My daughter’s final course of the year was grade nine art. I’m very proud of the work she completed. She is constantly making, a sign of a true artist. Even though she aspires to be a surgeon, I think (I hope) she will always be an artist (but don’t tell her that!)
The culminating project she was required to do was a realistic portrait drawing of someone she admires (she wouldn't let me share that one, but asked if I would share her owl instead). I can tell you from experience, portraits are very difficult to do. The hardest part is getting started. My daughter makes all kinds of paintings, drawings, designs, sculptures even, but when it came to this portrait drawing, she was frozen and didn’t know where to start. Even though for the last several weeks, she has been guided through learning how to draw eyes, a nose, an ear, and mouth, when it came to putting it all together, she was stuck. She spent some time trying to figure out an easier way. She even came and talked to me about it, hoping I would have some great insight. She was noticeably disappointed when I told her the only way forward was to put pencil to paper. The drawing wasn’t going to magically draw itself, right or “wrong”, one mark after another, the drawing would take shape. I promised.
What struck me most about this was how reluctant my daughter was to put a single line on the page. A drawing can’t be made any other way. We all know that but for some reason knowing there is a process and engaging in the process is often met with resistance. It’s as if we expect the drawing to emerge from the page by itself. Realistically, it’s a lot of work. Artists live within this tension, it’s not that we don’t feel the fear, I think the desire to make simply out-weighs the fear, allowing us to press onward. Over time and with practice, you gain resiliency for it but I don’t believe it ever completely goes away. That’s how we stay humble.
I find myself in a similar place with The Butterfly Project. I have been pretty satisfied with the way this project is taking shape. Like a drawing, there have been a few times I’ve stood back and looked at what was taking shape, realizing I needed to take a few steps back before I could move forward again. I’m creating something new and don’t have an exact image to copy or duplicate. Adjustments are going to be needed at times but it’s not about erasing “mistakes.”
Artists learn not to erase lines unless they significantly interfere with the progress of the drawing. It takes a lot of practice to let go of the illusion of perfection. The “mistakes” actually make the drawing more interesting. In art, the extra lines actually disguise “mistakes.” In the eyes of the viewer, their eyes don’t know where to rest or what is "correct." So even if the drawing isn’t precise, it’s actually more pleasing to look at. Another artist once described it this way, “there are sketch lines, helping lines, and searching lines. To me they all give more soul to the drawing.” There’s a lot of life application there don’t you think?
One of the things I love about New Ventures is that not only do I receive support in the discovery and development of who God has called me to be, who He’s asking me to serve and how, I get to be on the inside of what others are working on as well! The conversations are rich, the opportunities for learning are abundant, and the anticipation that comes with new discoveries along the way are uplifting! It’s a lot like watching an artist who is developing a drawing. Every mark reveals something new.
The thing is, as New Venture Apprentices, we not only need each other but we need you as well! We need your prayers, we value your feedback and your financial support is extremely helpful. Without the time and space to discover what God is inviting us into, do research, to explore and develop relationships, simply be still and think things through, it just wouldn’t be as possible.
Your financial support enables me specifically to pay for very practical needs like putting gas in my car so I can go meet people in the community, pay my internet and phone bill, and pay for my website so I can share what I’m learning, not just through my Blog but my Community Resources page, too. In addition, it is helping me establish consistent monthly employment income and a history of charitable donations through the Central Canadian District, which in the long run will help me in the event The Butterfly Project becomes a Not-For-Profit or Charity.
Indirectly, having your financial support has also helped Mike and I convert the old sauna on our property into a pretty fancy outhouse - I don’t think I’ve ever been in a cedar lined outhouse before, haha. Even though it's not quite finished it's useable and now we can begin to have families here on our property in a Covid-friendly way. We have a few people coming to camp here this summer who have a trailer but with the outhouse we can now invite those who tent-camp! Or just want to come spend the day.
I currently need to raise about $165 a month to maintain my minimum income, which amounts to about $520 before deductions. I don’t take any of this for granted. I want you to know how deeply grateful I am for your encouragement and support. One of the other ways your financial support is helpful is that it enables me to not be “shy with my gifts.” I am taking a bold step, in the spirit of loving you and being sensible as Paul expresses in his letter to Timothy, I want to offer you a gift for your generosity.
For the months of July, August and September I’d like to offer this:
For donations up to $20, I will send you a small (8x10" or less) handmade print made by yours truly. (Fine art prints are an affordable way to grow your art collection!)
If you donate $30, I will send you a gift of 5 hand-printed cards with envelopes.
For donations of $50+ I will send you a hand-printed t-shirt. All you have to do is tell me your size and preferred colour.
For a donation of $100 or more, I’d love to send you the whole package.
Here are a few examples of the work I've done. I am always making new prints and will send you the best from my inventory.
All donations are tax deductible. If you would like to support my apprenticeship and the things I'm working on, please click here. I receive a report of donations on a monthly basis and will do my best to get your package to you as quickly as possible! And yes, I am able to ship across Canada (but not yet to the USA).
Again, thank you so much for your support and walking alongside as I work on the sketch lines, helping lines, and searching lines of this journey!