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Pick Up A Pencil Introduction

Hannah Dunnett Pick Up a Pencil Introduction Featured image


Hi, I’m Hannah.

I have called this blog series ‘Pick up a pencil’ as that is effectively what I hope you will feel inspired to do as you follow this blog.
I felt prompted to do this series directly as a result of the current crisis we find ourselves in.
I’m going to come back to that but first I would love to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my story so far.

My Journey

The last few years have been quite a journey for me.
I worked as a family doctor/GP up until 2012 at which point I decided to leave medicine and take a different path.
That path was painting lots of different pictures that incorporated the words of the Bible.
Many of the pictures I have painted during this time have been used as greetings cards, prints, journals and calendars. They have often been given to people to provide encouragement and support in specific situations. It has been hugely encouraging to me to hear how people have been impacted by them.

My aim has always been to deliver not just a picture but also a message.
I have tried my best to place myself in the shoes of those receiving it –the anxious, the uncertain, the bereft, the adventurer, the seeker, the lost, and to seek out verses from the Bible that speak into those circumstances. My hope being that God’s word brings light and hope into a situation.

I have wrestled with words and with pictures during this process.
I have felt defeated and exhilarated along the way but my little journeys have taken me on a much bigger one and this takes me back to what prompted this blog post (and hopefully the ones to follow).

We find ourselves at present in a most extraordinary time, a very difficult and challenging time.
It is hard not to be anxious and fearful. We need to find strength in our faith in God, in his sovereignty, his love and his words to us.
In almost all other scenarios of hardship and difficulty we combat this by coming together and the strength we feel in relationship with others and the encouragement we are able to offer each other is what helps to get us through.

This particular scenario is different in that many people may find themselves isolated and alone for some months.
Here, technology is able to help in a very positive way. We can FaceTime, Skype or even Zoom our relatives and friends, receive school work and lessons, church services are being streamed live, the list goes on.

In the light of this I began to think about what I could do that might provide some inspiration and fuel some creativity.
The following posts I hope will encourage you to read and think about the words of the Bible, help you to reflect on life’s experiences and inspire you to use your creative and artistic skills to create some great artwork.

Creating a Scripture Picture

I thought I’d begin by talking to you a bit about a piece of artwork I created about 3 years ago.
I was given a briefing called “Finding God” – how do we find God? Where do we find God?
As I began to think about this theme 3 ideas began to come to mind:

  1. Creation – how can we see God’s reflection in nature
  2. Seeking God – through going to church, small group, etc..
  3. Finding God in times of desperation – when we’ve done everything we can to try and solve a crisis and find ourselves completely alone with nowhere to turn and we find ourselves running into the arms of God.

The piece of artwork I produced came out of the third idea of finding God in times of desperation.
It is called Fear Not.

The imagery that came to mind for this picture was of a stormy night on the sea, dark skies, crashing waves and a little fishing boat on its own on the ocean against the steep and jagged cliffs unable to find its way home.

Hannah Dunnett Stormy Sea and Fishing Boat image

On top of the cliffs I pictured a lighthouse with the light streaming across the sky.

Hannah Dunnett Lighthouse words image

I thought I would put the words that would describe our desperate thoughts in the waves of the sea and the cliffs and the words of hope from Jesus in the light streaming out from the lighthouse.

We know that life will bring us difficult times.
It’s really hard not to feel fearful or anxious or engulfed by those emotions.
In these times we really need to seek God, to find His words of encouragement, to cling onto His truth.
Words and imagery combined together can be a really powerful way of doing that.

Helping you Create your own artwork

I hope that these series of posts will help inspire you to produce your own pieces of art that combine words and imagery.

In the next post we will be looking at how to create your own prayer tree.
There are lots of different ways to achieve this – painting, drawing collage work…
You will be able to add in the names of people you know – friends, family, etc…