Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stations of the Cross - update

So I have begun a series of Stations of the Cross for the church. This is a major undertaking for a "part time" artist, as there are fourteen of them to do. While working on these I also have a few other projects going, such as painting icons to sell to raise money for church and other needs. So far I am about 3/4 of the way through the first one.

The stations that I am doing are executed in egg tempera and will have 24K gold gilding in the background. The work involved in a project like this is massive for the "part timer", and is why it takes so long to do projects like this):

- finding existing "stations" to base my design ideas on
- doing preliminary sketches and studies until satisfied
- buying wood panels, cutting them to size, sanding them, and painting the backs
- mixing the traditional gesso, and gessoing the panels several times, sanding between coats
- doing the final drawing on paper then transferring it to the panel
- scoring the image into the panel
- applying the gold
- painting the painted parts
- letting it dry and then lacquering it
- photograph it
- add a hook so it can hang on the wall

Do all of that 14 times.... and don't mess up on any of the steps, and in a year or so, for a part time artist, there should be a complete set of custom made stations!


Br. Shane said...

sounds like a big project, but good for you. I'm newly ordained and am placed in a Canadian Church. I You caught my attention because you're a priest and and artist... I am also an artist though I'm trying to discover ways of bringing art into my priestly vocation. I'm also an Anglo-Catholic though the parish I've been placed in isn't really, so I'm trying to adapt to that and make improvements where I think I can. Pax.
Br. Shane

J. Gordon Anderson said...

Dear Br. Shane,

You sound like me! My parish is historically very low church. Luckily my immediate predecessors made some good changes (e.g. making mass the main service every Sunday). But in terms of outward appearance the church is very plain and low. So I see part of my vocation is to help "beautify" it in a Catholic way. Maybe you can do the same where you are - design an altar piece, make a shrine, etc. The "Cambridge Movement" taught us that art, architecture, and liturgical design have an important role in teaching and maintaining the Catholic faith. God bless you in your vocation(s)!

J. Gordon Anderson+