Making art is a very Christian thing to do

I can’t help thinking artistry is a very christian pursuit. How could it not be, when we’re following The Creator and desperately trying to communicate Him to the world with such human and eternal themes as loss, redemption, fear, love?

Here’s a mini-docu from the Humble Beast crew on bringing glory to God through excellent art, whether that’s music, street art, spoken word, whatever.

At the end of the day the creator of the piece of artwork probably sees it in the clearest way. He is my eye to the world. So it’s not just how I see my world around me, but it’s also wrestling and submitting and rejoicing that He’s given me new eyes to see like Him.

Light & Dark Atmospheres – Joy’s Art Project

This week Joy Jindu shows us her recently completed art exam piece and describes the research she undertook for the project.

For my art exam project, after much indecisiveness and much consideration I chose to explore the way in which the contrast between light and dark can create atmosphere.

The second definition of atmosphere according The Oxford Dictionary is:

“the pervading tone or mood of a place, situation, or creative work.”

The first being,

“The envelope of gases surrounding the earth or another planet”

the starry night 638x398 Light & Dark Atmospheres   Joys Art Project

The Starry Night by van Gogh

I could have done a project on space and gases but the photography aspect may have been tricky however…I had a look at a number painters for inspiration, the ones that most influenced my final piece were Van Gogh, Turner and Afremov. Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night was the first that came to my mind when I decided on the topic “Atmosphere”. Interestingly enough in Physics whilst learning about space and stars other mind-boggling things of the Universe I came across the extraordinary “Star-trails” of photographer Lincoln Harrison; these incredible photographs are the result of 15 hour-long exposures. The end photos somewhat resemble the slightly obscure spiralling patterns in the night sky of Van Gogh’s painting.

Whilst researching the art form of Chiaroscuro (the use of strong contrast between light and dark in art) I looked at the work of Caravaggio whose work often explored and exploited the dichotomy of ‘highlights & shadows and how they complement each other. Whilst looking at the use of light in art it only seemed right to look at Turner, “The Painter of Light” himself.

The Final Piece

The picture that I chose to paint during the 10 hours I had for my exam was of a photograph that I had taken of a street light outside of Liberty London. The idea of having a street light was inspired by number of paintings by Leonid Afremov that include streetlights projecting light onto their surroundings. The canvas that I painted this on was A1 (so about 80x60cm). It was slightly ambitious to set out fill such a large canvas in only 10. Admittedly after the second day getting the all the bricks and window frames in line with the correct perspective, without them converging got slight tedious; Instead of painting all the lines in, I made the oil paint very turpsy and instead dripped the paint down when gave quite a nice effect where the paint appears to have eroded but left enough to show where the bricks and window panes are.

Final Piece Painting  638x474 Light & Dark Atmospheres   Joys Art Project

Fantastic Sheffield Jesus Centre Paintings

A diverse group of artists painted these paintings in Sheffield Jesus Centre‘s ‘Your Art’ group recently. This group of artists don’t work to any particular theme but show many views of life from city, to nature, to being late for work.

Zambia: Artwork With A Personal Touch

Over the past couple of weeks I have been in Zambia on a Multiply trip tasked with setting up social projects including English language teaching, internet connectivity, and computer facilities for a school. One of the first things that came to mind when it was suggested I’d go to Zambia was to get our artists to paint pictures that we’d give to the school, where they’d be displayed in the classrooms to inspire the children and give them a connection with us. In November last year I asked various people if they could paint something and I got an enthusiastic response. So the artists chose some photos and got stuck in to painting them. 2014 01 27 18.26.36 1024x579 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal TouchThe paintings covered a wide range of subjects – from people through to landscapes. In fact one of the paintings was from a photo taken during a recently Multiply trip to Sierra Leone.2014 01 04 11.27.47 1024x579 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal TouchIt was quite a step of faith putting all the canvases in a suitcase and hoping (and praying) they’d all arrive in one piece. Especially as it was a couple of flights to Zambia which increases the chance of lost luggage. I was a relieved man when in the middle of a suitcase scrum at Ndola airport (no exaggeration) I spotted it, leapt in and rescued it. On the final day of the two weeks there I presented the artwork to school as a gift from our church back in England. Artwork 1024x576 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal Touch

Artwork Catriona 1024x641 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal TouchArtwork Joy 1024x875 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal TouchArtwork Katherine 1024x768 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal TouchArtwork Rob 1024x859 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal TouchArtwork Lill 1024x768 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal TouchArtwork Mark 1024x768 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal TouchArtwork Gail 1024x785 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal TouchArtwork Daniel 1024x590 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal TouchIt was an amazing privilege giving these works of art to a grateful school. Thanks to Rob, Catriona, Katherine, Mark, Gail, Daniel (aged around 9 I think), Lil, and Joy for all your hard work. One of the other things that came to mind about going to Africa was knitting a blanket for a child. Not me knitting I hasten to add. I had just spent some time with Doris, a lady in her mid eighties who was knitting away whilst we chatted. So I asked her if she was up for doing something creative and make a blanket to take with me and “yes!” was the prompt reply. Doris Knitting 1024x674 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal Touch

Knitting Catherine 778x1024 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal Touch

The end result was stunning, and Catherine loved it (it’s cold at night for Zambians this time of the year). Thanks to Doris and Annie for their hard work.

One of the other personal touches was naming all the laptops in the I.T. classroom after my friends and also people who had supported the project by fundraising. In my church we are given “virtue” names that describe our character so I used these names. Laptop Names 1024x308 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal Touch

Certificates 1024x431 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal Touch

On the last day I created some certificates and we gave these to everyone who had attended the I.T. and literacy courses. Ali and myself called out the people one by one to collect their certificates and pronouncing their names correctly was sometimes an impossible challenge!  However they were very grateful for personal recognition.

Home Family 1024x796 Zambia: Artwork With A Personal Touch

I’ll miss this amazing family most of all I think. Sharon, Natasha, Matthew, and Matthew junior

I guess to sum up I can say the time in Zambia was very productive and the project work and filming went well. But there was also an opportunity for the personal touch that affects peoples lives too. It’s important to work through your own ideas and vision and make it happen just as much the official stuff that needs to be done. To end with here is a short glimpse of what we got up to in the two weeks in Zambia. Enjoy.