My church recently asked me to create some art for them to display up on the projection backgrounds during the services. My church, thankfully, is a very creative, inspiring place. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that about a church. So I’ve been wanting to collaborate with them somehow. But when it came time for them to actually ask me to do something, the reality hit of how busy I am. So I responded with a “thanks but no thanks. I’m too busy.”
It didn’t take long for this decision to smack me in the face. After a couple of days the realization hit me that my church should be the very FIRST priority for my creativity. Christians, sadly, aren’t exactly known for making great art these days. So I like the challenge of trying to create something good as a Christian, for my church.
Anyway, these thoughts could be expanded into a novel of a blog post but I’ll get to the point…
I created this piece last Wednesday, while having the flu. I still think it could be fleshed out a lot more but considering the circumstances and deadline, I’m happy with it. But most of all, I’m thrilled to be collaborating with my church.
This is a portrait of Mary.
First I’ll show you the Making-Of video…
Original Sketches… pen and charcoal on paper.
What it looked like during the service…
Type projected onto the brick wall… I have to give a shoutout to my intern, Judson Collier, who made the type for me. I have terrible cursive handwriting so I asked him to save the day.
Beautiful man. Absolutely beautiful. I wish I could have been there on Sunday to see it. Having moved to NYC I find that my greatest lack is my Journey family. Keep creating. Keep challenging. Keep shifting the conversation.
Love it... And to all the Christian artists out there.. I recommend you read a book called "Pursuing Christ, Creating Art" by Gary Molander.. It'll rock your artsy Christ centred world!!
Jeremy, love the artwork and it looked great at church sunday! I am the other artist whose paintings are displayed with yours, maybe we will meet when I am there to paint live in a couple of weeks. i think you know my brother, daniel carson. thanks for contributing i know this whole series is going to be amazing. i am so grateful for a church that empowers artists and lets them use their creativity to "serve"
I really enjoyed seeing your process. In our household I hold the camera, my husband the pen and paintbrush. I enjoyed seeing the two arts combine. :)
Two of your comments struck me:
"My church, thankfully, is a very creative, inspiring place. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that about a church."
" Christians, sadly, aren’t exactly known for making great art these days."
My husband is an artist (MFA- painting) and art historian (also a Masters) as well as a Christian. The whole intersection of art and faith has become his calling and he is now in a PhD program for Art and Religion (a very difficult niche to find!). He has been very keen on the fact that the place of the artist amongst fellow Evangelicals is often a difficult spot to be in, for many reasons that creatives can identify with. A paper that deals with this is called The Critical Zone by Wesley Hurd and is linked on my husband's blog. ( http://www.faithonview.com/the-critical-zone/ ) You are very fortunate to have a church that welcomes creatives and apparently knows what to do with them, which is not the norm- LOL. :)
As for your second comment- this is also something we lament. I think there are a lot of great Christian artists out there- they just aren't known, or don't have a voice. What's missing, IMO, is a good network of support from within the Evangelical community. Being an artist is difficult and being a Christian can be difficult. The act of creating is a manner in which we worship, but the church seems to be largely conflicted on the topic of art in general which is partly why my husband loves to speak on the topic. My husband very much enjoyed the discovery that the very first person mentioned in scripture to be filled with the Holy Spirit was Bezalel- who was the chief craftsman of the Tabernacle. :)
Thanks for sharing!
Wow I had no idea you did art as well as photography - this is so incredible... thank you for sharing!
Just spent the last thirty minutes in bed with my two youngest daughters (you might remember them) playing your video over and over, answering questions and talking about Mary and This is Not the End and Art and making it and how I see them as artists. I'm so moved by these acts of worship you do Jeremy. You should have heard the amazing questions and wide eyed curiosity. You give and God gives through you more. Bless you man. This is a special morning of gift for me and my girls and you are the messenger.
danesanders Wow, Dane, this made my day!! Thank you for sharing... that's so awesome.
Very inspiring. As a created being there's nothing more thrilling than being creative. I'm a brother shooting (and sometimes preaching) from Copenhagen, Denmark. Could you pass a link to your church/website?
Did I catch a little Brooke Fraser photograph in there? ;)
Anyways, this is awesome! Thanks for sharing.
Bro, as a fellow artist at Journey, you have no idea how much this resonates with me. Thank you for sharing this...it's going to be a really good reminder. And since my "art" is projection mapping, it's extremely rewarding to see such beautiful creativity displayed on the windows and brick wall. Wow.
jeremycowart You continue to amaze me. This is awesome. I think you should do this for alot of the people mentioned in the Word. It would be an excellent series to look through. HEY, then print it and i'll buy it! :)
God bless you, Jeremy! Your testimony as a Christian artist in these times is brave and honorable. I, as a Roman Catholic photographer, haven’t had the guts to put myself out there as you have. You inspire me! You give me hope!
Awesome - I love that you create this videos to share in the creative process... What do you use for screen capture?