Friday, 28 December 2007

The 4th Day of Christmas

It is already the 4th day of Christmas -- only 8 more to go and the Christmas Season will be over for another year. How quickly everything seems to come and go.
In case you are not sure what I am talking about, the Catholic Church celebrates 12 days of Christmas which run from the 25th of December to the 5th of January. On the 6th of January, we celebrate a feast called Epiphany (when the Wise Men arrived) and most of the Orthodox Churches celebrate their Christmas (they use a different calendar). Normally, I keep my Christmas decorations up until the night of the 5th and I add the three Wise Men to my Nativity set that evening -- I keep the Nativity set up until mid-January or longer -- I really hate to put it away!
Anyway, here is the drawing I was telling you about in the previous post. I call it "Amaryllis Blossom". I did a drawing of an Amaryllis plant in bloom a couple of years ago, but I have never been really satisfied with it. So, seeing all the Amaryllis plants at Christmas made me decide to try drawing the plant again. I decided to try drawing only one blossom this time and I am reasonably pleased with what I ended up with. It is the type of drawing that will make an attractive note card.
Surprise! Surprise! I have also been working on another angel! I do like to do things in 3's and since I had drawn two archangels, I wanted to try drawing the third one as well.
This is the Archangel Gabriel -- the angel
who appeared to Mary and announced to her that she was to be the Mother of the Messiah. I have always thought of Gabriel as the gentle Archangel.
If you take a look at the previous drawings, you will see that St. Michael has a sword and a shield; St. Raphael has a long rod that could be used as a weapon; St. Gabriel, however, has empty hands.
This is, of course, the first draft (I just finished it this afternoon) so I would welcome any comments or suggestions you might have.
I find that drawing an icon is a fairly intense experience so when I finish one, I like to set it aside and work on a drawing of something simple for a while before returning to the icon. So, this evening I have been working on a drawing of a girl holding a bunny.
As you may be aware, icons are normally "written" by iconographers. They prepare themselves spiritually before they even start and the process is usually quite deep and profound. I, on the other hand, simply draw icons by looking at the written icons of the true iconographers. When I take up the work of these deeply spiritual men and women, I find that I am humbled by their purity of purpose and I usually ask for forgiveness for copying their work in such a casual way.
May your hearts know peace in these troubled times.

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