Hymnscript | The Art of Hymns

the hymnscript collection is an ongoing series of canvases inspired by classic christian hymns and created to witness, minister, encourage, and inspire

the art of hymnscript interprets the rich, powerful lyrics of traditional Christian hymns that have been sung by generations of voices.

The truths of these verses are presented in a contemporary context, using color, texture, and typography so that we can better understand them, worship with them, and pass them to the hearts of future generations.

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Artist’s Statement

Hymnscript is an expression of sound as sight, a transformation of lyric and melody into color and form.

I grew up in Santa Ana, California, spending summers drinking grape punch and learning hymns at Vacation Bible School. Onward, Christian Soldiers. This Is My Father’s World. We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations. Generations-old hymns that tell a story from beginning to end, from lost to found. Dense, focused words that engage the brain and assert the soul.

Those old hymns stayed with me. And I experienced and understood their expression of man's relationship with God when, some two decades later, I was divorced and lost my mother and both paternal grandparents all within the span of a year. Hymns with lyrics like those of Horatio Spafford: “When sorrows like sea billows roll…It is well, it is well with my soul.” And those of Isaac Watts: “See, from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down; did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?”

Hymnscript is the synthesis of my life-long enthusiasm for typography, photography, abstract art, and those rich old hymns. After immersing myself in the lyrics and melody of a hymn by studying commentaries and listening to many musical interpretations of the hymn, I go to the studio and create with a layering of traditional and electronic techniques. Pen and ink, digital tablet, hand lettering, hand-kerned electronic type, digital photography, scanning, and vector- and pixel-based creation and manipulation software—are all used in the creation of Hymnscript. I’m fascinated with building and arranging layers into a single form, and I love to experiment. The digital medium lends itself to many new discoveries and surprises.

Hymnscript’s visual style is based on the potency of Christian hymns. Hymns are not grey. They are vibrant color and lively form. I want Hymnscript to draw you in, to invite you to take a closer look. Not only at the art, but at the words that inspire the art. And not only the words that inspire the art, but the truth that lives behind it all.

I want your eyes to sing!

Diana Wolverton