The story behind my pencil drawings
I started out at the age of eight drawing wildlife as a hobby. I took some classes to learn the basic principles of values and depth, and right away I fell in love with the medium of graphite pencil. I loved it’s simplicity, and it’s timelessness. And honestly, I found I didn’t make a large paint mess on the table or on my clothes (which I’m sure my mom was happy about!)
I drew because I loved it. I drew because it was a fascinating journey to try to turn a reference photo into a work of art. And I drew each piece because I felt like I was good at it.
Over the years, I’ve started lots of pieces that I never finished. I’ve done small and large, wildlife, pets, people. I’ve done commissions, and I’ve done some drawings just for me.
When I was in my late teens into my early adult life, my drawing took a back seat to the busyness of life. I have been in Pastoral Music Ministry my entire adult life and so the ministry schedule and the responsibility of raising a young family took precedence. I actually started to believe I’d have to hang up my artistic talent because I had no time for it. But I grieved.
I grieved because there was a component of my personality and talent that was being neglected. I grieved because I felt like I was wasting time or neglecting ‘more important things’ if I spent time drawing. But the deepest grief was in thinking about what I would have to show for this talent at the end of my life. Would I regret giving up on my artistic abilities? Would I be satisfied in my ministry and music career, and yet know that I had left something I was good at along the wayside?
I knew I had to start drawing again. Through prayer, God revealed to my heart that He liked my art. That was such a surprise to me since I draw wildlife and pets, not overly religious images. But I realized that it aligned with Philippians 4:8. “...Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.”
I realized my artwork fits this description: it captures moments in creation that bring God glory (because He created it!), and helps God’s people rest in His goodness and the beauty of the things He made.
I really try to create art, whether with a commission of someone’s pet or favorite wild animal, or with one of my scenes, that makes it possible for the viewer to take a mental vacation! Just look for a minute - remember, think, enjoy, dream. For the outdoorsman, the image of a giant bull elk or regal mule deer may bring back the thrill of the hunt and the legacy of their own traditions. For the pet owner, the image of their furry friend can bring nostalgia and joy. Ultimately, the art creates a timelessness and honor to the subject that is as unique and individual as the person viewing it. And it can be enjoyed for years to come.
So, I realized that drawing is a way I can bring worship and honor to God, and joy to the people who view my drawings. For those that purchase or commission an art piece from me, my desire is that the quality and beauty of the subject they choose will refresh them and show them God’s goodness even if they only glance at the wall every now and then. It’s a reminder that God is great. It’s a reminder to take a moment to rest and recharge for the day ahead. And it’s a reminder to remember the things that have made up the structure of their life up to that point. The traditions, the meaningful moments, and the images they never want to forget.
So now, though I draw many, many pieces of art for others in which I do not know the animal or scene personally, I know that it will matter deeply to someone else. I put the time and tenderness into every detail, because I know someone, someday will appreciate the moment they have while viewing it, and it will matter.
Using your gift is important. Whether it’s drawing, leadership, musicianship, or something else, your gifting has the opportunity to change and enhance someone’s life! Don’t neglect it for ten years like I did! Get that talent out, dust it off, and start using it! You might feel rusty for a while, but it’ll come back. You have that ability for a reason.
Many blessings to you and your family this Christmas. May you have days to relax, refresh, and renew...and remember that God is good.
P.S. If you’d like to commission a piece of artwork from me, please visit my commissions page at www.jimweaverpencilart.com/commissions.
If there are any other ways I can serve you with a piece of graphite or colored pencil artwork, prints, or novelty products like mugs or vinyl, please let me know! It would be my honor to be a part of your story!