Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shades of Gray



Friar Gray, Carmelite friar. 8"x11" Archival pigment ink illustration on 11"x14" Bristol Board. The bas relief is modeled from the gigantic doors of the Manila Cathedral, images below. The last image on the lower right is from an even more ornate church (I forgot the name).







Ah, shades of gray. I have mastered the feeling, now I just need to master the lines. Solemn, that's how I felt drawing the above illustration. My daughter asked me why I keep drawing friars and monks. I told her I love their cloaks and habits. When I was a young girl, we had a book describing the life of medieval monks. I especially loved knowing that they were scribes and intellectuals creating illustrated manuscripts, wrote books on herbalism, perfected the fermentation of wine, conducted scientific studies, were physicians and were philosophers. I wish I have that book here with me. It was beautifully illustrated. I remember how much I enjoyed reading about the lives of monks, friars and nuns. As a Catholic, I wanted to be a nun. I think every Catholic girl who attended catechism, Catholic schools or who were exposed to nuns wanted to be a nun. To this day, I still enjoy reading about the history of the Catholic church. My taste is more eclectic now. For example, I have an encyclopedic book about the popes, but I also have a book called "The Bad Popes" which describes the anti-pope movement of France and Italy during the renaissance period. What an interesting timeline in history. As much as I am conflicted regarding the profound influence of the Catholic church in current Philippine politics, I am still grateful that the friars came to Christianize the archipelago. Imagine had they arrived a hundred years later. They already arrived too late in the southern region. The smaller drawing above left, is a better scanned image of an earlier post.

16 comments:

Rick Forrestal said...

Wonderful piece.
I love the texture and tone of doors detail.
Nicely done.

Steve E said...

Not knowing where to begin in communicating my admiration, Ces
Those huge carved doors, WOW! I can 'smell' them,
and I can 'feel' Lent. Friar's hands are perfect.
All the whiteness bothers me...but I'm sure the friar doesn't mind!
Friar's garments are flowing like a miniature cascade.
LOVE this picture on Laetare Sunday
(Friar probably is 'joyful' in his heart..is it a man?)
Your art is amazing.
Ces
YOU
are
amazing

brandi said...

~your gift for capturing and drawing the tiniest of details is truly amazing...gorgeous piece...much love light and blessinsg~

k.h.whitaker said...

Beautiful, I too loved learning about the books that they wrote and their vast knowledge of herbs and such. I do a lot of natural herbal stuff. My kids friends think I'm a little "witchy" lol. I just like knowing how to do things myself :) But I guess these days everything is so readily available people don't understand going to the trouble of doing it yourself instead of just grabbing it off a shelf. Which makes me weird ;)

Cindy D. said...

Wow, so beautiful. I love the light and dark in the main figure's robes. All those smaller figures must have taken you ages! (Or maybe not since you're clearly a pro!) I have not read much about monks, but I do like the story of the Monks of New Skete who raise German Shepherds. Now if you could just find a small sect who collect acorns!

Bella Sinclair said...

There are no shades of gray with your art. It is unequivocally, undisputedly, undeniably, gorgeous and remarkable. Your work could easily be mistaken for those of the masters. What am I saying. You ARE one of the masters.

I love those doors! I need to have those doors installed in my house.

Rod MacGregor said...

Shades of Gray...is perfect for your style....these are amazing!!

Steve E said...

Bella should have SOME kind of doors right away. It is unequivocally, undisputedly (sic), undeniably unsafe to live in open house in US. (Unless one is a REALTOR ©..)--grin!)

illustration poetry said...

very nice take on the theme Grandewitch!
why i love your art, i like noticing details that no one else sees.

miss you.

Ted Blackman said...

The hands are my favorite. Very expressive!

Ces said...

undisputedly (sic)???! So how do you spell undisputedly?

Andrew Finnie said...

Hello Dear Ces, a nun eh? Oh I always wanted to be a none but they told me my hands were too big ....
Well, the interesting thing about this one, apart form your usual brilliant handling of your tools, is the part of the church he is in - that part where the light falls on us to make us know that we are special - and to tell us that there really is a God - it's a little slice of the universe falling right on us,

Talking about the schism, you now the Palace de pape in avignon? In the Palace (now very empty) you can see where the Pope used to stand and look down on the troops heading off for the holy wars - when we wre there the place was full of French people (oddly enough) and my wife went to the openb window where the pope used to stand and saw that the sandstone near the window was coveredin pidgeon poop - so she carefully scanned the roof bits and made sure that there were no pigeons waitng in the rafters to poop on..., she then stood on the sandstone bit near the window and..... ahh I need to go :) I will tell you the rest later.

I'm glad you are not a nun.
We'd miss, not only your art, but you.

Andrew Finnie said...

ahh I meant I always wanted to be a NUN ! not 'none' :(

Andrew Finnie said...

hmm and that should read 'to make sure that there were no pigeons waiting in the rafters to poop on HER"

Caroline said...

If anyone is a master of shades of grey it is you Ces! The illustration is wonderful!

Curious Art said...

The solitary, silent, meditative qualities of drawing often make me think of monks. And as a calligrapher of course I relate to medieval scribes. But I know well that I'm far too headstrong, restless & self- indulgent to live the monastic life properly. Also, I'm neither male nor Catholic-- nor religious at all, to be completely honest. All serious bars to entry!

Still this image truly does speak to me... perhaps one of the shades of my multiple personality is a monk...