How an Artist can Seek Creativity and Inspiration

4 04 2011

Nearly every artist I meet acknowledges a need for inspiration to guide creativity. The application of every stroke of charcoal or paint must be guided by a picture in the mind of the artist of what he is aiming to create. Sometimes the creation of the work of art involves a carefully thought out, obviously reasoned approach and sometimes it is or more intuitive and spontaneous. However, as long as the process is the realization of an idea and not just a random process without any thought of what the result will be (as with a chimpanzee throwing paint at a canvas) then the artists is employing his intellect and is making decisions about the form he creates. Artists need inspiration in both the formation of the original ideas; and in the decisions about how it will be best achieved. Read the rest of this entry »


Prayer of the Heart – How to Engage the Whole Person in Prayer. The Divine Office III

8 03 2011

Engaging the Whole Person in Prayer  Opens us up Further to Inspiration and Creativity – The Divine Office III, part II here, part I here.

In the sight of angels I will sing praise to you (Ps 138:1). Let us rise in chanting that our hearts and voices harmonise.’ (Rule of St Benedict: Ch 19)

The heart is the human centre of gravity, our very core that incorporates both body and soul. It is the place that represents the whole person, the vector sum of all our actions and thoughts. If our hearts are to be in harmony with the prayers of the angels in heaven as St Benedict suggested, we need to consider not just our thoughts and voices, but our actions, our bodies and even how are senses are engaged in the action of prayer. Read the rest of this entry »

Where can Catholics Go to Learn to Paint in the Naturalistic Tradition?

25 01 2011

If you are interested in the baroque, where do you go to learn to paint? In a past article I wrote about possible places to study the iconographic technique in depth. However, the baroque is also one of the three liturgical artistic traditions of the Church (the third is the gothic) and anyone who is serious about being an artist for the Church should consider whether they want to learn this form. One place to consider is Ingbretson Studio in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The ideal education would consist of the following: Read the rest of this entry »

Aidan Hart’s Icons in Fresco

21 07 2010

When I was in my early thirties (quite late to be making these decisions) I made an earnest decision to try to learn icon painting. I telephoned the only icon painter I knew, someone whom I had met once about five years earlier. Since I had met him, Br Aidan had spent a number of years on Mt Athos and on returning to England had founded a hermitage, that of SS Anthony and Cuthbert in Shropshire, England. Read the rest of this entry »

Vocation and the Common Good

30 06 2010

How doing what I want to do helps others to do what they want I have just returned from vacation in California staying with my brother who lives in the Bay Area of San Francisco. While I was there, I attended a short lecture series offered by Fr Michael Sweeney, who is president of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology a member school  of the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley). It was called Re-Visioning Society and was offered as part of their summer session and explored Catholic social teaching and the common good. Read the rest of this entry »

Discerning My Vocation as an Artist

21 05 2010

How I came to be doing what I always dreamed of
I have had e-mails from people asking how they can become an artist. One response to this is to describe the training I would recommend for those who are in a position to go out and get it. I have done this here. However, this is only part of it (even if you accept my ideas and are in a position to pay for the training I recommend). It was more important for me first to discern what God wants me to do. I did not decide to become an artist until I was in my late twenties (I am now 47 in case you were wondering!).  That I have been able to do so is, I believe, down to inspired guidance. Read the rest of this entry »