As previously mentioned, I am clearing out my study – I’ve also cleared out an old PC. Whilst doing this, I came across my original sketches for some artwork I did back in 2008 whilst at Robert Hall Memorial Baptist Church in Leicester. Again, I sketched out the idea whilst the service was taking place, and this time took the sketches back home and created some digital art (Photoshop/Illustrator) which was then printed as A0 poster size. As far as I know, they’re still on display in the church. I also know that one of them ended up being given to Rothley Baptist Church as well. Here are the ‘before and after’ pics:
Possibly one of my earliest surviving artworks, from 1985 when I would have been 14… Later strips weren’t coloured and I used a typewriter to add the text. I seem to remember the inspiration stemmed from the fabulous Classical Studies classes led by Mr Boulting at school, where we were asked to do comic strips to illustrate the mythological stories of Ancient Greece and Rome.
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:
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.