Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I didn't paint today...

I did research instead.
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I can't live with my art you know. I have so much now, I don't know where to hide it. The process, the making of art is all that interests me - the product is always a let down for me.
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Anyway - I'm planning something religious now - I want to paint the Fatima kids and the apparition of the Angel of the Eucharist. It will be serious.
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Researching images of the Madonna, I paged through a book of essays called, "Divine Mirrors: The Virgin Mary In The Visual Arts". I'm not looking for a Madonna to copy, since I will paint the Virgin as she is represented in the Fatima images - I also will paint the panel in a more naturalistic manner rather than anything Italo-Byzantine. I'm left rather cold by most images of Our Lady, save those that happen to be Spanish Colonial, and a bit naive, I don't know why.
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I came across some Coptic and Ethiopian images - I like those very much. They can be rather garish or primitive for some tastes. Although their exotic style led me to consider the eidolonic images people claim to perceive in stains on their sinks, under freeway bridges, and so on. A rather famous eidolon was the image within the glass of an office building in Clearwater, Florida during the '90's. Most readers know I'm skeptical of such things, but I wonder if I should dismiss them so casually - for someone may have been moved to devotion by such phenomena. After all, people buy ugly religious art all of the time, and as mentioned, some of the Ethiopian images are difficult for Europeans and Americans to find edifying or devotional.
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Anyway, I came across the following in the lead essay of the book Divine Mirrors, written by Robert Orsi: He writes; our Lady's presence at places of pilgrimage "is not exhausted at them; rather she is repetitively present, generously and lovingly so, as her devout see it. The Blessed Mother does not have strong feelings about what constitutes appropriate or inappropriate venues for her visits, either: In the mid-1990's, for example, she began appearing on the glassy side of an office building in Florida." - Robert Orsi, Harvard Divinity School.
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Of course the Florida 'apparition' is not approved - and keep in mind Catholics are not required to accept or follow any apparition, recognized or unrecognized - yet what Orsi says is quite compelling. Anyone may encounter the grace of God in any circumstance, through various signs, images, sounds, or impressions of the sacred presence. Perhaps even in tattoos upon Latino gang members. Therefore, I'm going to try and be more respectful of such phenomenon in the future - even if I don't believe it, or when it doesn't fit my cultural experience or taste.
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(BTW - I saved a miraculous image of Ryan Seacrest I found on a dirty cat food plate. I'll post it another time. I also want to mention an entertaining blog I found today while looking for images, Robot Nine. Very fun.)

5 comments:

  1. Welcome back, Terry. I missed you!
    I like that quote from "Divine Mirrors". BTW, thanks for teaching me a new word, "eidolons".

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  2. Hi, hon!

    I missed you.

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  3. Anonymous7:12 AM

    Hmm there was a hospital in Massachusetts that I visited once. My friend a very devout doctor pointed out to me that a certain area of peeling paint looked like the Virgin Mary and that people were coming from all over southeast New England and leaving flowers, etc. I saw maybe how someone could see a female shape in the peeling paint - but then why do people always see the Blessed Mother and not Marilyn Monroe or Janet Reno in these reflections, burnt bagels, tree knots and peeling paint?

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  4. Anonymous7:17 AM

    Although there was once the Mother Teresa Cinnamon Bun.

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