The painting shown above was awarded an Honorable Mention at the 6th Nationwide Juried Catholic Arts Exhibition hosted by the Saint Vincent Gallery in Latrobe, PA. I would like to thank everyone at Saint Vincent College for continuing the great work of Brother Nathan Cochran and this year’s juror Denis R. McNamara, Ph.D.
My picture of San Francesco da Paola was also selected to participate.
While in Chicago this summer I had the opportunity to participate in a short interview feature about my life and work. Footage from the opening of my Iter Animae that took place at Loyola University is featured as well. I would like to thank Matt Baron and Joe Kreml for developing and creating this wonderful piece.
I opened a YouTube channel as well and that can be found here.
Loyola University’s Medical School will host a show of my work in Stritch Center of Medicine this July. The title of the show is Iter Animae (The Soul’s Journey). It will have about 20 of my works, oil paintings, sculptures and drawings.
Through a variety of genres ( portraiture, the sacred, landscape) I strive to make the intangible presence of our inner existence visible. Timeless landscapes, evocative portraits and Catholic saints express the ‘iter animae’ or the soul’s journey. The transcendent power of art expresses truths of the human experience that the confusion of our daily life obscures.
I am currently developing a couple of affresco projects for churches in Matera, Italy. A lot of preparation is required: compositions sketches, presentation drawings, studies, cartoons etc; before the actually painting can begin. Studies made from life are important not only for working out ideas but for creating the references that are used to complete the painting.
My medium of choice is pastel. I make my own sticks using the same earth pigments that will be used in the affresco. For the head study of Il Risorto that is shown above, I used the sight size method. An approach used by portrait painters for centuries, it is perfectly suited for head studies.
Essentially a practical application of one point perspective, sight size is based upon the relationship of viewing point, model and picture plane. Instead of looking through the ‘veil’ the picture plane is the canvas placed along side of the model. The least amount of distortions and errors occur when the model and the picture plane are the same scale, thus the natural power of this method for life size portraiture. However, for my project the head of Christ is to be over life size. To achieve the correct scale I placed my board roughly a meter behind the model.
In designing large, in situ wall decoration a lot of different factors come into play. Compostion, visual corrections and varying viewing points all must be considered and orchestrated to create a successful painting. Sight size, when used intelligently, is a fundamental and necessary tool for not only shapes and proportion but giving work the power of impact at a distance.
To learn more about my pastel approach there is a post here. For an example of the affresco technique there is another post here.
The 5th Nationwide Juried Catholic Arts Exhibition hosted by the St. Vincent Gallery at the St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA opens today. My painting pictured above ‘The Monk’ was selected to participate. Sad news unfortunately accompanies this wonderful event. Brother Nathan Cochran unexpectedly passed away this July. He was the visionary and driving force behind the St. Vincent Gallery and this Exhibition.
Hopefully we can all learn from his positive attitude and carry forward his dream of reviving Catholic art. To learn more about the exhibition the link can be found here.
An old friend and wonderful artist, Martinho Correia, interviewed me for blog: Off the Coast of Utopia. The post can be found here. It is an audio podcast. Honestly, I do not like the sound of my recorded voice.
I met Martinho in 2000 when he was studying at the Angel Academy in Florence. He went on to become a head instructor. Now he travels extensively teaching workshops worldwide, founded an artist retreat in Portugal, and is creating a sacred art program for a Catholic university in Canada. In addition to all this he still has time to create beautiful paintings.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has done several articles about the sacred art show at St. Vincent’s gallery in Latrobe, PA. The above painting won 2nd place and is the featured image in an article found here. The other 2 articles can be found here and here.