Saturday, 26 December 2009

Feast of St. Stephen

Today is the Feast of St. Stephen. So, I decided to show you an icon which I did not draw. I am not sure who drew it as the article it was in did not say; however, it looks very much like the style of one of the artists whose work is available through Monastery Icons.

Anyway, it shows St. Stephen dressed as a deacon, including his tonsured hair. He was greatly loved by the early Christian community for his concern and caring for all the poor, the widows and orphans in the early church. He was stoned to death by Jewish people who were angry at the Church -- probably because there were so many Jewish converts. Do you recall where the witnesses of the stoning laid their cloaks? They laid them at the feet of a zealous, young Jewish man by the name of Saul, later to be known to the world as St. Paul.

I seem to remember telling you before my story about my experience at St. Stephen's shrine church in Jerusalem -- but just in case you have forgotten, here it is again. I went to the church on one of the days that the tour group had a few free hours. Everyone else seemed to want to rest or shop, but I knew where I wanted to go and so made my way to the Church of St. Stephen. It is supposedly built on the spot where he was stoned to death.

After spending some time praying in the church, I went out onto the grounds around the church. I was actually looking for shade as it was a very hot day in April. Suddenly I saw a lovely stone lying on a pile of stones and I went over to pick it up. My plan was to take the stone as a souvenir. As I picked it up, I was cut on my finger by another rock with sharp edges that was lying just under the one I wanted. The cut was small but deep and begin to bleed profusely. I stood there watching my blood stain the rocks around me and actually felt blessed. I was shedding a little of my blood right where St. Stephen had bled to death from deep cuts made by the sharp rocks that had been thrown at him. Ever since then, I have felt a real sense of friendship with the first martyr of the Christian Church and so I remember him today and ask him to pray for me and for all who read my blog.

As for my art work, here is a second drawing I did of Jatropha interregima. This time I show more of the tree along with flowers and buds. I would really like to see one of these in person as a profusion of the beautiful flowers would be lovely! Maybe one of these days...

Of course, I have to show the "topographic" image as well. It is like playing with a toy for me to use the Pixel Perfect software on almost everything I draw these days. I try changing my drawings with all sorts of different options, but usually, the topographic one is the only option I really like. It does not work as effectively on this drawing as it has on other flower drawings -- maybe its because the tree branches take too much of the focus away from the flowers.

Well, I hope everyone who celebrates Boxing Day by chasing the bargains is tired but happy with all their purchases. I will be posting again on Monday which is another day for celebrating martyrs -- the Holy Innocents. I will tell you more then.

Peace be with you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just had a look at your blog over the past couple of weeks of work, as I've been quite busy lately, and particularly enjoyed the icon of the Cure of Ars. I was also intrigued by the story of your encounter with St. Stephen's Place of Stoning, and the icon you posted from another iconographer. It would be great for you to try your own version of St. Stephen one of these days, as he is also especially meaningful in my own spiritual life. (I always find it fascinating that his Feast Day comes the day after the Celebration of our Lord's Nativity. . .a constant reminder that sorrow is always mingled with joy in the Christian life, and you really can't have one without the other.)

Just a word about your topographic images, which may surprise you a bit (although, hopefully, will not be a source of discouragement). I really very much prefer your artistic efforts without the topographic software. Although I find it interesting, I really think your work in its original state is much more striking - and more in line with your "colouration" theme of brighter colours. I am happy, none-the-less that some of your other viewers seem to appreciate the topographic versions more than I am able to. Eugene