Monday, February 28, 2011

The spirituality of art.

The Assumption of Blessed Mary

One of the many things that bothers me about modern art, and really it's not something new, just something more overt nowadays, is the de-humanisation of art. Just from skimming my channels and groups, the objectification of humanity as a thing or the de-sacralisation of sacred art to make it more base is far too rampant. Even the few artists on Deviant art who do sacred art or religious works do so in a way that points, not to the subject of the painting or to higher ideals, but to the low and base.

It never bother me until I saw how other people see MY work. For many of them, it's impossible to see that my pictures are'nt just colorful pictures, or pictures of women and men. I'm trying, in my slopy and untrained way, to communicate something of divine truths with them.It really all started after I posted my picture of Adam and Eve in the garden. It turned out to be quite popular, but the comments I got on it and the collections it went into were not what I hoped. Certainly, everyone is'nt religious, but I did'nt expect for people to add it into collections named "Cute Couples" or "Bishies", or "Rainbow". It really annoyed me for months, and it still does that when people see my work, all they see is "Pretty Lady" or "Naked person", and not "St.Agnes" or "St.Mary Magdalene". My pictures of the saints, of Christ, and of his Blessed Mother are MORE than just pretty pictures of people. They represent real truths.

You guys should remember the layers of theology that I wove into This Picture, for instance.
But no one ever saw it. And even when I showed it to fellow Catholics on deviantart, I often got shot down by them. They could'nt get past the fact of what they were wearing to understand how beautiful I wanted to make that picture, not just in execution but in motivation. I tried to submit it to one of the Catholic groups, sent with the explanation, and it was declined due to "Inappropriate subject matter". Really! An allegory of Our First Parents is inappropriate!

It got worse when I was editing the tags for something I did a while ago. I decided to re-tag the Tree of Life cross that I drew, so I decided to see under what tags people put pictures of the Crucifixion. There were some very nice results, including copies of painting by Velasquez and the Netherlandish masters. But there was a whole host of irreverent and blasphemous images as well. Unfortunately, with the way DA is, unless they're breaking a real rule there's nothing you can do about them.

Thursday, February 24, 2011




Some of you may have noticed that every now and then, I post a link to some awesome sort of music with the title "And now, a Musical Interlude" And when I first posted that, I said that none of you would get the reference. (And no one did) I wanted to supply the reference, but could not.

Here it is. That's a big part of my childhood, right there. And that was one of my favourite episodes. (My all-time favourite being the Relax-O-Vision episode.)

So yes, happy tiems. :D

And now,

A Musical interlude.

Oh No.

Sad Times.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Proper Procession.

Who says Catholic's can't sing? You just have to give them the right music.

The procession form the high mass of the patronal feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Philadelphia.

Oh yeah, just listen to those bombardes and chamades. Go ahead, be jealous. <3

Sunday, February 20, 2011

And now,

You guys should know what This means by now.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I no longer feel very vain.

But I do feel imprudent.

Because, I've decided not to replace the breviary my dad bought me. Something about the possibility of using that book until I'm a corpse lying on my bier just seems so right.

So, with my mother paying for it, I'm going to make another attempt to have it restored and rebound. I've decided not to go the cheap route this time. With the help of THIS wonderful site (Which I've been following for the past year, unofficially) I've narrowed it down to Paul Sawyer, who I'd absolutely love to rebind it*, (Here's an example of his work. Great, innit?) Leonard's (Examples HERE.)And Melching (Probably the most likely. I'm not really impressed with the quality of their raised bands, but it's close by and probably more affordable)

In any case, what I mainly want is something that will LAST. I had a friend who got a binding from Paul Sawyer and I'm amazed at how much it's been through with very little damage. To put it bluntly, this book is very precious to me, not just because it's a latin prayer book, nor because I've used it for a while, but also because it was almost like a peace offering. I at first didn't think my dad would buy such a thing. A Latin prayer book for his papist son. But he was glad to do it, he even had me ship it to his job to make sure it would be picked up if it was delivered while he was at work and my brother and I were at school.That was about the time he started being really cool about me being Catholic now, so much so that he came to mass with me when we went on vacation.

SO yes, precious book, it's broke, I need it fixed ASAP.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Y'know, I think one of the biggest obstacles I've ever had with living a spiritual life is that all of my prayers and devotions have always tended toward the 'fleshy' side of the faith. The first thing I learned as an anglo-catholic is the importance of seeing catholicism as an incarnational religion. Everything in prayer, worship, and the spiritual life is a reflection of the great mystery of God becoming man, and as a newly minted Christian, I was totally and completely wrapped up in amazement at that mystery. And so were my devotions: The Sacred Heart, The Five Wounds, Christ in his passion, Our Lady of Sorrows, St.Joseph, and Mary as Mother of God. These were and are my favourite devotions and subjects for prayer.

I think it probably has a lot to do with my personal life. It's easier for me to connect with God, the Trinity, by using these profoundly real and human means. It's one thing to say that God became man. It's another to say that God cried, God had to be fed, to learn how to walk, to talk, to feed himself, to read. It's one thing to say that Mary was the mother of God. It's another to say that she taught him, loved him, wept for three days over losing him, stood proud as he grew, and suffered in silence as he died. It's one thing to say that Our Lord Jesus had a real, human family. It's another to say that he grew up working in his foster father's trade, helping his mother, suffered seeing his foster father die, and saw his mother sorrowing interior at his own death.

It all says that God is Real, and he intervened in human history, lived a real life. Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh was a real man. He had wounds. He had a heart. He had a mother. And ot some extent, devotion to these human attributes is essentially devotion to the divine. Because there is only one Christ. He is'nt split into a divine half and a human half. He is one person of two natures.It's really all very beautiful. Christ is the image of the father, the brightness of his glory. He is the one by whom we know the Father. And how was he known on earth?

New Medieval art.

I think I have some of my confidence in my art back.

But, one major problem I have with the few people I let see my work is that, and I don't mean to gloat, my style is too unique. It leaves me open to some pretty harsh criticism. I call my style 'New Gothic' or 'New Medieval'. It's really just melding my own manga style with the Gothic art of the high and late middle ages.

Sometimes it's subtle, like the picture of St.Michael I have here. The design of the armor and the words around the yellow halo are of course of medieval origin*. Other times, it's more obvious and overt, like my picture of St.Hermenegild or my picture of St.Peter Pashasius. Both are obviously gothic in design. (St.Hermenegild with the costume, as well as the patterned background and tiled floor popular for saints of that time.** St.Peter Paschasius is my version of a French miniature of St.Remigius, taken from a book of hours.)

In all of my art, I generally reference MANY pictures for help. For example, for my picture of St.Peter, I referenced the bishop saints of Van Eyeck's Adoration of the Mystic Lamb,used his painting of the Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints and Canon Joris van der Paele for the carpet, and used Van der Weyden's Miraflores altarpiece to color the chapel. And again, for St.Hermenegild, the backround fabric is a direct copy of a swath of 15th century fabric that went up for sale last year.

In the end, I think my art is well designed but usually poorly executed. I think it looks better of you understand the concepts and ideas that I put into it, so a knowledge of the art of art of the middle ages is good. Of course, I could always learn to execute designs better, but that takes far too much effort, time, and money than is available for me at this time.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

And also,

My new Sacred music faves:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace
, Wesley

Hear my Words, Ye people ,Parry. (Mostly the setting of O Praise Ye the Lord, with the wonderful 'Amen' at the end)

Magnificat in D,

Thou Visitest the Earth, Greene

O Thou Who Camest From above

New Favourites bands:

(In no particular order)

Scatered Few
One Bad Pig

Look them up if you don't know about them.


Friday, February 11, 2011


Though not of the epic sort. Permission was given for some of my classmates from seminary to come to the mass this evening.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


The solemnity of the patronal feast day of the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, Overbrook, West Philly.

Procession and high mass at 7:00 PM.

Hymn in procession: Immaculate Mary, (Lourdes Hymn, Arr. by Richard Proulx)
Palestrina, Missa Brevis
Palestrina, Sicut Cervus
Josef Rheinberger, Ave Maria
Recessional: Hail, all Hail, Great Queen of Heaven! (Pone luctum)
Postlude: Fantasia in G major, BWV 572

Monday, February 7, 2011



Why did they do it!?

Why did they kill off Ace?!

I can't believe it! Luffy wasted his time going to Impel Down. Ace is dead and Luffy is apparently so shocked he's gone into a coma. Whitebeard is dead too, so it looks like Blackbeard has won once for all. (Especially since he's somehow absorbed his powers.) My only consolation is that they have finally re-introduced Trafalgar Law, who I cosplayed as last year.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dangerous Comments.


I doubt any American bishop would ever go this far, but as I myself have said repeatedly, this is exactly what needs to be said. There's no point in letting bishops and pastors quietly ignore papal directive and the will of the faithful in deferential to their own personal wants. We're a post Vatican II church, we're supposed to have gotten rid of clericalism. I though Vatican II specifically mentioned that Pastors of souls are to be in collaboration with the clergy and the laity. Ignoring the laity because something they want goes against personal taste is NOT collaboration.

Now, I mean to disrespect no one. The bishops are still the successors of the apostles, princes of the church and worthy of our respect for the sacrality of their office. I would never reccomend that anyone ever criticise a bishop to his face on this issue. But it needs be said, and it needs be dealt with. Someone has to bring this issue up, and honestly, I would rather that priests be honest and say that they don't want to accede to people's requests for reverent liturgy rather than deny that there are requests in the face of many obvious proponents for it. When a pettition for a cathedral to have a monthly Latin mass shows up with 500 signatures, and all of them families of the cathedral parish, it's only intellectual dishonesty to say that the support does not exist.