Tuesday, 3 August 2010

August Icons

In 1186, a monk ascended Mount Pochaev in order to pray.  After beginning his prayers, a pillar of fire appeared to him and to some shepherds that happened to be nearby.  The flames withdrew to reveal the Blessed Virgin.  The apparition of the Virgin Mary left behind a footprint, from which a spring of water flowed.  This first event would lead to many other supernatural events through the special dedication of the Blessed Virgin to this region.

In 1559, an icon (see the small one above) arrived, mysteriously in this region of Russia.  Over the years since, it has been moved between various Orthodox churches, but, today, has returned to the region where the apparition took place.  Many miracles are attributed to Our Lady's intercession under this title.

As you can see from the icon at the top, I decided to do my own version of the icon.  I had seen another version of the painting which portrayed Our Lady in a robe covered with large golden flowers.  I tried to do something similar as to me the pattern looked very Russian somehow.  I don't know if I succeeded.  I also decided not to try to draw the clouds, the rock and the mysterious footprint.  I will probably do this icon again and then I will include everything.

Speaking of doing repeat drawings of icons I had previously done, here is one of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  I did a very different one about two years ago.  This one is done in a much more traditional style using the proper colours for His clothing.  This is also the one I ended up using in my latest book.

Speaking of my latest book, I decided to try to do something different for the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

You may recall my previous presentation of this drawing under the title of "Our Lady of Extreme Humility".  I am so fond of the simplicity of this icon that I decided to reuse it by adding to it the signs and symbols of the Immaculate Heart icon.  I would definitely be interested in having your opinion about this.

Once again I felt a bit uncomfortable doing this revision of one icon into another.  Truly I do not "write" icons in the traditional sense, but I still have a deep respect for them and honour them once the icon picture is placed on wood, ready for displaying.  Somehow, though, I don't feel as though they are quite as "real" so long as they are just on my hard drive!  Any comments?

Next, I want to show you some really relaxed animals who are doing exactly what they should be doing in this hot weather!

This first one you have seen previously, but I couldn't help showing it to you again.  I smile every time I look at this photo.  I know bears can be very dangerous as we have certainly heard on the news recently; however, this one truly looks like a big, lazy oaf!

Then there is this wonderful photo of a kitten watching TV with the family.  I think this is such a funny picture. If I owned it, I think I would probably use it for my picture on Facebook!

There he is just sitting up there watching the tube just like a real person.  I wonder what he makes of it all?

Finally, I want to show you this adorable photo of a kitten and a babysitting Collie.  It is such a beautiful photograph.  The kitten obviously feels super safe and the dog appears to be trying to stay still so that the kitty can have his rest.  In fact, the more I look at it, the more I feel the Collie is not really comfortable at all, but is very aware of her little charge and is simply doing a magnificent job of babysitting.

As for me, I am very pleased to have finished this third, and last, book in my series, "Praying with the Saints". I already have another book on the go -- the one I started last year on the Eucharist and just reached a point where I had nothing to say.  Now, however, I seem to be feeling much more creative so I am working while the working is good!

It is so difficult for me to believe that we are now winding down the summer.  Before you know it, Labour Day will be here and the children will be back in school.  Where has the summer gone?  Time is experienced so differently at different stages of our lives.

May God's peace be with you all.

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