Category: Inspiration

A blessed Easter Season to you all!


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This image is from a few years back.  It is the winning submission from the age 11-18 category of a coloring contest using my illustration.  (My apologies for the poor image quality.)   The text below accompanied the image:

This illustration celebrates Easter in a style blended from two ancient art forms: iconography and pysanki.

The central image shows Christ descending into hell, preaching the Gospel, and raising the righteous souls into heaven.  The Old Testament referred to the home of the dead as ‘hell’ because they were deprived of the vision of God.  Until Christ redeemed us, all departed souls, good or evil, shared this fate. (CCC 633)  Jesus descended to hell to free the just who had gone before him.   The holy souls pictured represent all the souls throughout time who shared in the redemption.  On the left Jesus is lifting Adam from the grave with Eve, Able, and all the just that came after the fall.  To the right are those who led the way to Christ: the kings and prophets; John the Baptist, David, Solomon, and so forth.  The risen Christ holds ‘the keys of Death and Hades’. (CCC 486)   This is depicted below Jesus’ feet with a vision of the gates of hell broken down and the key and lock broken away. 

Behind Jesus is an aura of glory.  It is in the shape of an egg, symbolizing the new life of Resurrection.  Since pagan times, decorated eggs, or pysanki, have symbolized nature’s rebirth in the spring.  When the Polish and Ukrainian people converted to Christianity, they incorporated this ancient tradition into their Easter celebration, adjusting their symbolism to reflect the truth of the Resurrection.  Each decorative element on such eggs has a symbolic meaning.  These elements can be geometric or primitive forms from nature.  They might be signs from the heavens or everyday tools.  The eggs in this illustration symbolize the Tree of Life and the Church and Eucharist.  One of the geometric forms shown is the spiral, symbol of the mystery of life and death, as well as divinity and immortality.  Also shown are eternity bands, patterns that encircle the egg, to show eternal life.  Decorating the top of the illustration are peacocks, an ancient symbol of the Resurrection and immortality.”

Koo Schadler and “Traditional” gesso in a bottle!


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Koo Schadler is an artist who does amazing work in egg tempera. Not only that, she is very generous about sharing her knowledge. Her website has a lot of great information.

She recently wrote about a new product from called Rublev Colours Tempera Ground

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)

Artistic and Spiritual Inspiration


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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.


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