ABOUT THE ARTIST

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Morrisville, NC, United States
My wife Emily and I currently live in Morrisville, NC with our son Evan. In July of 2010 my life changed dramatically when Emily and I adopted our beloved son. As a consequence of this life change I have not updated this blog for a long time. As Evan has grown, and new expenses have been introduced, I have decided to again accept commissions from those of you who would like to have original work done. You may request work by contacting me at davemyers1977@gmail.com, and I am also beginning a new website to promote this service at artisservantportraitsandmore.blogspot.com - I currently charge $225 for 11x14 drawings and $175 for 8x10s. I sell prints of my work (either from this site or the new one) for $25 11x14 and $20 for 8x10. I hope that you will enjoy the works here displayed, that you will visit my new site, and that you will contact me with your comments at davemyers1977@gmail.com - Dec 30 2011

Monday, June 01, 2009

In Progress: PORTRAITS OF ARCHBISHOP FULTON SHEEN AND SAINT JOHN VIANNEY


These two drawings, both in their beginning stages, are intended for The Year of the Priest - my vision is to have the full image of these great priests of the Church, Archbishop Fulton Sheen (his cause for beatification is underway) and Saint John Vianney (Patron Saint of all priests) in the lower corner of two larger posters, with a quote (on the priesthood) from the person depicted taking up a larger part of the poster.

Archbishop Sheen

This is the very beginning of a drawing I am doing of Archbishop Fulton Sheen for the Year of the Priest. My plan is to draw portraits of great Catholic Priests, not necessarily all confirmed saints, but Priest's Priests. Archbishop Sheen is such a figure. Frankly, he is the definition of the saying "They don't make 'em like that anymore."

Archbishop Sheen is the total package - his writings are beautiful, filled with meditations on the Christian life and Christ Himself that reveal a life spent in prayer. His writings and his teachings, shared by radio and television, are still profound and illuminating insights into Theology, Philosophy, Psychology, Poetry, Art, Music, Politics, and all aspects of human culture. Most significant to me are his insights into the Gospel, revealed in his masterpiece, "The Life of Christ." The Church cherishes his memory for these reasons as well as the example of Priestly heroism that his life constantly bore witness to. His cause for canonization is underway and I for one pray for it, if for no other reason than that more people might be exposed to his wisdom, humor, and desire to help each of us live lives of true goodness.

Archbishop Sheen is famous in the world and the Church for his celebrated Television Series "Life is Worth Living." Ed Sullivan, when he came to the halfway mark of his show, would always welcome the viewers who had just finished watching Bishop Sheen's program. Imagine! A Bishop of the Catholic Church with a television show so popular it rivaled "The Late Show" of its time. I hope you will take a moment to experience a sample of Archbishop Sheen's show. He is a very rare example of a man whose speech is as brilliant and gripping as his writing, and/or vice versa. A true orator. Here is a great clip from a 1957 episode of "Life is Worth Living." It is a good example of how seamless Bishop Sheen's transitions were as he moved from tenderness and humor to serious discourse and even righteous anger when appropriate. Profundity like this is rare today.

He tells a good story at the beginning of the show about a letter from the mother of one of his younger viewers:




Saint John Vianney

This is very early (and highly edited) progress on a drawing of Saint John Vianney that I decided to do as part of a series for "The Year of the Priest."

I wanted to do this drawing in part because I LOVE Saint John Vianney, but also because there really aren't that many representations of the Saint, and the best ones are not in paint or even naturalistic images, but stained glass. The paintings that probably hit closest to the mark portray this Patron Saint of Priests as very somber and grim, but his words, recorded in most cases by others, paint a picture of a man caught up in the Joy of God. This is what I wanted to portray in my work - I hope that it will be well received, but I confess it has frustrated me more than a little while working on it - let me know what you think - sometimes the artist is too close to really see the work.

Given the shortage of (good) images of Saint John Vianney, I searched for photos and/or persons who seem to resemble existing depictions of the Cure of Ars, but who also have expressions of joy and or mirth. Saint John Vianney was famous for saying "If we knew how much God loves us, we would die from sheer joy."

I found, I think the perfect countenance to work from. I used an actor in this case, as I did with my recent drawing of Saint Michael. David Kelly was in the great Irish Comedy, "Waking Ned Devine," and there is a beautiful scene where his character, Michael O'Sullivan, is hearing his dearest friend express his great regard for him. He looks up at him with a beautiful expression of calm joy, tears just welling in his eyes. Its a wonderful scene. I wanted to capture some of the Joy of Saint John Vianney in the way that Michael O'Sullivan's joy was captured by the director and actors of Waking Ned Devine. Hopefully, it is an expression of joy inspired by the knowledge of how much one is loved.

4 comments:

  1. Are you ever planning a trip to Australia? An evangelisation Congress in July 2010 is being planned and we could tell a good story about great evangelists of the past in the city of Sydney if you were interested.
    See www.credosydney.org. It would be good to make your acquaintance.
    Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  2. Re. Last comment was supposed to include: www.credosydney.org

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here are a couple of images of Vianney that I REALLY like, hope you enjoy them. :)

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/Parastos/Heterodox%20Icons/vianney_medium.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/Parastos/Heterodox%20Icons/vianney400.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/Parastos/Heterodox%20Icons/vianney.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/Parastos/Heterodox%20Icons/StJohnVianney.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yep those are great - the one here you posted:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/Parastos/Heterodox%20Icons/vianney_medium.jpg

    IS STUNNING. Thanks for sharing!!!

    ReplyDelete

WELCOME!

I appreciate your time and your interest in my work. If you are interested in knowing more about me and my philosophy of art, please feel free to scroll to the bottom of this page. I would rather spare those who have no interest in such things from having to read about me before looking at my work. God bless you :)

The Vocation of the Artist

I firmly believe that art is meant to serve others, especially in lifting the hearts of people, through "ephiphanies of beauty," (John Paul II's letter to artists) to the contemplation and the glory of God. The artist participates in a unique way in the inspiration of the Creator of all things, and knows something of His joy in the act of creation, for "the act of creation is an act of love."(The Agony and the Ecstacy) This act is essentially bound up with the mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus, in which what had been invisible was made visible in His person, His life and work, and finally in His death and resurrection. The artist is exhorted by the very perception of his gift to its service. Art is not merely, nor should it ever be, a vehicle for selfish ends or cheap shock and awe, but it must seek to give joy to the lives of others. The artist is then in the end merely a servant of truth, beauty, and goodness, and his work must serve to convey these to a wider audience. "Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 15-16)I believe that the artist finds in the lives of Jesus, and of His foster father Joseph, essential role models, especially in their hidden life at Nazareth. Though very little is handed down to us in the Gospels or in tradition illuminating this period in Jesus' life, I believe that this hidden, simple, carpenter's life of "working quietly" (2 Thessalonians 3:11) can be a model for all artists, in which delight is daily sought in the manifestation of beauty in wood, paint, charcoal, dance, the stage, and music. This is a life of humility, where the artist freely accepts that this world, including his own work, "will pass away," (Matt. 24:35) but what it points to never will. Obedience to inspiration, especially as it is inspired by God's Word (itself the revelatory self-expression of God) is the artist's highest calling. This new site is dedicated to this higher calling of the artist, to this challenge.

You will find included in this site examples of my own work, as well as links to other sites which
celebrate the arts, and especially challenge the artist to reach the fullness of his own abilities
in the service of something greater than him or his work. I hope that you will enjoy this site, and
take full advantage of its links, especially the Letter to Artists of our Holy Father (of beloved memory) John Paul II. Thank you for your comments and your consideration of this website.

David Myers