the voices of those with a story to tell and the people who support them. Videos addressing the realities of our journey are a click away. Free social networking and micro blogging networks are everywhere. Print on demand allows just about anyone to become and author who changes the perceptions of a larger audience. The day to blow stigmas wide open has arrived. Today our journey can reach the world.

Click on this link to read the entire press release:

Dancing in the Doghouse: New Ways of Telling Your Story
Journey Art!

Doughnut Flowers #2, 2019

SHCA 2020 Artist and Artisan Holiday Gallery

Collection of Small Works by Alisa E. Clark, 2020

View the Gallery Here: https://www.southhavenarts.org/virtual

View the Blog and Video Spotlight Here:

Meet Mistletoe Market Artist Alisa E. Clark

South Haven Center for the Arts 

Regional Juried Exhibition Finalist (2020)

Space Between, 2020

Click Here to See the Exhibit

The Color of Music Art Exhibit: A show of works from across the country that are no greater than 10 inches in any direction.

I Know My Song, 2020

Click Here to See the Exhibit

d'Art Center National Competition Finalist (2020)
Norfolk, VA

Click here to view the exhibition.

Michigan Fine Arts Competition Finalist (2020)

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Birmingham, MI

Hello, Hope, 2020

Click Here to See the Exhibit

Small Works Juried Exhibition 

National Finalist (2019)

Alex Ferrone Gallery, Cutchogue, NY

323 Buena Vista, NY, 2019

Reflections Magazine
Cover Art

Yale School of Divinity Shares
Joined Together

Reflections Shares Alisa's Thoughts on "Joined Together"

Spiritual Book for Kids!

Storytelling Work!

Past Exhibition:

Episcopal Church of the Visual Arts
Open Studio 2013:

Road Home, Acrylic on Canvas:  
Exhibiting Artist Alisa E. Clark  

More about



Visit Alisa's Facebook Page

Alisa on YouTube

Visit Alisa's Photostream on Flickr

Blog Talk Radio  

Alisa's Audio Story: Codependency and Your Story

Embracing Work!

Take Apart 3,
Age 45

I just can't believe how powerful the process of art making is for me. At Pratt, my art education teachers were wise women. They talked about the process not the product. Some people consider Pratt to be one of the best art schools in the world. An incredible faculty built that reputation. I was taught well by them and they passed on the knowledge they gained from a lifetime of mastering their craft. They'd be proud of me for making this piece. Don't get me wrong. They'd tell me how to make it better. They might even rip it to shreds. They'd do it to make me better. With all this influence, all my hard work and some talent mixed in, I've reached a place where I can have the opinion of a wise woman too. Here's the irony: at my last performance review as an art educator, I received an average rating from an administrator. She was not an artist, but she had an opinion about what I should be doing as I taught art to others. Our society is all about the product, the outcome and making people smarter. I was evaluated based on what my students learned. The problem was the expectation that the students should learn more about how to talk about art rather than creating it. I was to have a room full of very intelligent and verbose art appreciators. In my opinion, that puts the cart before the horse. How can you truly appreciate something you have not experienced? The piece of art you see here may not mean much to you. Maybe you'd say my artistic performance here has been average. Well, I like the product, but the process is what has brought me to the place where I know my performance rating is not average. The process is where the power lies. Rate that.

Joy Work!

Woman Dancing
Dancing for Joy,
Age 43

I created my painting, Dancing for Joy, on a day when I was full of joy. It was a day when all the "important things" were taken care of well enough to pause and take a reach for something really satisfying. I got out my canvas, paints and brushes, and then I created. My choice to paint allowed me to experience joy. Some things had to be set aside to create my painting. Some things needed to be let go. My happiness wasn't determined by what happened to me that day. It was determined by my choices. I created a space to have joy and I used it.

Spiritual Work!

Jesus Touches Me Painting
Draw Close,
Age 41

Dear Lord,

Please draw close to me: really, really close. Draw close and fill my emptiness in a way that's tangible. Draw close as though I could feel your hands in mine, your body surrounding mine- your spirit spilling into me. Dance with me so that it feels like it's really happening: so you're not "out there" somewhere. Be near, draw close, touch me and change me. Give me the faith to trust it's true; you're more than enough to take care of my emptiness.

Please, Lord,

Hope Work!

Eye on Fire Art

But I Had Hoped...
Age 42

I had hoped for so many things. I say to God, “But I Had Hoped….” If I could think clearly and have the old places healed, if my damaged parts could be glued back together, if my inclination was to love, if I needed no drugs for my body to work right, if my passion returned then…….???? I have hoped for so many things: for my thoughts to be His thoughts, for my passion to be His passion and that I would ache for good things. What I’d do have Him reach out and touch me. He could touch me and make me whole. Then my dreams would be His dreams. My mind would be pure and whole.  

All of this would only cover me. It doesn’t even begin to include what I have hoped for others: for my mom to be whole, for my son’s sickness to stop and my husband’s body to heal are prayers that make just the beginning of my list. My list of hopes is huge.  God says He’s on the move. He says He’s working on my list. Today all I see is that what I have hoped for is much unrealized. 

I believe, contrary to what appears to be true, that God’s power is unlimited. Today I have my list, today I still pray and I still hope.