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Faith in Art

The plasterer has just finished laying on the final coat of plaster on the wall. You check the freshly ground pigments, glance over at the brushes and put the finishing details on the cartoon... You walk over to the small sketch now attached to the wall beside your fresco, and it begins.

It is Saint Catherine who glances back at you and you pray. Pray you have the time to finish before the plaster dries. Pray that you have studied and grown to know her intimately enough to paint her justly. Pray for assistance from knowing hands. It's quite now. There are only you, the saint and a blank plaster canvas.

With the cartoon transferred and a breath of faith you begin to paint. You’re entering that space that lives between thought, where you will never grow weary or cold or hungry, where earthly cares do not enter and time does not live. You’re contemplating the life of the saint before you. Her devotion, her suffering, her miracles and her torturous demise. It's emotional and beautiful and at times quite difficult.

As an artist you know you need to capture the spirit for the painting to live.  As a human being you are being drawn intimately closer in faith. In the end, when your prayers have been answered and your fresco completed you realize none of this matters, it was never about you. You are simply an instrument of the divine. It is about knowledge and beauty and spirit and giving it away. Not until another gazes upon her and what is known by you is known to them have you truly been successful.  It is faith that has inspired your art but it is your art that allows you to grow and give in faith.

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