Tuesday’s Painting: The Tree of Life

My readers are likely wondering when this wall mural is going to be completed…it’s coming!! I continue to embellish and paint into the negative spaces and today Marilyn worked to create a rich sense of warm violet/red soil beneath the tree.  You will know that the piece is completed once I paint the Omega symbol in the bottom right of the picture plane.

Dylan Christopher

Today, ten-year-old Dylan was welcomed into the space and adhered his angel to the wall, shown here just to the left of his head.  I told him that in twenty-five years, he will be able to bring his friends and family into this space and explain that this is where he stood in 2012 and posed for this photograph for me.  Thank you, Dylan.  I think that his angel is a bit of a caricature…so whimsical and lovely.

More than One Hundred Angels Contributed by Children


Water in the Font...Remembrances of Baptisms Just This Past Weekend

It was very peaceful at St. Albert the Great Parish, as Marilyn and I painted yesterday afternoon. 

Painted Embellishments

Everywhere, symbols of our Easter journey!  It had been pouring down rain all afternoon and the light was subdued.  Working in the St. Anne’s room on the Tree of Life, felt like being cozy at home on a bad-weather day. 

Kindergarten Angel...Like an Egg...A Spirit Yet Unborn...Small Cry in a Cacophony Of Angel Voices

By the time we left the church, it had begun to snow…large wet flakes.  A magical transformation that led, eventually, to about a five inch accumulation on everything.  The trees were particularly beautiful.  Because there was so much snow, I didn’t go out to Change the Landscape: One Bag At a Time and it was a wonderful respite. 


A very brief slide show, with a few images from our home parish, St. Albert the Great. 

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Whimsy on a Monday Afternoon: The Tree of Life

Because I teach today, I went into the church to paint yesterday afternoon.  Marilyn joined me again and together, we shared stories of faith and immersed ourselves in the whimsy of the angels on the wall.  It’s rewarding to see the layers building and from a distance, a rich surface is coming to life.  Ajay is one of the grade six students who will be confirmed by the Bishop next week.  I keep him in my prayers as he makes his journey of faith.

Tuesday Afternoon: The Tree of Life

Resurrection Tree

If you look up to the top left hand corner, you will see some progress on the painting.  I’m reading the work from left to right, two feet at a time….then back to left right, until I reach the bottom and the Omega.  This process involves developing the background and the childrens’ angels with layers of paint, scripture and more names of the baptized.

Jesus is at the Root of Things

Prayer on my heart throughout this time…

“May the heart of Jesus, in the most Blessed Sacrament,
Be praised, adored and loved, with grateful affection,
At every moment in the tabernacles of the world. 
Even to the end of time.  Amen”

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. Gustave Flaubert

Tuesdays and A Tree Coming to Life

I haven’t carried my camera lately on Tuedays, so haven’t captured the progress on the Tree of Life.  Last evening I slipped into the St. Anne’s room to snap these shots.  One shows the warp and weft of a net…the litany of Saints that I began on All Saint’s Day.  By now, I’ve almost included 1,000 names of holy men and women…I like the sense that given a fall, their prayers would ‘capture’ us…lift us up…support us.  Another photo aims toward the upper left hand corner…I’ve been climbing the ladder again and developing the piece with ongoing layers.

Tuesday With the Tree

Sketch 2005

I forgot my camera for today’s archive…so, I dug out a journal page that might serve as a substitute for just now…something on rich weighty paper, a sketch of a tree.  I really enjoyed Marilyn’s company while painting today.  She worked steadily, applying the gild to the textured bark. I managed to include an additional 200 saint’s names on the wall and in stepping back, realized that I had created a bit of a ‘net’ with the warp and weft movement of the lines.  I like the idea of this net stretched out across the piece…sometimes we need to be captured when we fall.  We also sometimes need to be lifted up from a place of despair, loneliness, worry or fear.  We all need that sometimes.

New Artists Welcomed Before the Tree of Life

It was a beautiful afternoon spent in the St. Anne’s Room!  When there are other like-minded artists who will join me in prayer, conversation and painting, it makes the experience such a blessing!  Helen joined us for a visit also.  And when Helen joins me, I always learn something!  Not a verbose entry here…but, an opportunity to express my joy and gratitude.  Topics we chatted about were…halos, wings, angels, Padre Pio, Sarah, Isabella, Philip, Saints, Litany of the Saints, brushstrokes, brush scrubbing, gloss medium, history, the colours gold and purple and their symbolism, royalty, virtues, obedience…I’d say that was quite an interesting afternoon!

A prayer that the two young children shared with me.

Angel of God
My guardian dear
To Whom His love
Commits me here
Ever this day
Be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide. Amen

All Saints’ Day

In the afternoon, I went to work on the Tree of Life/Resurrection Tree, having decided to apply the names of the Saints listed in my resource.  I got as far as page 15 of 25 pages and then my fingers, hand and shoulder were too sore to continue.  I will finish the application of these names next Tuesday, beginning with Juan Diego who died in 1548.

Saints' Names A-J

I’m including here a complete write-up from this website.  I want to make certain that my information is correct here.

Solemnity celebrated on the first of November. It is instituted to honour all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful’s celebration of saints’ feastsduring the year.

In the early days the Christians were accustomed to solemnize the anniversary of a martyr’s death for Christ at the place of martyrdom. In the fourth century, neighbouring dioceses began to interchange feasts, to transfer relics, to divide them, and to join in a common feast; as is shown by the invitation of St. Basil of Caesarea (397) to the bishops of the province of Pontus. Frequently groups of martyrs suffered on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all. The first trace of this we find in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. We also find mention of a common day in a sermon of St. Ephrem the Syrian (373), and in the 74th homily of St. John Chrysostom (407). At first only martyrs and St. John the Baptist were honoured by a special day. Other saints were added gradually, and increased in number when a regular process of canonization was established; still, as early as 411 there is in the Chaldean Calendar a “Commemoratio Confessorum” for the Friday after Easter. In the West Boniface IV, 13 May, 609, or 610, consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs, ordering an anniversary. Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for 1 November. A basilica of the Apostles already existed in Rome, and its dedication was annually remembered on 1 May. Gregory IV (827-844) extended the celebration on 1 November to the entire Church. The vigil seems to have been held as early as the feast itself. The octave was added by Sixtus IV (1471-84). ”

The Sun Sets Early Now

Light on Wall

The Tree of Life: Showing Up

All That Remains

This afternoon I worked for two hours on the Tree of Life over at the church.  I like the freedom I have to show up on a regular time during the day time.  Out of the 2000 pages or so of Cycles A, B and C liturgical readings presently adhered to the trunk, branches and roots of the tree, I have perhaps 50 pages remaining.  I am going to use those for detail work and embellishment as I carry on now with the painting.  The work should go with ease now that this part of the process is completed.

Late Afternoon Light on Tree

Root Detail


Tuesday’s Collage: Tree of Life

Progress is coming along as I have finished the application of Cycle B of the liturgical readings and have begun Cycle C.  I will use this cycle of readings for the embellishments of the root system at the base of the tree and for the detailed branching reaching up and around the crowd of angels, created by my students two years ago.  I am feeling happy that I will be painting into the piece after another three or so sessions of collage!

A New Main Branch