A few months ago a friend of mine called and said they wanted some local artist to help them put an image and an experience to 7 core values of their church body. So I was thrilled and totally fearful when i said yes! We met a few weeks later with the pastor and he gave us the vision and verse of each week one of us would be painting on stage while the songs and preaching was happening to give a connection between the message and a visual representation so that it could be remembered and rejoiced over when the congregation would see it in the hallway during the following years.
The 7 values also went alongside a Bible story...abide-John 15:5 the vine and the branches (my fav); joy-john 2 the wedding at Cana, when Jesus turns water to wine (it was actually 905 bottles of wine); healing the paralytic boy after his friends lowered him down through a roof o Jesus, the prodigal son (really the prodigal father -prodigal really means wasteful, and he was wasteful with his love and grace); the bleeding woman; and the empty tomb (resurrection day-celebration)
I chose abide and joy... and the task to find an image to bring to life the story and then paint that story live on stage was a little humbling... I don't know about most artists but i love to be alone with my thoughts and Jesus, and some Mumford & Sons or Needtobreathe and really work on a painting anyway i like, sometimes I work backward or naked (just kidding) but really to have people watch me in the creative process was kind of like being naked in front of them because they saw my process and i like to ONLY show the finished project... plus I'm not a super trained artist (it was part of my major to take art classes but never a focus) - I remember at one point not being able to mix the shade to a color and it was nearing the end of the service and I needed to at least get the shade down to "ground" the trees and get the details on the trees. People came up to me at the end to say "thank yous" and polite "wows" and they said "we love the stream flowing through the trees, and I nodded and said "thank you" and tried to change the subject because it was supposed to be a shadow.... then at the second round i was painting "joy" and i painted really thick, abstracted jars of the water , so i was at a stopping point because it was taking so long for the paint to dry that i started painting the top and sides of the canvas, to which a friend commented after the service -"why do you need to paint the top?"- i don't... really just killing time- haha busted!
So it was humbling and fun all at the same time, and I continue to get "labs" in the surrender department because Jesus loves me and knows best!
*top painting is "joy" the 6 jars at the wedding, lower painting is "abide" from John 15