Sending a Prayer series - continued

More sketches for my prayer series. I've moved from the sketchbook to the drawing paper. I've started drawing some 8" x 24" pieces. I hope that these will help me figure out the layout before I step up to canvas. It's a challenge to figure out what media to use. This style is very different for me. These are all in various stages of completion.

"Waiting" -- 8"x24" -- artist watercolor paper -- I'm liking this without the chair. Mailbox is a bit big though.

"Release" -- 8"x24" -- -- artist watercolor paper --Not sure about the tippy toes. Bugs me some.

"Waiting" -- 4"x12" -- -- artist watercolor paper -- I'm not totally sold on that name but that's what I have so far.

"Reaching" -- 4"x12" -- -- artist watercolor paper -- Not sure about that title either.

4"x12" -- artist watercolor paper -- I haven't thought of a title for this one, but I like this kite flyer. He was a surprising successful doodle.

"Sending All My Love" -- 8"x24" -- colored paper

"Bulk Mail" -- 8"x24" -- colored paper -- Loving this one.


The Jesus Painter - Mike Lewis - Live Painting

Not too many churches in the Memphis area do live painting regularly. I'd say that the Stirring is the only one that I'm aware of (please correct me if I'm wrong). So when a church wants to have an artist paint at their service, I usually get a call. Usually they have seen an artist like Mike the Jesus painter at a conference or event.

Mike Lewis is a professional. He's been doing this since 1998 and can do a large 4ft x 5ft painting in 10-20 minutes. He's unreal. He's also got a DVD, journal, prints, etc. He's got a booking agent and licensing stuff. He's serious. In one interview back in 2007, he said he was doing about six bookings a month. I bet he's upped that by now. I really admire his work and want to buy his OneWay DVD. Needless to say, if this is the only example a local church has seen, it's a hard act to follow. I don't think most churches realize the amount of planning and practice that must have gone into those 10 minute paintings.

I think it's great that churches can bring in someone special like Mike to do a worship painting, but I really wish churches would consider finding an artist in their church or local area. More churches should strive to i
ncorporate fine art into their worship experience regularly. Maybe not every Sunday but quarterly. Art can be an integral part of worship. If God can provide you with a great worship leader and band, He can provide you great artists too. I like this article from the York Daily Record about a local artist and her church that are starting to use art. http://ydr.inyork.com/ci_11386423

I think artists are eager to get involved. Once they've seen someone do it, it doesn't take much to overcome the fear of painting on stage. I've been so blessed that we've got 4 different artists lined up from now through April. Two have never painted at The Stirring before. If I want to live paint anytime soon, I'd need to go to another church. I'm not complaining. I just think that's astounding. After this artists' gathering I'm hosting next month, I'll probably have most of the year booked.


Sending a Prayer series - Release concepts

Just some more thumbnail sketches for this series that is going to focus on prayer. I need some good name for it. So going along with the idea of how do you send a prayer to God. I had these impossible to reach the mailboxes. So how do you get a letter in one of these 20 foot mailboxes? What about balloons?

Remember as a kid trying to fly. If only you had enough balloons, just maybe. But how many would it take? How many would it take to send a letter to heaven. Of course, this image also makes me think of Camp Good Grief. Baptist Trinity Hospice created Camp Good Grief, the Mid-South's first children's bereavement camp. I volunteered at the camp once. At the end of the camp, they hold a special bereavement service. During the service, one by one each child who has lost a close friend or family member releases a letter to the person attached to a balloon. There's a lot of tears from kids and adults alike. The kids are from 7 to 12 years old and it is the most moving thing to be a part of the service and camp. You can see a touching video about the camp that explains the camp mission and the service. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeHhz-d-PVU

"Prayer Bag" - stage prop concept (shown above)
find a duffel bag in white or spray paint white. use chicken wire on interior to give shape. add 50 - 100 real white balloons. encourage participants to drop letters of prayer inside.

small doodle in bottom corner is a figure riding in a prayer bag.

"Release" - stage concept and live painting rough Live painting concept. paint letter guy sitting on green. He's releasing a letter and watching it float away. Have a detachable letter. String or ribbons would attach to die cut paper balloon shapes. viewers would be given blank "balloons" to write their prayer on. prayer balloons are added to a blue sheet that is lying on floor. the notes form huge bundle or cloud of balloons. after all balloons are added, sheet is lifted up during a special worship song. Or the paper balloons could be given to the audience during the service with instructions to write a prayer on them and take them to the gallery following the service. then on the wall next to the stairs we could hang the painting and have all the balloons going up the wall into the main gallery.

"Release" - live painting concept detail. maybe a 36" x 36" canvas Live painting concept. paint letter guy sitting on green. He's releasing a letter and watching it float away.


Glade Church has a gallery in their sanctuary

Glade Church is committed to engaging all of the senses in worship. Because we believe that art offers the worshiper a means to creatively explore an encounter with the Holy, our sanctuary houses one of the area's premier fine arts galleries.


I am so jealous. Sure we have a gallery space at The Stirring, but their gallery is in the sanctuary. Second, they have one of those cute little white churches that I've always dreamed of turning into a gallery and studio (need be, I'd live there too. Hey, it could work.) Third, their pastor is a potter and
owns Dancing Fiddler Pottery.


ArtReach - using art as an outreach program

ArtReach (adult 16+) Tuesdays 6-8pm - Come and make art for free! No talent required, just come have fun.

ArtReach began 3 years ago when Jack Fox, Associate Pastor of eXchange at Maryland Community Church in Terre Haute realized the power that art had in spiritual developement, relationships, and community building. With the guidence of
Kathy Gotshall, it began as a group of 8 or so people began meeting every Wednesday to creatively express various passages from the 23rd Psalm through various art mediums. It long out grew it's original meeting room in their church and moved to a building in Terre Haute's downtown. They expect to out grow that space too.

How cool is that! People just hanging out and creating together. Every week too!


Inspirting Artist and Live Painter - Anneli Anderson


“Painting for worship has been one of the most life giving, joyful experiences of my life. When I come to the canvas, with the little I have and offer it up to the Lord as a sacrifice of praise, I feel God’s creative spirit alive in me. I find peace...a purpose for my gifts...for God’s glory... and for beauty.” -
Anneli Anderson, her church is Imago Dei Community, in Portland, OR

How amazing is this work! You should check out her site and see all her live worship paintings and read her "About". She has a wonderful description of her artistic journey.


Live Painting from NextGen worship service

"The Big Picture - God's View of the World and Our Place In It."

NextGen at Highpoint Church - (student ministry) January 11 from 5:00pm to 6:30pm at Briarcrest.

Highpoint church asked me to come paint last Sunday. They provided me with the theme, scripture, sermon notes, and production sheet. With all that information presented to me before I began, I could really focus on the development of the piece as well as the subject. The theme of the night was God's continuous pursuit of mankind:

• The garden, where we turned on Him and He began to pursue us.
• God pursuing Israel through His prophets
• Emanuel "God with us", God pursues us in the flesh as Christ
• Continued pursuit through the great commission and the Holy Spirit

I tried something new this time. I really like how it turned out. Since they didn't teach live worship painting in college, I'll detail my process for you so that it might help you do more creative pieces at your church. I saw an artist's blog where he documented the stages of a his live worship painting. Brad Blackman started his painting by painting text across the canvas. His entry helped me so here's how I used type in my piece. I wanted text to be a stage in the development of my piece.So I don't have photos of my process but I do have these thumbnails. First I started with 20"x16" and 18"x24" canvases that I clamped together in the back to make one canvas. Then I started with light blue text to express the theme of the painting and worship that night. After painting the text, I moved aside for a moment to allow the audience to see it all. This allowed me to mix up some paint. Then I used the same light blue to paint the background. This way I didn't have to worry about covering up the text. It just blended into the background. I left white space for the figure. The "O" in "GOD" was used for the dove.
Then I used a darker blue for the next series of type. I started working on the color and shading of the figure so that it was clear that the figure's back was turned to the light. Then I used the dark blue to add shading and glow.
Then dark blue text blended into the background. After blending the text I worked on finishing the figure and background. It looks like a figure with it's back to the sun.
As Bob finished the sermon with the message about how God still pursues us today through the Holy Spirit, I added the dove and some rays of light. The timing turned out to be perfect (Talk about God having the big picture!). Bob and I couldn't have rehearsed that and done better. I chose to have two canvases for this piece to show the separation that exists because we turned to sin. We can't bridge that gap, but God does. His grace and forgiveness reach out to us if only we will turn to Him and accept it.