Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday returns

I have written about this before, how much I actually love the season of Lent. It is such a calm time for me. We are supposed to be quiet and thoughtful, perfect for an introvert like me. And then there is the all important question; what are we giving up for Lent? Always, I will give up sweets, and maybe my evening glass of wine.
A better question would be; what spiritual practice are we beginning during Lent? I would like to say that I intend to pray more for grace.
I have another type of sacrificial practice that I have taken up during Lent in the past couple of years, which is making church banners!  I have sacrificed time, talent and energy to paint and produce some artwork that our church will use in the Easter Vigil service which is on the night of Holy Saturday before Easter Sunday. And every year it ends up being a deadline that I work like crazy to finish during the six weeks of Lent. (not a quiet or calm practice).
Three years ago it was the Creation banners. I blogged about that here, and here, and here.

And then last year, I thought we (our team of visual artists for the church) had topped ourselves for good because we made a banner that was 40 feet high and 16 feet wide. I blogged about that a lot. Here, and here and here, in fact most of last April.

I must add, I am not in this huge project alone, we have a team of artists. Our leader is Laura, a talented artist full of energy to drive us forward. I know that I could not have finished the season of painting last year without her enthusiasm and fresh outlook. Our Church of the Resurrection is intending to continue to use the resurrected Christ banner again this year. In fact, they have printed small copies of the great painting to use as prayer icons and if you go to this link, you can see a booklet that they have made about the making of the work. They have titled it "An artist's journal, the making of the Resurrected Christ banner".

(Wow, this is one of the longest posts I have written this year).
All of this is to lead up to the announcement of our new huge project this Lenten season which will (hopefully) be seen on the night of the Great Easter Vigil again.
I say, hopefully, and with the Grace of God, because I have cold feet about completing this in time and with a worthy end result. I am worried because our church is in the process of purchasing and renovating a building to move to by the end of the year. We are painting ten (!) large canvases that will have a permanent home in the new building. This is daunting, to produce something worthy and lasting, not just a banner that goes up briefly and then is tucked away.
Showing here, one of my first rough sketches of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac (stopped by the hand of God). I will explain more as I post about the progress of these paintings in the next six weeks.