Festive Chalkboard Candle Gift Cards

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I know, it’s still too early to mention the ‘C’ word, but in crafting terms I started Christmas crafting back in June with the Festive Chalkboard collection. This time, I’ve used it to make gift cards containing three scented candles courtesy of a certain Swedish flat pack specialist. The cards themselves are made using the Eazi-Score board from Diamond Card Craft – my instructions and board purchase information are here.

I’m getting stock (including these cards) ready for our church’s Christmas Fayre (Whetstone Memorial Hall, near Leicester, 28th November), so there might be a slight pregnant pause between posts as I’m frantically sawing, sanding, polishing, sticking, pricing and moulding various items – but as soon as I’ve finished each project, I’ll be sure to post them!

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Arts in Workship: more sermon sketchnotes

Here are some more sketchnotes that I have done during sermons at Whetstone Baptist Church. It’s a great way to take notice of what’s being said, as well as potentially emphasising different points that develop as the visual language of the sketchnote does its own thing. Working in real time is an interesting challenge, and with nothing more than the title at the start, the rest of the page is unplanned. And if you’ve noted the themes are all similar, that’s because these services were in the lead up to a fundraising weekend when we were all challenged to give sacrificially toward the construction of a new church building designed to meet the needs of a growing congregation and a changing community. We are now so close to our goal of just over £3 million – it’s so exciting. If you’d like to help out, a donation button can be found along with details of our building plans on the church website here.

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[completed in Moleskine pocket sketchbook with Lamy Safari fine nib pen with Noodler’s Bulletproof black ink] Continue reading

Walk In The Son – Art in Worship

I was asked by a friend to help illustrate his message for the evening service at Whetstone Baptist Church last Sunday evening. He used passages from Psalms to describe David’s fall from kingship through despair in a dungeon, to feigned madness and then freedom and release. We were then invited to visualise and recall a walk in the sun, how it felt, and then we were told facts about The Sun itself. Alex then compared the darkness to his faith a couple of years ago to walking in the light now – and moved onto passages from John describing how it is to walk in the light of God.

My illustration used PanPastels as they blend and overlay so well, working onto A3 white card and filmed using an overhead webcam shared to the church projectors via laptop. Unfortunately, I didn’t work out the technology enough to record as I went, so I only have the final still to share. I started by adding a grey swirl around the outside as the walls closed in round David, adding yellow in the centre as the glimmer of escape came. As the description of the sun played out, I added the blue skies, built up the centre and erased the circular lines and the rays. We used a play on words to initially ‘walk in the sun’ as we were visualising that, and then as we moved on, I erased the figure bit by bit, adding the head and hands just before the climax of the illustration changing the ‘u’ to an ‘o’:

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Feedback from this first time attempt at live illustration was very positive, and from my point of view, it all worked well! Some top tips: work with the preacher to hone the order of things, especially if the image develops from a previous layer; definitely rehearse timings with something so tied to the sermon material; know your technology and check it’s doing what you expect; and be prepared to go for it 🙂

 


Arts in Worship

I’ve recently joined a new worship group at the church I’ve been going to since December 2012, Whetstone Baptist Church. As there are two of us trained to work the data projector, I was at a loose end a couple of Sundays ago, and thought I’d do some art work during the service. I’d had a couple of sheets of pre-coloured watercolour paper left over from a craft club, so took one of those, a permanent black marker, a white Signo pen and drew this during the services:

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Inspired by words of one of the songs, and adding other lyrics and phrases from the sermon made this a specific act of visual worship for that service.

Encouraged by the response to this, I was then asked to do some more artwork to complement a service last Sunday where the plans for a new church building were to be revealed. The artwork was to illustrate ‘Waiting here for you’ to be sung as a duet, leading into a time of reflection and prayer. Using much the same technique, I blocked out areas using black acrylic ink after colouring the page using inks, ProMarkers, paints and stains. This time though, it was two days work prior to the service! These were the featured pieces:

The beauty of this approach, over stock imagery, is that the artwork can directly fit the emphasis of the service – in this case, I used the ‘wait’ text to illustrate several meanings of the word that emphasised anticipation and service rather than the more common sitting-around-twiddling-thumbs kind of wait.

I enjoyed the creative process, looking at all the different ways I could decorate the pages before blocking out the negative space. Some needed tweaking in Photoshop (for instance the addition of the lens flare in a couple), but most were unedited aside from adjusting brightness and contrast for data projection. I will definitely be doing more of this type of worship in the future, and may be even gearing up for ‘live’ artwork creation as part of the service.