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.
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.
Back in December 2020 Pope Francis proclaimed a Year of St Joseph (8 Dec 2020 – 8 Dec 2021) for the whole Catholic Church.
More information about it can be found here, and about prayer to St Joseph here.
Below are the first 3 images of St Joseph that I painted in the Year of St Joseph proper:
"St Joseph and the infant Jesus." The starting point for this image was the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 1, Verse 20; which was one of the prompts from the #Adventus202One art challenge during Advent 2020.
This image in not exactly of the moment described in Matthew's Gospel, but rather of a moment after Jesus' birth when St Joseph fell in love/accepted Jesus as his son for the 2nd or 3rd time.
Also the main inspiration for this image was the idea: if St Joseph had a beard before Jesus was born, how much of it would have been left after Jesus' toddler year (ie. pulling part of Joseph's beard out)?
"The Holy Innocents/The Flight into Egypt." This image was also another inspiration from #Adventus202One, this time being close to the scripture reference: Matthew, Chapter 2, Verse 13–15.
The inspiration for this was thinking about how the recently departed Holy Innocents may have processed with the Holy Family in their flight into Egypt from Herod's persecution, all under the protection St Michael the Archangel.
I just sketched this one rather quickly on some coloured paper and inked it with a calligraphy marker and text highlighters, because I just wanted to get it done and I didn't care how I got it done.
I'd been getting sick of doing so many watercolour pictures in a row and I wanted a break from that medium.
"St Joseph, Protector of the Holy Family." The title for this one basically explains all there is to this picture. Showing St Joseph as the Protector and Shield surround the Jesus and Mary.
Although I must not forget to acknowledge and appreciate @awememento's influence upon this particular painting of St Joseph and the Holy Family.
And her Etsy page can be found here.
Until next time, Happy Easter!
First off I must warn you that this is hardly going to be either a concise or chronologically correct catch-up of all my artwork from the end of October, 2020.
Well, with that brief explainer out of the way here is (below) the final painting from my #CATHOLinktober (2020).
"Title of the Blessed Virgin Mary" was the 31st and last prompt of the CATHOLinktober challenge. As it turned out I wasn't the only artist participating who chose to paint "Our Lady, Star of the Sea".
Before asking God's intercession and throwing a Miraculous Medal, I had no idea which Title of the Blessed Virgin to paint. As such was rather stressed out trying to figure out what the final picture was going to be, but God did proved us an answer.
After I had finished CATHOLinktober, I was commissioned to do a painting of "Our Lady of Guadalupe" for the iWitness 2020 Conference,, in a style similar to what I done previously with "Our Lady, Star of the Sea".
"Our Lady of Guadalupe" is the patron for the iWitness Conference which happens starts on the Thursday before the Third Sunday of Advent, and finishes on that same sunday. I had attended previously attended the 2019 Conference, which had been my first iWitness. During the whole of 2020, the thought of meeting up with previous friends and known face at iWitness had been one of the few lights of hope during the year, and I along with everyone who went to iWitness, as well as the organising team were relieved when it was able to happen under NSW restrictions. Thank you God!
In the above gallery are my photos of the 2020 iWitness Booklet I took when I got home on Guadete (Rose Candle) Sunday.
The iWitness Conference began as a grass-roots way for Catholic youth of Sydney and beyond to keep alive and renew their faith in God and grow deeper in the traditions of the Catholic Church in the afterglow of World Youth Day 2008, Sydney, Australia. It is run by an amazing team of dedicated Catholic youth for the youth, it has been held (as far as I am aware) every year since 2008, and have staked out the 4 days before and including the 3rd Sunday of Advent as their usual set dates. Together they bring in a variety of Catholic speakers to talk on a variety of themes centered around the main theme of that particular year. Such notable speakers have included: Archbishop of Hobart, Julien Porteous; Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, Richard Umbers; Robert Haddad; Monica Doumit; and many other known and lesser known speakers, priests, missionaries, religious orders and many more.
To God be all the glory!
I thought I told myself that I wasn't going to do Inktober this year. But then a Catholic theme list came up (#Catholinktober), and I caved in.
It is the reason why you haven't seen much artwork posted here.
There is plenty to share, it is just waiting for some free time to put it on this blog. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have had daily postings during October.
So here is a brief selection from the last 30 days:
The Chaste Heart of St Joseph inspires love and trust in everyone.
A version of the icon of the Mother of God of Tenderness.
New Testament Character: Ananias getting the message from God that he is to go and visit Saul, the persecutor of the Christians.
For the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary, a decade of the rosary depicted with a big red rose for the Our Father, ten blue-white roses for the Hail Marys, and a triple golden ball for the Glory Be to honour the Most Holy Trinity. The hands are offering it as prayer, and the twelve stars are there to remind us of the crown of Mary, and her receiving the bouquet.
Charity in action.
Only one more to go, and the theme for that one is a title of the Virgin Mary.
Whatever passes for normal might return soon. :)
The night of 18 Mar 2020 was when the coronavirus lockdown became real for us and daily Mass was suspended. Having less external stimulii is making finding inspiration to draw a challenge. I have signed up to the new forum run by the Illustration Department (a.k.a. Giuseppe Castellano), but it is too early yet to see how that will go. https://forum.illustrationdept.com/login
I have been slowly continuing to work on skills with Blender, and completed stage 3 of the coffee cup tutorial.
For my mother I worked on an image of the part of the Transfiguration story where Jesus touches His overcome disciples and says, 'Do not be afraid'
You may be able to tell that at times I have felt a little stir crazy. Maybe that is why Socket Head showed up. He had to be locked up for his own good, lest he trip over furniture, cause fires in the kitchen and break things during exercise routines.
And it was time that the daily battle between man (my dad) and marsupial (the possum that considers our place a primary residence) was depicted. Said marsupial's favourite place to get comfortable is where the telephone and internet cables are. It wouldn't be a problem, nor a battle, otherwise, and it has raged on for almost 2 years. Because these critters are both native and territorial, we can't do much about it, except construct chicken wire around the disputed real estate. Neither side is backing down.
Maybe this time next month we will be in a new normality without lockdown conditions. Please God, may that be so.
As promised, here are the images of religious inspiration from the past few months:
The first one came together in Holy Week, just after the Lenten 40 Days for Life novena ended.
For this next one, my mother needed an image for an Instagram post, and described what was in her mind that would convey something of the relationship between sheep and the Good Shepherd.
Did you know that Twitter is full of very witty people? Well there's a bishop on there who inspired this image. It seems that he can misplace mitres and croziers and other items, but he can always post a fresh meme.
Said inspiration was heading off to Rome for an Ad Limina visit, and there was some very real concern that he might misplace something else. The feast of St Anthony of Padua, the patron Saint of finding lost objects, occurred around the same time. One thought led to another, and the thought of Frequent Loser points had the family in full blown mirth......
Then doing an image for the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus somehow seemed appropriate, and a good test for my widened collection of Copic markers.
There have been some new characters showing up in my sketchbook; a few of them may have graduated to finished artwork by next time. We'll see.
NEWS AND OTHER STUFF
About recent artwork, inspirations and other things I find interesting.