inspiration

Robson-inspired sketches

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Since I have been home taking care of Robson the last few months, AND trying to keep up with my full-time gig – doing any additional sketching seems like a pipe dream! BUT… once in a while, I am able to carve out a precious hour or two to do some art for myself.

Here are a few I have done so far:

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Robson in the Woods admiring the trees as she does on our daily walks. πŸ™‚ [digital]

 

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Robson running around with multiple sweaters all day. Sometimes she wears 3 at a time. πŸ™‚ [digital]

 

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Robson and I go to the same park almost every day near our house. I love looking at this massive tree that reminds me of a mysterious cave. I finally drew it from memory. πŸ™‚ [digital]

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“Downside Up” book is for sale NOW!

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This is exciting news for me! The book that my friend Peter Walker wrote, “Downside Up”, and I have illustrated for almost two years is for sale on Amazon NOW! It is also available in Barnes & Noble bookstores in the States! You can buy it Amazon.com or Amazon.ca πŸ™‚ And if you like it, please feel free to leave a review!

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This is the first project that I have worked on that I have fully been able to combine my art and my faith, and I am so excited it is available for purchase! It’s also the first published book I have illustrated πŸ™‚

Feel free to like the Facebook page for more updates! Here is a synopsis of the book: “A picture book for grown-ups! Satire and humor in rhyme and verse about Jesus, the church, and what’s gone wrong! Is there any reason for hope?”

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A couple teaser illustrations:

The front and back covers:

Another letter to Baby Chomiak: She will never say “I love you, Daddy”.

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Hello my little one…. it’s me.

[We will teach you about Adele when you grow up a bit!]

I can’t even believe you are already 28 weeks along, and growing so strong inside of Mama’s belly. Wow, you are doing so great little bean!

First let me thank you for a precious gift you have already given me. [Truthfully I think you and God were in on it together.] A few weeks ago, your Mama and I were putting the Christmas tree up, and decorating it with all of our ornaments. Your Mama said she felt you moving around inside, and to come and see if I could feel anything on the outside. I hadn’t yet. I put my hand on her belly, and we waited there for a minute, in the silence of the twinkling lights from the Christmas tree.

All of a sudden we both felt a huge BOOM from inside – a direct hit to the palm of my hand, and my heart skipped a beat! I heard you, little one! Blinking back tears, I realized how real this journey is. This is happening – you are coming into our lives, a kicking, screaming, laughing, thoughtful little being. You, my little girl, are my miracle. I already thank God daily for your existence; for being allowed to witness this sort of love in my life. I am in awe.

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Now, little bean, I have been thinking about something else I wanted to share with you.

As you will learn, there are many different types of families. Some families just have a Mommy. Some families just have a Daddy. Some have two Mommies or two Daddies. Some are raised by a grandparent or an aunt. Some – maybe most – will have a Mommy and a Daddy. The love is still the same, my sweet one.

I grew up with a Mommy and a Daddy. I was very lucky that they were [and are] both around for my whole life, spoiling me and loving me as I grew up. And if I am being honest, I was definitely a Daddy’s girl. My Daddy is very generous, very funny, and one of the true heroes in my life. I know I can always count on him to be there, fix anything, or make me laugh. I have always thought, even as I am now a grown-up, that I have the best Dad. (He will be the best Grandpa to you, I know it. πŸ™‚

And as you get bigger and bigger in Mama’s belly, I realize that you will never say those words: I love you, Daddy.

My Evangelical Christian upbringing wants me to feel guilty about that. I want to say that I am sorry that I have chosen a “lifestyle” that omits a Daddy from your life. And I admit that it was one of the fears I had when I was struggling with becoming a Mama myself. How can I withhold anything from an innocent child?

But, my Sweetheart, I won’t apologize. Because I have chosen love, and love is something we never apologize for. My heart is too full of peace and gratefulness to be sorry, little one. No, you won’t have a Daddy in the traditional sense. You will have two Mommies instead. Two Mommies that already love you so entirely, it is hard to properly put it into words. So we will show you. We will show you with every hug, with every tear we wipe away, with every cuddle, with every crust we cut off your bread, and with every moment of sleep we lose when you cry or are sick. You will be so absolutely loved.

I believe to the depths of my soul, that this is the path God has chosen that has led you into this world. I believe that God knows what He is doing, and He isn’t scared that you will be coming into a family “without a Daddy” – but that was His plan. God does not make mistakes – He makes miracles.

So maybe one day you will be with your friends and they will be talking about their Daddies, and it will hit you: I don’t have one. And maybe you will wonder why. And I hope you will come to us with all of these questions, and more. And above all, I hope that your heart and soul is just so surrounded with love that you won’t feel like you are missing anything – but have everything you need. That is my prayer for you, little one.

We are counting down the days until we can stare into your beautiful little face. πŸ™‚

Character designs for unnamed project

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I was asked to do a few exploratory character designs for a project, and here is what I came up with! I tried a few different styles, and it was fun just to draw a few different versions of the character I had in my head.

Brush pen and pencil crayon:

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Watercolour:
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Digital:
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Brush pen & pencil crayon:
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Brush pen & colerase pencil:
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Brush pen & pencil crayon:
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Downton Abbey’s Elizabeth McGovern is holding my sketch!

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A few months back, I decided to do a sketch series based on the much-loved characters from BBC’s “Downton Abbey”. Here is a sampling of a few of them:

imageSoon after I posted the sketch of Robert & Cora Crawley (actors Hugh Bonneville & Elizabeth McGovern – see above in top right), I had someone contact me on Twitter. She said she was family friends with Elizabeth McGovern, who apparently also plays in a band called “Sadie & the Hotheads”. She wanted to know if I would do another sketch of her in the same style – but this time also as her playing in her band. She wanted to give it to her as a birthday gift.

Of course, I did have my doubts that she actually “knew” her – who wouldn’t in this age of social media?? But I did the drawing anyway; it sounded like a fun idea. See below what resulted.

Here is the sketch; I did the roughs in pencil, but cleaned it up digitally so I could email it to her in England to print out and frame.

cora_kirsty_signatureAnd here is a pic from Twitter that shows Elizabeth McGovern up close and personal – happily clutching my sketch! WHAAAAA—-!!

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A cool moment, indeed πŸ™‚ High five, Twitter!

The night I saw Carol Burnett – in person!

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Like many, many people, I grew up watching “The Carol Burnett Show”. My parents always had always loved thoseΒ comedy shows, and while I may not have understood some [most] of the sketches they did, I could not help but love this wacky, loud, fun-loving female host who would not hesitate to make herself look ridiculous for a laugh. But there was kindness in her too – it was never mean-spirited comedy, just silly for the sake of fun. To this day I still remember dying laughing at the sketch of her playing the game “Sorry”, or her wearing the famed “Gone With the Wind” dress – more for her facial expression than anything else!

As I grew older, I followed her career and got excited to see her in a few films and even when she would guest-star on TV shows like “Touched By An Angel”. Last year, my wonderful wife sent me a link to check out – Carol Burnett was doing one live show in 2014 – and it was in Seattle. We HAD to go!!

In my excitement leading up to the show, I did a sketch of her [see above] in the famous dress πŸ™‚ Β She did not disappoint! At age 81, she almost danced out on stage [in high heels!], and proceeded to regale her favourite sketches from her show, her most memorable moments, and answered any and all questions the packed-out audience had for her.

What an AMAZING night! Thank you Carol, for adding so much joy and laughter into this world of ours!

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Writing about Cove church on Rachel Held Evan’s blog

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Since our little church Cove closed in May 2013, I have been wanting to write about it. Once I got past the shock, heartbreak and frustration… I felt this seed of hope and gratefulness welling up inside of me, until I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I kept feeling God asking me to write about it, but it was always, “Soon. Not yet but soon.”

Then we went to the GCN Conference in Chicago (my thoughts about our experience here) and I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel Held Evans in the flesh, as she was one of the keynote speakers. It was a fleeting moment of the weekend that I found myself sharing with her what happened with Cove, and she asked me to write a guest post about it. After believing I had misheard her, I enthusiastically nodded my head and began thanking God in advance that He arranged the story to come out in this way. On her blog. For her thousands of readers and 38.7K Twitter followers to see. What a tribute to these people of Cove and their real love.

So often there have been stories of LGBT members being kicked out of their churches, and this one is so different. It needs to be heard.

She posted the story yesterday morning, and I have since been blown away by the amount of positive encouragement people have gotten from it, and how they have responded. [Not to mention the 1600+ Facebook shares????]

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For such a small church in a suburb of a Canadian city – this is a BIG DEAL. At least… to me it is. I wanted to tell this story for all my LGBT brothers and sisters who are losing faith in the church, and more importantly – in God. There is hope, friends! God is FOR you. Just give his people a chance to prove that. Just like these beautiful people did. I am in awe at this kind of love lived out in such a real way.

This is God’s story of hope, and of unconditional love, and I truly hope that comes through.

What an honor.

Rachel, my sister in Christ, I cannot thank you enough.