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.)
I just thought I’d share the Paschal Candles that I painted this year. This is my third year painting them, and I get more requests each year. I came up with a faster process (with the help of a Cricut machine) to enable me to do so many in a timely fashion (they take 2-3 working days each, now). If anyone wants to learn more, just give me a shout.
Members might be interested in a new online university that is offering a Masters Degree in Sacred Arts. Even if you don’t pursue the degree, the classes are very relevant to the artistic vocation. http://www.pontifex.university, I’m enrolled in the Masters program myself so feel free to ask any questions.
This is the first post in a series of Catholic artists who are making a mark on the culture. Not all artists in this column are members of the Guild but Daniel has been with us since the early days of the CIG.
Artist Daniel Mitsui was born in Georgia, USA, in 1982, and raised in Illinois. He attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH from 2000 to 2004, where he studied drawing, oil painting, etching, lithography, wood carving, bookbinding and film animation.
Ink drawing is his specialty, and his meticulously detailed creations, done entirely by hand on paper or vellum, are held in collections worldwide. Since his baptism into the Catholic Church in 2004, most of his artwork has been religious in subject.
One of his most prestigious projects was completed in 2011, when the Vatican commissioned him to illustrate a new edition of the Roman Pontifical. In 2012, he established Millefleur Press, an imprint for publishing fine books and broadsides printed in relief. He is a prolific designer of custom bookplates.
Daniel Mitsui lives near Chicago with his wife Michelle and their four children.
Please visit his website, the quality and consistently beautiful quantity of his work is inspiring.