Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Live Sketching as Meditative Worship: Good Friday

Good Friday Sketch from Matt Lumpkin on Vimeo.

Glenn Molina and Altadena Baptist Church continue to invite me to experiment with live sketching as a practice of meditative worship. Our first venture into this was at Advent. It was particularly significant for me to be able to take part in this Good Friday service since it was last year's Good Friday service that woke me up to the power of imagery as an aid to reflective worship.

The service was simple but powerful. It was organized around five readings from Matthew's narrative of the crucifixion which were each accompanied by brief reflections from our pastors, selections from J.S. Bach's "Matthew Passion" and individual sketches I did in response to last year's service. Finally, I drew the piece above, live, projected on the wall for all to see while Bach's music seeped into our consciousness.

What I enjoy most about this is how it shifts the emphasis from product to process. The process of sketching is paradoxically both fast and slow. It is fast in that one is trying to apprehend and portray the whole form in its most basic and central elements. It is slow in that the sketching (or hopefully in watching a sketch) only one line can be drawn at a time. The necessary slowness of the process means that you cannot look away, as we are tempted to do, especially from the crucifixion.


  1. Wanna see some neat live sketching ideas? (not live, but neat) http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/videos/


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