Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New Art

Not that my site is ready yet, or anything like that, but I do have a few pictures of some newer work - religious pieces - posted on there that you may wish to look at (just thumbnails are posted, though). I am currently only painting religious scenes. People who have followed my work over the years know that I have painted religious subject matter here and there (Annunciation, Purgatory, Hell, various Pietas, monks, priests, etc.) But it's always been a side thing... just "here and there", as I felt like it. Now it's my main thing. I suppose being a priest makes this type of subject matter even more important to me. Painting them sort of melds everything together. It's also a good way to meditate on the mystery being painted.

Stylistically these works are more measured and subdued then my work from the last few years. I have been wanting to "empty out" my art, and make it a lot more quiet and simple. God, after all, is pure simplicity, and heaven is eternal quiet (see Kreeft, Everything You Wanted to Know About Heaven). Although on the surface the work looks rather different from my very recent pieces (circa 2004), those who have followed my art over the years will definitely see the continuity (i.e. use of line, shape, large fields of color, etc.). Art - serious art - develops organically. This new work represents a growth in me artistically and spiritually. It shows not only a personal/stylistic continuity, but a conceptual and historical one as well. The problem with much so-called religious art is precisely that it lacks continuity... just think of avant-garde pieces that try to show some religious scene, such as a crucifixion, with a pile of rocks, or dangling ropes in a dimly-lit warehouse. I don't think that is necessarily bad, or evil, but, it definitely lacks continuity. The greatest painters of the past built on the ideas - including compositional formats and color palettes - from previous generations of artists (e.g. iconographers).

This work is also a form of rebellion. It is my rebellion against a culture that pushes religion out of the public square, and against a segment of the church that allows this, either explicitly or implicitly.

So, I hope, as I post pictures of this work down the road, people like it and understand it.


The Aesthetic Elevator said...

I LOVE your cityscapes! Wish there were larger images on your website so I could see what's going on and feeature some of them on my own blog!

Fr. Glenn Spencer said...

I too would like to see larger images!

J. Gordon Anderson said...

Thanks! I will definitely post some here. I have had a lot of interest in the cityscapes recently, and as I vacation in Baltimore I am snapping photos to use for painting some more down the road.

Rebecca said...

Hello...I second the request for larger images.

I stumbled upon your site while looking for other Anglican Blogs. I hope you don't mind that I added your link to my own blog: The Anglican Art Historian

Please take a look at the site and if you have any objections I will certainly remove the link. I only have one of my drawings, Angel of Mercy, on the main page and am reworking my website as well.

Your blog is most interesting and you have some very powerful work. I look forward to seeing more pieces in the future.

Nicholodeon said...

Hi Father
Your cityscapes arose, as I recall from your earlier writing, at a time when you were feeling a lot ... I cannot recall exactly what you wrote....mid life crisis or something?

I love the cityscapes. Have never been to Baltimore, but if I ever should go there, I know what to expect from your opus.

The religious themed work does not grab me, and I think that is because I am deeply imbued with icons of the Russian Schools, and indeed, am a member of the Russian Orthodox Church.