A Mo’- Success!

This was the first year I decided to jump into the Movember ring and try to raise some money for men’s cancer. Tams and I have men in our life who have been affected by this… and let’s face it, we all know or love someone who has been touched by this. Let’s do what we can to support one another! Some amazing people donated, and we managed to raise almost $400 throughout my month of sketching! It was definitely an exercise in major time-management, but I was so thankful for the opportunity to stretch myself and try some different styles.

My beautiful wife made a contribution, and asked me to draw Santa for Day 30 – so below is a digital painting of what we came up with. We had also just watched the Christmas classic “One Magic Christmas” – so the ending scene had some influence on it as well.

30-santa

Below is the month in sketches! Thanks again everyone!

movember

Day 29 – My Dad

My Dad is probably my most favourite man on the planet. While we may not agree on everything, he is the most generous, loving and funny man I know. I am so thankful he is my Dad! He had the best handlebar stache in the 70s, so I had to sketch it for Movember πŸ™‚

29-dad 1972_dadhorse_Fotor dad

 

A whole mess of MO-sketches!

Another catch-up post with a bunch more Movember sketches! Drawing to a close, but what a month it has been!

Day 23 – Commander Hadfield – the first Canadian to walk in space! That’s pretty sweet indeedy. Brush pen on moleskin.

23-hadfield

 

Day 24 – Brother-in-law request – Smokey and the Bandit! Brush pen on moleskin.

24-smokey

 

Day 25 – Had to do Hook! I reffed the Dustin Hoffman version from the live action Disney film. Great movie! Brush pen on moleskin.

25-hook

 

Day 26 – A donor request – Frida Kahlo! She wore her stache proudly, gotta give her props! Brush pen on moleskin.

26-frida

 

Day 27 – A friend who donated asked if I could sketch their Bulldog, Lando, with a moustache. Here’s what I came up with! Digital sketch.

27-lando

 

Day 28 – Jim Henson! What an incredible man. I have and always will love the Muppets! Brush pen and markers on moleskin.

28-jimhenson

Just two left to go! I know who they will be, I just need the time to do it…. πŸ™‚

 

Groucho, hockey, Disney & Mr. Potato Head.

Never know what cast of characters will be thrown together for the latest batch of Movember sketches!

Donate here! http://ca.movember.com/mospace/8179729

Day 19 – Canadian hockey legend Lanny McDonald. Digital sketch.

19-lannymc
 

Day 20 – Groucho Marx. Stache & comedy legend, obviously. Digital sketch.

20-grouchomarx

Day 21 – Walt Disney, the original Imagineer. Digital sketch. I gotta practice my painting of realistic people. Man, that’s the hardest. But this was great practice.
21-disney

Day 22 – Mr Potato Head! Plastic stache and all. Brush pen on moleskin. I was drawing it while we were speeding down the highway [through construction], so the lines are wibbly!

22-mrpotatohead

Movember sketch-up catch-up!

Alrighty, somehow I am managing to keep consistently one day behind… but given my schedule, that’s actually not bad!! Here we gooooooo!

Another reminder to pleeeeeze donate to this great cause – 11 DAYS TO GO!!

http://ca.movember.com/mospace/8179729

Day 14 – Clark Gable in “Gone with the Wind”. Done in pencil.

14-clark gable

Day 15 – Request from a donor who is also a fellow Movember-Bro – he asked to be drawn wearing a smoking jacket, and drinking scotch. I live to abide. πŸ™‚ Drawn with Prismacolour pencil crayons.

15-terry

Day 16 – Another donor request – Ron Burgundy from “Anchorman”. Claaaaaaaasic. Brush pen and pencil crayon.

16-ron burgundy

Day 17 – Couldn’t resist drawing another Muppet! Swedish Chef drawn in Copic markers.

17-swedishchef

Day 18 – Dali has got to have the most recognizable art – and ‘stache! Done with brush pen and Prismacolour markers.

18-dali

It’s actually been really fun for me to push myself to try different styles in different mediums. They seem to look better in my head than the final product, but the life of an artist is an ever-evolving one. I must give myself grace and encouragement to keep going, one drawing at a time!

Okay let’s keep ‘er going and finish this marathon of drawings!! Hmm. Drawing for a cause. Wish I could do this more often.

One more step along this road :)

This past weekend I was asked to participate in a panel discussion at the Canadian Youth Workers Convention – an annual conference for youth workers both in the church, and outside the church. But primarily, this is mostly attended by youth pastors, and those who work with youth at church. This year it was held in downtown Vancouver.

Now, let me preface this with saying that after many years of turmoil in my soul, and finally receiving the gift of complete peace regarding my sexuality and faith fitting together — and truly coming “out” in 2010 — I did feel a sense of responsibility. I have said this before, but I know I fall into a minority of a minority. While we hear a lot more from the gay community these days… we don’t hear too much from the gay CHRISTIAN community. Let’s face it, in most people’s eyes, those two communities are at odds.

I have felt strongly within, that God has asked me to 1 – be authentic, and 2 – give grace, grace and more grace. And if that means telling my story when asked, then do it. If that means just living my life and not being ashamed to bring up “my wife” to other Christians, then do it. Or conversely, if it means bringing up “my faith” to my gay friends, then do that as well. In the last few months, God has opened some doors for me to speak a bit more about my experience growing up in the church, and struggling with my sexuality.

And sometimes, that’s pretty stinking scary. If I am being totally honest – the scariest crowd for me to speak to is Christians. Sadly in my experience – they have been the most hurtful. But I have so much compassion for that – because I know where it is coming from. That’s where I used to be. What a gift that is, actually. I can not judge, because I was once there. And God has grace, patience and forgiveness for every step along this journey – so how can I not also extend the same? That is literally the least I can do.

I am so thankful for Iona Snair and Carmen Rempel who extended the invitation for me to lend my voice to a panel talking about marginalized youth. I was representing the struggles our LGBT youth can have, especially growing up in the church. I knew, looking out into that crowd, that most likely they would fall into the Conservative category. That perhaps the issue of LGBT in the church was still quite black and white to them. That’s why we made the decision that I wouldn’t reveal my own sexuality until the end of the panel. We didn’t want them to discredit everything I had to say before they could hear it. I know many people who wouldn’t listen after the word “gay” is hanging in the air. After all, it’s not about me – it’s about loving the struggling youth in our churches better.

I stood up there and realized that in minutes I would come out to this entire room of strangers. After so many years of hiding in these exact settings, this was both a very terrifying and liberating feeling. But I knew God would walk me through this, as He always has this whole time.

Afterwards, I had quite a few people come up to me, that had some great feedback. They had youth in their youth group that had just come out, and they wanted to know what NOT to say, or how to support them better. That is awesome. You know, even if we don’t all agree on this, I think we can agree that we all need to love each other better.

I did have one person afterwards, and what she did say, well it hurt. She asked me if I was still gay today, and how I got to that conclusion. She said that she felt very strongly that God has told her there is no grey on this issue – that God is against it. And we should not be “preaching” to support it. She was very nice about it, I could tell she was very sincere, but she told me that she needed to caution me. She said that if I keep speaking, I will be building a gay army, and one day God will judge me harshly for that.

Now, while I had maybe 5 or 6 very positive people giving me feedback, of course this was the one that stuck in my heart. I spent so many years asking God about this, is this wrong, I want to do the right thing. And the thought of me building an army basically against God… there’s is nothing much more terrifying than that.

But after talking with close friends, my wife, and praying about this, I realized something. None of us know for sure if what we are doing is right. And we can all feel strongly that God is telling us something. My only responsibility in this is 1 – love others better and 2 – speak the truth I feel in my soul. And so I cannot fault this girl for doing that either.

I just don’t feel that God will judge me harshly for my life today. He sees my heart, and He knows my intentions. There is a tension and a struggle in putting myself out there, and putting a face to the gay Christian community. I know I may be putting myself in the cross-hairs. But someone needs to be a face for it, if even so the church doesn’t say “we don’t agree with that” but “Oh, that’s the girl we don’t agree with – let’s talk to her.”

I hope I can help build an army. An army of people who want to love better. Who want to use their talents for others and not just for themselves. Who extend grace, compassion and patience to those who don’t deserve it. Who are not made up of gay or straight, but just PEOPLE. We are all in this together, you guys.

Let’s keep the conversation going – but above all – at the end of the day, let’s make sure we are loving better.

Canadian icons — and a muppet.

Still plugging away at the Movember sketching! A reminder to donate, please go here:

http://ca.movember.com/mospace/8179729

Day 12, I decided to do a well-known Canadian icon – I have certainly grown up with them! Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod of “Body Break” fame. Hal has always sported a lovely ‘stache, so I thought it worthwhile to showcase! If you want to see them in action, here’s a good Youtube clip from back in the day!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAnnPje3AlE

12-bodybreak

Day 13, my lovely wife requested that I do one of her favourites – Uncle Traveling Matt from “Fraggle Rock”! And well, you cannot go wrong with a muppet! I had to do this one in craft paper, couldn’t resist.

13-travelingmatt

Working on Day 14!

My Grandpa for Movember 11.

11-grandpa

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. We stop to remember all the veterans, past and present. I am still fortunate enough to have my Grandpa in my life, who this year is 92. He was a pilot in World War II, and flew the massive Lancaster planes. I will never understand what he experienced or went through in the war, but I can do my absolute best to never forget, and never stop being entirely grateful.

I love you Grandpa!

grandpa old car grandpa portrait grandpahat

Captain Jack Sparrow and Hulk Hogan!

More Movember sketches!

Day 9, a donor requested Captain Jack Sparrow! Lots of detail on his outfit to simplify.

9-jack sparrow

Day 10, I had to do Hulk Hogan – this one was fun to do with cutout construction paper because he is just made up of colours and shapes πŸ™‚

10-hogan

Movember sketch: Gangnam-style.

Another donor request – well, actually, her kids requested that I draw Psy – with a moustache. Who am I to disappoint the people??

Once again, please consider donating to support our Bros!!

http://ca.movember.com/mospace/8179729

Day 7, onto Day 8!!

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