This past September, I was invited to contribute artwork to the Hope Gathering, a conference for NYC women "who join together to encounter hope in Christ, to encourage one another in our city lives, and to offer His hope for the flourishing of others."
The questions artists were asked to consider were:
Who is God as our hope?
How does God meet us in our struggles?
How do we offer God’s hope to others?
While mulling over these questions, I kept seeing an image of a bridge. During the time leading up to the conference, I happened to be walking across the Williamsburg Bridge quite frequently, which might have had something to do with it. I was thinking about how long the journey across that bridge can feel sometimes. It's an excellent spot for a study on perspective, with the other end of the bridge disappearing into a single vanishing point. For a lot of the journey, you can't see where you're going to end, but you know it will eventually. Hope feels a lot like that to me.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Thinking about waiting and things unseen, I decided to make my piece for the Hope Gathering something that unfolded as the conference occurred.
I feel like there should be a good story in here somewhere about how I struggled to come up with an idea, banning the constant thought of, "Maybe I should paint a bridge!", and that eureka moment where I came up with this idea. I believe some of that did happen, but the details are fuzzy now. Ultimately, the idea of drawing something like what I do for Sunday Sketches came up for me one day. It made sense to start with a blank piece of paper, and give a promise of something better to come. Then I would draw the attendees of the Hope Gathering as we were there, in hope, worshiping our Father. So that's exactly what I did. Arriving at the conference, I set up a blank piece of paper at the back of the room, with a note attached that read, 'check back - something beautiful is coming'. And as we started the conference, I drew. During each break, I cut out my new drawings and placed them on the blank paper. By the end of the two days, my artwork was full of drawings of hope. I'm happy with how it turned out, and it was fun to hear people checking back after each break to see who had been added. I didn't get a photo of the finished piece, but the video does a pretty good job of showing the details. Maybe one day, I'll have a chance to scan the drawings and make them into something more.