Goal: create 60 drawings by August 10th, each inspired by a passage from George MacDonald. Print a coffee table book, including all 60, with the corresponding passage on the opposite page. Sell originals and prints of individual drawings. Raise enough money to support myself in the meantime.
The events of my life during the last few years have resulted in greater pain and fear than I have ever known.
Beauty has played a powerful role in keeping my hope alive. A colossal oak tree, a sky full of stars. A musician piercing the mystery of my burdens. The Psalmist's cries for God. The words of dead authors who feel as estranged from existence as I do, but who somehow remain enchanted by the subtle but profound miracles of daily life.
George MacDonald has been one of the primary vessels of this kind of beauty, one who taught me to notice and gather strength from beauty in other places too. As a devourer of books with a PhD in philosophy, I don't know how I managed to live this long without encountering him. But it's providential that I met him when I did – when I was utterly alone, and all I could say with certainty was that I trusted God to somehow, one day, turn this graveyard of my life into a garden.
Over the last nine months, I've read MacDonald's words every day. He knew suffering, anxiety, depression, the ongoing temptation to despair. He was ostracized from his religious community. He struggled with poverty. He was also a devoted father of eleven children; he wrote a multitude of novels and ballads for them. When two of his children died unexpectedly, his pain was unspeakable.
The way MacDonald survived the next year was to write a poetic stanza each day, addressed to God. He titled this chronicle, "Diary of an Old Soul." He could not have known how much hope this work (and others) would bring to a young, practically jobless, single mother over 100 years later.
I'm basing my project on his.
Unlike MacDonald, I'm not a poet. But I am a visual artist, and the only thing that alleviates my pain now is drawing the pictures that float through my soul.
Like MacDonald's diary, these drawings have become a chronicle of my struggle with God, sorrow and fear, glimpses of hope and joy. Often, the pictures arise directly from MacDonald's writings. In fact, the connection is so strong, most of my recent work can be connected to a specific passage of his.
These pieces, especially, have become so valuable to me, and could, I think, be as valuable to others, that I've decided to dedicate this summer to creating a body of work around MacDonald's writings: specifically, the struggle to fear and hope aright in the midst of turmoil.
My goal is 60 drawings, each based on a poem or scene from George MacDonald. I'll complete them all by August 10th, then create a coffee table book of all 60 prints, each with the corresponding passage printed on the opposite page.
I've completed the following pieces so far:
You can make this project possible by pledging money to cover costs. Once I reach $1000, I'll be able to afford supplies, prints and book-making, as well as devote the time and labor it takes to do the work.
I'll sell each original drawing for $35, and prints for $25.
If I DO NOT raise the $1000 goal in the next 20 days, this project WILL NOT be possible, because I'll need to find another way to earn money this summer.
I am so excited about this project. I do hope it can come to fruition, and be a blessing to those who are struggling, like I am, to fear and hope aright.
- (20 days)