Yes, I’m finally back on the blog again. For however long that may be.
And the subject that brought not just me but also Bishop Stumbers and the Dean back? Vocations.
For 2 reasons: 1) I've been preoccupied editing our June Holiday videos and; 2) I totally forgot about the website. Apologies.
Okay so let's start with the artwork then; which requires us going back to May:
St Pope Paul VI.
Blossom – Tram Scene
Just something I put together tonight. It took me about an hour, an hour-and-a-half, maybe? I didn't really bother to time how long I spent on it.
Recently I had a chance to ride on the Sydney Light Rail network to Randwick for the funeral of a family friend, so perhaps that is what inspired this picture. The telephone box is based on a preserved example at the Sydney Tramway Museum at Loftus. Other than those two things I've also had a few stray thoughts about Japanese paintings rattling around in my head. That about it really.
I have ideas of maybe making this into a 3D animation, but I don't know if it isn't anything more than just a pipedream at the moment.
Stay safe and God bless.
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Digital Painting in a limited palette.
Year of St Joseph: Birth of Jesus.
Looking back on this picture as I'm trying to write a blog post for it, I'm stuck by how (without any forethought or planning) Joseph and Mary look very, very alike to a recently married couple I know. Funny how the subconscious works, eh?
Anyhow, the 1st of May is dedicated to St Joseph the Worker, so how do I commemorate this fact? I paint the Birth of Jesus in the cave/stable.
Specifically I had in my mind how Joseph must have been after the birth: dazed and confused, in a sea of emotions.
"Alright God, now what am I supposed to do?"
And there before him is Mary, totally ensconced in the new life sitting in her arms. She is a total rock of calm amongst the swimming tide of emotions overtaking Joseph as he tries unconsciously to sit down somewhere amongst the animals, inside that cave, on that awesome, and holy, night.
A happy month and feast of St Joseph to you all. Even if it's via Nazareth.
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Digital painting, based on a rough pen sketch.
Lately I've been participating in an online tuition course for Blender 3D, which has been a good if somewhat challenging experience. The challenging part being trying to work in a group with many other students in multiple different time zones (and the associated late nights that come with it), but I'll talk about that more in a later post. Sometime in May. Hopefully.
Below is the sketch that I made last night to release some of my creative frustrations:
Christ Pantocrator (2021).
I just needed to do something religious to make up for my recent lack of any such artworks.
The original Christ Pantocrator (roughly translated as "All-Mighty" in Greek), that is the inspiration of this image, is one of the first icons depicting Jesus in early history of the Church, and remains to this day a very important image in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
It depicts the two natures of Christ, being both fully God and fully human, through the different sides of His face.
Below are the mirrored composites of the left and right sides of my rough sketch:
Pantocrator Blessing, Mirrored.
Pantocrator Gospels, Mirrored.
Honestly, I had no real plan about how to mirror this image, I just had the vaguest of recollections of what a Pantocrator Icon should look like and I went from there. So I sketched in out with blue ballpoint pen and went over it with a water-based black marker, and added colour with text highlighters. In hindsight I really should've either scanned or at least taken a photo of the under drawing, but I decide to let it go and just keep on drawing with the black marker.
The one real difference between this sketch and the Icon it's based on, is that the real Pantocrator doesn't have the wounds of Christ in it, as far as I know.
So, until the muse next takes me or I need another outlet to create, God bless and stay safe.
Continuing with St Joseph, here are the 2 most recent images that I have done. Both of them where created with Copic alcohol-markers and water-based pens, with pencil under drawings.
"Most Chaste Heart of St Joseph." This one was made on the first Wednesday of March (2021), because every first Wednesday of the month is dedicated to St Joseph. This was an opportunity for me to do the Chaste Heart of St Joseph justice as I'd only previously done a very small version for CATHOLinktober, Day 19, "Chaste Heart of St Joseph". It was also a chance to try out some Bristol Pad paper that I'd bought earlier.
"Reunion." Showing the reunion of St Joseph with Jesus after the crucifixion and before the resurrection. This was painted in honour of the feast day of St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin (March 19), after having the haunting last few words from the poem Limbo by Sister Mary Ada running through my head that day.
Here are the last 2 stanzas from that poem:
And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that he wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.
No canticle at all was sung.
None toned a psalm, or raised a greeting song.
A silent man alone
Of all that throng
Found tongue --
Not any other.
Close to His heart
When the embrace was done,
Old Jospeh said,
"How is Your Mother,
How is Your Mother, Son?"
Until next time, God bless.
Above is my most recent Bishop Stumbers cartoon, which I finished and posted yesterday (Feb 16).
The idea for this picture began to come together in the previous fortnight over conversations about the new guidelines from the Vatican on how to distribute the ashes for Ash Wednesday during a pandemic (ie. sprinkling the ash on top of peoples' head rather than making a sign of the cross on peoples' foreheads) in a note published on January the 12th (link here).
Among the ideas discussed in those conversations was the fact that some of the more widely recycled memes about Ash Wednesday and the wide variety of cross placed upon the heads of Catholics would be no long applicable under the new guidelines, if anyone thought to think of it that way of course.
And so was born Stumbers' ponderance upon the collect of memes now made irrelevant, and somewhat historical, by the Vatican's new guidelines.
Hopefully next time I can get back to clearing the backlog of blog posts.
Until then, God Bless.
You know how Kermit the Frog used to say, 'It's not easy being green.'
Well at the moment, it's not easy being creative either.
It has been neatly summed up by @evancabnet on Twitter thus:
"WRITERS. I have a secret to share with you. Every single day, I speak with a different playwright (or screenwriter, or novelist) who confesses they haven’t been able to concentrate and they aren’t getting anything done."
As at today it has had 31.7K likes and 4,9K Retweets since Apr 17.
Comments attached to that Tweet proved that artists, illustrators and graphic designers were all feeling it too.
Many of those comments put my own feelings in to words.
What I have been slowly working on is colouring some of the black & white images from Socket Head's Inktober 2019 adventures.
Overgrown Day 14
Treasures Day 21
Dark Day 26
Coat Day 27
Maybe, just maybe, if I get them all coloured I might make a small non-standard story book out of them. But there are 16 more to do......
November has been a month busy with colouring some of the Inktober 2019 images in preparation for printing my 2020 Calendar. There is still a few more hours of work to do on it, but I hope to get it to the printers early next week.
So here are 2 other Intober images, the black & white version followed by the colour version.
The theme for Day 5 was Build
And how can you build without ACME?
The theme for Day 6 was Husky
That is a plaintive, husky cry for help!
But did you expect such a building project to end any other way?
Now, back to work, to get the 2020 Calendar finished.
If you want your own, get in contact before I go to the printers because we only do a single print run.
This challenge for illustrators has been going for a few years, but this is the first time I am giving it a go. At the beginning of the year a list is posted online containing a list of weekly themes. http://illo52weeks.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2017%20themes
Illustrators can then post their efforts for each weekly theme on social media with the #illo52weeks hashtag. Mine are getting posted to Twitter @VJCavanagh .
So far I'm using different paper for this challenge, both in manufacturer and in size (170mm x 235mm), and I've been using nib ink too.
Week 1's theme was Whimsy. Here is the ink only version:
And the coloured one
Week 2's theme was Feathered Animals.
And here's the difference colour makes...
Week 3's theme was Australiana (in time for Australia Day on 26 January)
And let's add some colour...
So far the challenge has been fun. It is a pleasant change to have such an open ended brief to work with. Should I remember, I'll go for medium compression rather than full compression from here on in with this size paper because the full compression isn't giving a good online image.
Week 4 is an Ode to a favourite children's book....however I haven't yet decided what my favourite children's book is yet.
NEWS AND OTHER STUFF
About recent artwork, inspirations and other things I find interesting.