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.