Have yourself a Merry Stirring Chirstmas

First of all, these are not my photos. I borrowed them from a few friends on Facebook.
I hope they dont mind.

For the first time, the Stirring was held in the main HUGE sanctuary in Hope. I think it can seat like over 5,000.  To give you some scale, The Stirring has been averaging about 450 in attendance and our normal meeting space maxes out at around 1,000. Look how massive the stage is! We had to have 2 artists and both of us had to paint on XXL canvases. Chris Reed worked on a 6ft x 5 1/2 ft one and I worked on a 3 1/2 ft x 5 ft canvas. Chris did a fair amount of prep before hand, but I just started from a blank canvas. 

Last year, we held two services in the South Hall and had to turn people away from the first service. Since we didnt want that to happen again, we moved to the big sanctuary. It felt like moving from the kids' table to the grown-ups' table. And it was a good thing too because we had over 2,200 in total attendance. 

Okay, so they put me on a riser nearly center stage. Take a look at the depth of the platform. It was maybe 4 ft deep and the easel took up 2 ft. I was every concerned that I'd take a step too far back and... I dont even want to think about it. Thankfully neither i nor the easel fell off. In addition to this being the largest service that I've ever painted during, it was also the largest canvas I've ever attempted to paint from blank to finished (mostly). If you were wondering what i was thinking during the service it was probably one of these concerns: "Don't fall. Don't bend over too much and flash the audience. I hope I brought enough this color paint. I hope i can finish this." etc. repeat.

Here's a shot of both Chris and I painting. I'll have to post a photo of each of our "finished" paintings. I dont think either of us actually finished our pieces but they looked finished enough. 

All and all, it was huge. Huge amount of work, volunteers, staff, art, music, venue, attendance, etc. I can't believe we pulled it off.

And here's a photo of my finished painting "Silent Night"

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