How good is this!? The idea seems to be a theme is posted and artists respond, their work is then blogged on Illustrationfriday.com...
Illustration Friday is a weekly creative outlet/participatory art exhibit for illustrators and artists of all skill levels. It was designed to challenge participants creatively. We believe that every person has a little creative bone in their body. Illustration Friday just gives a no-pressure, fun excuse to use it. No clients looking for a particular thing. No one judging the outcome of the work. It's a chance to experiment and explore and play with visual art
Illustration Friday is a weekly illustration challenge. A topic is posted every Friday and then participants have all week to come up with their own interpretation. Topics are picked each week from a list of suggestion that have been emailed by participants.
Another helpful part of Illustration Friday is the art forum. The art forum is meant to build a creative community. A safe place to discuss creative issues, ask questions or just get feedback on your work. Want to find out how to get a certain texture? Ask. Want to find people in your area to start an illustration group? The art forum is a good place to start.
It was started by Penelope Dullaghan, ht to Alexia for the link. The artists produce work in all sorts of media inc. digital, collage, paint, pen & ink, pastel, silkscreen, watercolor, woodblock, intaglio, monotype etc. all the images link back the artists own site.
Matt questions whether technology is blocking us from the reality of the experience ("Why experience the moment when you can be looking at a rendering of the moment on a tiny screen while taking a crappy photo") I guess we get used to looking at the world in digital (I found myself asking the same question in Africa last year - whilst viewing everything through the camera or video) and we want to record and share the experience... going back to my previous post, we now want to share the experience in the moment, not just afterwards, we want to make our feelings/opinions known, we want to know how others are seeing the same event... so I guess there's the paradox - we are in danger of losing something of the reality of the moment by experiencing it through the digital lens but at the same time we gain from the simultaneous perspectives of others.
Following on from the Missional Synchro Blog last year (that sounds wierd!) a bunch of like minded folk have got together to explore an intentional network, over to Bro Maynard...
Based on conversations and relationships among a few of us “instigators,” recognizing a need for connecting missional-minded practitioners following a major synchroblog on the topic last year, have furthered a conversation about what a connecting-space of this nature might look like. More recently, it appears that the time is ripe for gathering missional stories and front-line reports of incarnational engagement from those who have been “moving into the neighbourhoods” around them. These stories are meant to encourage and inspire others who are on a similar journey to our own. A group of us have therefore instigated a network called Missional Tribe — more of an egalitarian social network than any sort of commission-issuing authority-bearing network of affiliates. In other words, it is a centered set gathered around a common interest in all things missional rather than a bounded set of those who fit a particular doctrinal statement or denomination. Whosoever will may come.
Todd Fadel has launched 'Love is Concrete' - a kind of art, activism, creative network on Ning... worth checking out... and to tempt you further they have a free download of the Welcome Wagons album (produced and featuring Sufjan Stevens)...
The debut album by The Welcome Wagon unveils a ramshackle sing-a-long enterprise of a Presbyterian pastor (the Rev. Vito Aiuto) and his wife (Monique) wrestling out the influences of folk music, religion, popular culture, and church tradition in a collection of songs that is as soulful as it is good-humored. This gorgeous brew is reflected in the group's repertoire, which unflinchingly consolidates a vast history of "sacred" song traditions: from Old Testament psalms, to Presbyterian Psalters of the 17th century, to iconoclastic pop innovators of the 1960s (The Velvet Underground), to charismatic Catholics of the 1970s (Lenny Smith), and into the melancholy lovelorn pop of the 1980s (The Smiths). There are even a few originals. Armed with a particleboard parlor guitar and a plastic glockenspiel, pastor and wife stumble their way through an arresting catalog of hymns-hallowed and unholy-with the simple desire to know their Maker-and to know each other-more intimately. The result-due, in part, to producer/arranger Sufjan Stevens-is an awe-inspiring collection of hymns, pop covers, and originals that render soulful stunts from quiet skirmishes of home recordings.
The CD Times review...
Digging deep into the vast and rich ore of American Gospel and Spirituals, the Welcome Wagon have produced a unique nugget of musical brilliance, mixing blues riffs, horn blasts, and lush orchestral arrangements into an album full of surprises. The two members of the Welcome Wagon are married couple Vito and Monique Aiuto who with America's musical wunderkind, Sufjan Stevens, have been recording songs together over near a decade and are only now releasing them as an album.
The material itself is unashamedly spiritual material, in a similar vein to Sufjan's own Seven Swans, but that should not put anyone off buying the album. Quite far from being pious but boring renditions of traditional hymns, each arrangement appears to be a heartfelt exploration of the lyrics. A few covers also appear such as Lou Reed's Jesus and the Smiths, Half a person as well as Danielson's Sold... (mp3 here). Surprisingly, these renditions work admirably well with a Tori Amos like knack to make the covers their own. Sincerity can only take you so far but the Aiutos' sense of decorum crossed with a large dose of self-deprecation avoids the pitfalls that beckons any project of this kind.
Songs like "But For You Who Fear My Name" or "Unless the Lord the house shall build" conjure up the majesty of sacred music with the Mammas and Pappas flair for pop harmony. Although Sufjanesque is not (yet) an adjective, it most certainly applies to this release. His fingerprints are all over the production from his trademark soft voices to the choral harmonies and intricate arrangements. Despite this, his presence does not drown out the unique personality of the Aiutos. Their musical style may be unlikely to find a mainstream audience, but this remains a deft record that manages to remain honest, genuine and appealing without submerging itself in schmaltz. A complete nightmare to market I would imagine but a delight to listen to.
We live in a culture of stories and narratives—printed, sung, and projected on movie screens—but we're also continuously creating them with our lives. We're all in the act of living a story.
How would you characterize your faith? Unhurried…or rushed? Renewed…or stressed? Deeply rooted…or up and down? In a day when frenetic living is the norm, Missional Order exists to encourage a healthy alternative story for the Christian life.
Picture a life formed by the rhythms of prayer, spiritual renewal, & Kingdom mission. We'd like to help you discover what it looks like.
Think of it [Missional Order] as a dispersed group of people who unite with each other to pursue three common commitments:
1) Punctuate each day with a rhythm that is sacred.
2) Exert ourselves in the continuous formation of character.
3) Participate in the missio Dei, the mission of God.
As these habits are formed, our hope is that international communities will develop as like-minded people connect with each other.
While the concept of this Order is borrowed from the ancient monastic practices of daily “orders” or “rules,” our vision is for a worldwide community that fosters loving involvement in the world. Pursuit of the common commitments will help us to serve and engage our communities with the gospel while retaining a distinctly Christian flavor in our lives.
I've noticed that most of the Fundie/Online "Discernment" ministry/hate 'bloggers' have this strange tendency to have several (3/4) blogs which simply serve to post links to their other blogs... what is that all about??? I'm sure it must be something to do with Google ratings, Technorati standing or someway of getting themselves more Net kudos than they actually deserve?... but it seems somewhat unethical, anyone got any thoughts?
PS. I put the word "Bloggers" in inverted commas because IMHO if you refuse to allow responses through comments, then it's not really a true 'blog' just of a series of polemics/rants... and 'I'm not going to post links, 'cos you probably know the ones I mean.