Let me start out by saying this - I am NOT an artist! I can't draw, I didn't take art in school, and I do good to color a picture with my 3 year old that looks somewhat acceptable. My husband, Brient, is a "jack-of-all-trades", and he can generally pull off anything he puts his mind to. But he's not exactly an artist, either.
So a few weeks ago, when I realized we needed to pull together a backdrop for our new Sunday night children's program, I got a little, shall we say, STRESSED!! I had no idea where to start on such a huge project. I did know what I wanted! That was something, at least. But how to get from nothing to where I wanted to be - well, that was going to be a challenge.
What I wanted was to steal the idea for the backdrop from our previous church, because theirs was GREAT!! A few ladies there had pulled together and made it absolutely amazing! So the first place I started was sending an e-mail to my good friend (one of the very talented ladies from the church), and asked her advice on where to start with ours. Tracy gave me some great advice on paints and how to get going in the right direction, and I was SOOOO thankful.
But with all her great advice, I still AM NOT an artist. So I put the call out to anyone who wanted to come lend their artistic abilities to help get this thing off the ground. Quite honestly, I didn't really expect anyone to offer help. Nowadays, people are just too wrapped up in things with their own families and lives to have any time to give to someone else. Occasionally, you might be able to bribe someone to help you - if there is enough in it for them to make it worth their while. But....
Within just a few hours, my dear, sweet, wonderful friend, Chelita, offered to come with her husband, Matt - as soon as we needed them - and help us paint this huge mural. WOW! These two people are VERY artistic, and I could not have asked for better help!!
I need to stop here and explain a bit about this family. First, they don't go to the same church as we do. What that means is, they offered their help, and their 2 boys would not even be in this class to enjoy the product of their work. Also, they live nearly an hour away. It cost them a lot in time and gas just to meet up with us. There was nothing in this for them - except, of course, some great red beans and rice that I fixed for supper. These people have a LOT going on in their family and lives right now, but that didn't stop them from wanting to lend a hand. And for that, I am SO VERY grateful!
So, the plan was made. We would meet up on Friday at our church to pull this backdrop together. With a lot of preliminary help from Matt, Brient had our canvas prepped and ready to go by the time Friday rolled around.
We started from square one - hanging the canvas. Brient measured everything, and he and Matt attached it to the wall with some blue latches. Then, we sketched out the picture using the overhead projector and some artist charcoal.
Now, we were ready to really begin! Chelita and I started with the big parts. I wanted to make sure I had a job that I COULDN'T MESS UP! So I got the words!
We kept working all afternoon filling in all the little parts and pieces of this scene. At any given time, there were three of us painting. The other one was either taking care of kids, getting a drink, or washing out paint brushes. Because of the number of hands working, it came together MUCH quicker than we expected.
Since we are homeschoolers, both of our families get to take our kids everywhere we go. We don't have the option of leaving them with someone so we can take care of business. But that's JUST how we want it!! Matt and Chelita's two boys and our three kids had the best time playing in the big gym together. We brought all kinds of toys, video games, and movies, and they had the whole place to run and play tag. But there were a few times when they wanted to be up in the middle of what we were doing. They needed some paint to make their own masterpiece. So, Brient pulled out a HUGE piece of cardboard, gave them all a piece of artist charcoal, some paint, and some paint brushes, and they went to town. Later, two of them came back wanting to do more, so we gave them plates to paint. They all had such fun!!
When we arrived at the church to begin this project, it was about 2:00 in the afternoon. We took a few short breaks here and there, and we stopped for supper. But, for the most part, we worked hard for the whole afternoon. It was 9:15 when we left the church. We left tired, worn out, and ready for bed. But we were all so proud of our accomplishment. And all the way home, Little Sister kept saying, "It was a good day. But I'm not ready to go home yet."
This was a HUGE undertaking, and, had we not had any help, Brient and I never would have finished this in an afternoon - or a month. But thanks to this sweet, wonderful family, we finished the backdrop for our new class. The kids at our church are going to be so excited when they come in on Sunday and see it!!