I have started by producing some basic design ideas to explore possible styles, techniques, colours and compositions. I have taken the majority of my influence from the work of Sister Mary Stephen CRSS, whose work I really like and admire. I want to try and emulate the way she suggests Christian theology, stories and God through her drawings. I often find the design process the most challenging part of a project, so this coupled with the fact that the piece has to be meaningful and thought provoking for the people who attend the church has meant that I need to take even more into consideration when designing. Also as this piece is not just for my own personal gain, but will be displayed for other people I want it to appeal to a wide range of people. I do not want the piece to just be a random semi religious picture, I want it to be able to be seen as an aid to worship and something people can use to inspire their own faith. I have also decided to make the piece quite abstract and modern, rather than a old style traditional painting so hopefully it will help bring the church into the 21st century.
Although I am unsure exactly what I want in the design I have given myself some parameters. Despite being the most well known christian symbol I am not putting a cross in the design as Hurstpierpoint Methodist Church already has a cross on the communion table and on the wall at the front of the church, so I think for the mural to have a further cross would just be too much. Therefore I have been looking at designs that feature different religious symbols.
During the design process I was reminded of a painting I saw in the Methodist Art Collection which featured a dove, so I tried putting a dove into some of the pictures. I really liked how the dove worked within the piece, it is as though the dove (representing the holy spirit) is descending upon the earth like when Jesus was baptised the Bible says that the spirit descended on him like a dove. I also tried a design with the dove ascending, although the composition of this looked good it did not speak of God or the holy spirit as it suggests that the spirit is leaving the earth.