Here are a few recent drawings of mine. I have others I'd like to put on but at least this is something seeing how I haven't posted anything in months and months. I apologize for the poor image quality...but at least now I've found that I have access to a scanner, if only for a pretty small window of time once a week--so hopefully I'll be able to get the blog back up and running a bit. I've been wanting to experiment with producing art with more explicitly religious themes (which I guess you would call sacred art). I think the most natural way for me to delve into this would to work on making some Madonna and Child images. As a missionary, one place I visit during the week is a Good Counsel home, which is a home for homeless pregnant women and their young children. I've taken my time spent with the babies in the nursery there as an opportunity to draw them and become more familiar with their forms. Before visiting the Good Counsel home, I had not had such an environment where I'm regularly exposed to babies that I am able to draw. So, in my drawing these children, I have been able to accumulate some potential sources to work from in depicting the Christ child. Also, it helps that I am currently living with three other missionaries who are willing to model for me, posing as Our Lady.
Perhaps the next thing I could scan in and get up on the blog is my first stab at integrating the image of a child taken from the drawings I have done at Good Counsel with one of my housemates modeling for me as the Blessed Virgin. I'll plan on writing about my process more when I have the actual relevant images up...but I feel I was able to get a natural and organic looking image from which I could potentially develop some studies and more finished paintings of the Madonna and Child.
The image below I also see as potentially being something I could work off of, if I were to develop it by having Lynn, my housemate, who is depicted here model for me, replicating this pose. What is nice about this image is that it shows how the two figures connect, meaning that I could develop natural and convincing works-- where the figure of the mother and of the child are well integrated-- that are more finished based off of it.
We female missionaries have recently moved to a new place in the Bronx. In our new building there has a room in the basement where I have been able to set up an art studio. As of this past week it is ready to go, so I can start painting at any time. My first projects will be making studies where I experiment with making paintings from drawings. I haven't really done this, making paintings from my drawings, but it would definitely open up a lot of doors for me artistically-- making sacred art would be actually accessible to me through such a process, because I could work from and bring together images of people that I have drawn. This is handy because it takes a lot less time and is more accessible to make a drawing of a person than to paint them. At this point in time I wouldn't be able to feasibly paint a baby from life for instance (I can't just rent out a baby to take to my studio to paint!), but drawing them is something I am able to do. A Catholic painter I have met since being in New York, Ken Woo, encouraged me to explore making paintings using my drawings. When you think of it, this is an old technique used by artists. Renaissance painters focused a lot on developing a drawing before starting to paint from it. I have more I'd like to write about this. Perhaps once I actually start giving it a go I'll post on the topic.