The Fogue Abode: May 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

It Is Well With My Soul - How To Create Hymn Art

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"The struggle is real." 

This sums up my life lately.  I've been a slacker in so many ways and it's time I picked my growing belly up off the floor and participate in this creative life again.  I kept waiting for my creative inspiration to hit and it just hasn't.  This is a funk I also fell into during my last pregnancy.  I get little burst of it here and there, much like a miss-firing lawn mower that loudly revs up and then fizzles out.  That has been the jest my life!

Then a few weeks ago, my mom hands me a blank canvas and an old hymnal and said "have at it."  That's what really jump started my engine again.  She loves classic hymns and wanted something lovely for her bathroom she is updating.  I love hand lettering you guys.  As much as I've talked about it, I figure you are all aware of that by now, so I had the idea to cover the canvas in hymns and letter one of my favorite lyrics on top of it.

What you need:
- Canvas
- Mod Podge
- Gesso
- Paint brush
- Old hymnal - found at a local yard sale
- Paint Pen

I started with a blank canvas and tore pages from the antique hymnal, careful with their worn and yellowed pages.  Reading through each of the songs brought back so many memories of my childhood.  It also made me sad for generations to come who will not appreciate these old pages.  Don't get me wrong, I love our modern worship but there's always something about a Baptist Hymnal that speaks to my soul.  We picked out a few of our favorite hymns like The Old Rugged Cross, I Surrender All, and There Is Power In The Blood to be the main pages and then made a lay of the land.  I first started with a base of torn and cut pieces of hymn.  I used the Mod Podge to glue them securely to the canvas, making sure to overlap the canvas to wrap around the edges.

Then, I took our 8 favorite hymns and layered them on top.  Again, I would brush on the Mod Podge to the back of the sheet and layered it onto the canvas.  Making sure to get them as smooth as possible.  Once the pages were all on the canvas and dry, I brushed a layer of Gesso on top.  This is a finishing sealant that many Bible journalist use.  I figured if it works well on the delicate pages of a bible, it should keep these old and brittle hymns safe.

Once that was all dry, I just had to figure out my wording and design.  I draw a lot of my hand lettering inspiration off of Instagram.  You can find a ton of feeds that are dedicated to hand lettering by searching with hash tags like #handlettering.   

This has got to be one of my all time favorite lyrics, it is well with my soul.  And what a great reminder that no matter the ups and downs in life, God's got this.  I hope that if you are dealing with the creative funk, that you can find some inspiration to bust out of it soon as well.