VBS 2016

The crew tidying up a bit
Main stage for ‘Cave Quest’

Once again this year I was part of the design team to create the stage for our church’s Vacation Bible School program.  Grace Chapel, in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, is known for it’s strong music, drama, and visual arts community.  I am very fortunate to be a part of that!  This year we had over 600 kids and 220+ volunteers attend the week long program.

So, come along for a short journey in pictures and see our interpretation of ‘Cave Quest’!

We have an area on a landing that is great for unique visuals, so we put together a mock cave entrance in the woods.  The theme is ‘Jesus, light of the World’, so we put a cross just inside with colored lighting.  All of these styrofoam pieces were reused from last year’s Mt. Everest VBS.  With a little tweaking with a hot knife, and a bit of paint, we were ready to roll!

Another cave entrance
Mock cave entrance for landing
Entrance closeup
Close up of ‘cave entrance’

Next, we had to create the check in caves (two 10′ x 10′ canopies with paper over them) and paper the long hallway to resemble a cave.

Check in cave
Check in caves beside the entrance to the cave hallway.
Preparing to hang the 'cave walls'
Team member Link wondering where to start for hanging paper.
Entrance to Cave Hall
Cave hallway entrance, that leads to the stage.
Cave Hall
Back of hallway.

We also needed to create 65 stanchion formations, 50 that the children would gather around during certain functions, and the rest to set around as decoration.  Team member Maria came up with the idea to have ‘crystals’ coming out of the rocks.  Sounds good, lets get to work!  6 colors, 65 pieces each, got it…

completed stanchion
Finished stanchion, atop extra white foam discs.

Now to retool and repaint the stage pieces from last year.  This year we were able to get a little more height to the ends of the background pieces, and it really added another dimension to it.

Pre paint 8 ft h and 8 ft wide
This is an 8′ high x 4′ wide x 2″ thick piece of the styrofoam mountain from last year.  I re-cut it with a hot knife, added a bit of spray foam for texture, then added an 8′ long base to it.  Ready for paint!
Maria with some of the stage pieces
Team member Maria with a few of the stalagtite and stalagmite formations we created.
Putting up back drop
Youth Pastor Bill and team member Maria starting to hang the background drape amidst the caverns.

 

Closeup of main stage
Some of the characters already hanging around.
Cave Quest in action
Cave Quest attendees in action!

 

Made to Create

As artists, musicians and other creatives, we often question ourselves and our abilities.  We listen to the voice of the one who is against us and after a while we begin to believe the lie:  “What difference does my art really make?”  I create it, then what?  Even if it sells, it doesn’t change anything.  That is where as creatives and believers we are wrong.  Dead wrong.

Last month along with 20 to 30 other artists, I attended the ‘Made To Create’ workshop given by Deborah Gall of Abide Studio Ministries and hosted by Grace Chapel in Franklin, TN.  It was a wonderful time of worship and learning, all while giving glory to God the Father.

Deborah is completely in touch with God and listening to and doing His word.  She is passionate about reinforcing to the creative person the fact that we as artists were made to create, its in our genes and we are to go about it with purpose, passion, and as artistic warriors.

Made to Create, Denny Martindale,
One of the exercises at the Made to Create workshop

Taking us through a series of exercises over the course of the day, Deborah revealed how the scriptures not only give affirmation to craftsmen, but also command us to use the artistic gifts the Creator has given us to further His kingdom.  She offered scriptures, book references, as well as break out sessions for artists to worship and create in whatever form they desired.  Many painted, some played instruments and/or sang, while still others wrote poetry or in their journals, while another even danced.

Made to Create, Denny Martindale
One of the breakout sessions of free artistic worship

By the end of the day, each of us was filled with the Holy Spirit and a renewed sense of purpose for our art and life itself,.  We were deemed ‘artistic warriors’, and charged with Deborah’s mantra, “If you want to change a culture, change it’s art”.  Sometimes just hearing truth to the fact we are on the right path helps us to take the first steps to making change happen.  Thank you Deborah!

Mural Part II, After

Here are the photos of the mural at the church upon completion.  Once I was done with the painting, I sealed it with Minwax Sanding Sealer to help protect the paint. 

This is a look at the mural before the sanding sealer has been applied.  Note the dull finish.
This is a look at the mural before the sanding sealer has been applied. Note the dull finish.

Once the sealer is applied, it really brings the colors to life.

Farm art, barns, latex house paint, mural-Denny Martindale
Feed stall
Farm art, mural, horse, bluebird, equine art-Denny Martindale
Horse and bluebird
farm art, mural, latex house paint-Denny Martindale
Tack room
farm tractor, Ford 8N, latex house paint, mural-Denny Martindale
Tractor bay

When I painted the mural that had to be removed, I had a good friend, Donna, help me as we had a serious deadline on that one.  We decided to paint her husband’s old Ford 8N tractor next to a horse in a stall.  When asked to redo it this time, I wondered if Donna would want to help me with the tractor again.  On the first mural, we had painted it from the back as though it had just been pulled in.  This time, I decided to reverse it, as her husband Greg went to heaven a couple of years ago.  She jumped at the chance and we had a good time putting it back where it belongs.

Ford 8N, farm tractor, mural-Denny Martindale
Donna roughing in the shape of Greg’s tractor

At the end of the hallway I painted barn doors against the red outside boards of a barn.

mural, farm art-Denny Martindale
End of hallway with barn doors

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of the mural, it was fun to paint.  I love to see the reactions and comments from the children, and everyone has their favorite character. 

 

Mural Part I, Before

Our church we attend, Grace Chapel, had asked me to do another mural for the hallway in the vicinity of the children’s classrooms.  I had done a couple of them before, and always enjoy seeing the kids faces light up when they see a mural, so I said yes.  The hallway led to a classroom, and then turned into a much narrower hallway.  They had the classroom and the narrow hall removed, and extended the wide hallway to another part of the building for better traffic flow.  Since the outside of the church resembles a barn, we continued the theme inside as well. 

Mural, Denny Martindale
Before the paint

The walls are approximately 20 feet long, and the mural is to extend around the far ends so it looks like barn doors.  Here are a couple of pictures with the background in:

mural, latex house paint, Denny Martindale
Background for right wall
mural, latex house paint, Denny Martindale
Background for left wall

Next time I will post the pictures of the completed mural.  Hope you all have a blessed week!

Surf Shop Mural

Surfing, beach painting, murals, latex house paint
Detail of Surf Shop Mural, left end

I have been updating my website over at Martindale Artworks lately and decided to add a category of my mural paintings.  This mural was done at our church, Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork, Tennessee.  They have one of the most outstanding youth programs I have ever seen in a church.

Surfing, latex house paint, beach mural, murals
Detail of Surf Shop Mural, right end

When construction began on the second phase of the building, Donna from the church staff contacted me about the Junior High room.  They were thinking about a  surf theme, and wondered what we could do with the enormous wall that would hold the projection screen.  I will put the exact length in later, but to give you an idea on size, in order to paint the top section I was nearing the top of the largest step ladder we could find.  There are thatched hut roofs on either end, and she asked what we could do to expand on that idea.  We came up with surf shops along the beach and the theme was ‘Glide’, which is projected on the screen in the bottom photo.

Surfing, latex house paint, murals, beach mural
Surf board detail on Surf Shop Mural

I had not done anything like this before, and thoroughly enjoyed the process.  One of the main issues was the projection screen:  it was already mounted and was in a fixed position.  How do we incorporate that into the mural?  We decided to make it appear as a large sign on the front of one of the shops.  I painted this while the building was still under construction, and the crews are always a pleasure to work with.  It must have turned out alright as the children in the class absolutely love to come to church to learn how to ‘glide’ with Jesus!

surfing, beach mural, murals, latex house paint
Finished Surf Shop Mural (ends are cropped off as I could only go back so far)

Redoing a Mural

Back in 2003, two other artists and I painted some murals in our church for the children’s classrooms.  I primarily concentrated on painting outside the rooms to make it look like the inside of a barn.  Many of the rooms have dutch style doors to them, so I painted animal heads as though they were looking out of their stall at you.

Since then, a school has opened up in the church building, which meant the classrooms all have to have a window from the hall in each room.  Each one had it except the room with the horse head on the door.  I had painted the wall so you could also see his back above the stall wall.  The entire painting created a dilemma:  what part of the horse would be cut out to put a window in?  One of the pastors came to me to ask if I might be able to repaint the horse’s head, and they could put the window in the door.  I said I could.  Now, where to put his head?

Image

As you can see, the window completely took out his head.  And yes, everything in this photo except the two doorknobs, the window, and the door frame is painted with latex house paint.  You also can’t tell from the photo, but there is an angled wall on the right side of the ‘post’ that cuts the body of the horse in two.  I thought for quite a while, and finally came up with a plan.

Image

Why not have him looking at the children as they entered their classroom?  So I took this past Monday morning and painted over the neck of the other horse, then drew with chalk the new one.  I painted him in and I think it is actually a great composition under the circumstances.

Image

This is the final photo of the completed mural.