Both men in my illustrations had to face the demands of truth. Their encounters with our LORD serve to remind that each of us must choose Christ at this very moment, even though it can be incredibly confusing and difficult to do so.
Caption: “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?”
I’ve finally finished a painting I’ve been working on for months. It’s a crucifixion scene using medieval conventions and symbolism, flanked by smaller scenes from the Old Testament that foreshadow Christ’s sacrifice and the Eucharist. Such typology, taken from scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers, was very popular in medieval period art and shows the great design of God’s salvation plan unfolding. I tried to reflect this order, harmony, and interconnectedness in the very composition. The concept and design for this piece came to me during a challenging time when the subject of my daily meditation in prayer was the crucifixion. In working out the sketches of each scene I prayed through each one and hope that these images can inspire others to prayer.
From top left to bottom right:
Priest/King Melchizedek blesses Abram with bread and wine (Genesis 14:17-24, Hebrews 7:1-28)
Moses lifts up the bronze serpent (Numbers 21:4-9, John 3:14-15)
Moses strikes the rock (Numbers 20:1-13, 1 Corinthians 10:1-5)
Crucifixion: At Golgotha (the place of the skull, traditionally Adam’s skull: 1 Corinthians 15:22) the veil of the temple is torn in two (Matthew 27:51, Hebrews 6:19-20, Hebrews 10:19-22), the Sun is obscured and the Moon turned to blood (Luke 23:44-45, Acts 2:20-21) the Cross becomes the Tree of Life (Revelation 22:1-2), blood and water pour from Christ’s side (Zechariah 12:10 & 13:1, John 19:34)
The lamb immolated on the altar (Exodus 29:38-41, 1 Peter 1:18-21)
The sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19, John 3:16)
The Passover (Exodus 12:1-51, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
If you are in the Sacramento/Roseville area next Monday at 7pm, drop by the Monk’s Cellar at 240 Vernon St in Roseville. I will be giving a talk on storytelling and our spiritual journey. I’d love to meet any guild members in person that are able to make it.
This past week Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs was asked to complete a privately commissioned painting of St. Augustine for a priest who has an upcoming audience with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
The costume is based on gothic depictions of St. Augustine wearing cope, gloves, and mitre over an Augustinian habit. He is shown holding a flaming heart – a symbol also incorporated by the great artist, Philippe de Champaigne.
A habit and vestments were borrowed from Fr. Peter Gori, O.S.A., Fr. John Brancich, F.S.S.P., and the Diocese of Manchester. After completing several sketches of the model wearing the individual elements, the finished painting emerged. St. Augustine bends over his Confessions while clutching a flaming heart. The finished watercolor is 5 x 8 inches, mounted in a a vintage 11 x 15 inch frame.
I had one failed attempt at creating traditional icon boards and some day, when I get time, I want to try again. This product looks like it would be a way to get into creating egg tempera panels without such an investment of time and patience.
I highly recommend Koo Schadler’s Egg Tempera Painting book and perusing the wonderful work on her website. (a sample below)
I finished this drawing of “The Man of Sorrows” in time for Passion Sunday. This is one of those rare subjects that is traditionally represented the same way in both Eastern icons and Western paintings/ woodcuts. It was possibly inspired by the Shroud of Turin (previously known as the Image of Edessa before it was taken from Constantinople by Crusaders.)