>Sketch Every Day: 4.24.11

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Sketch for today…pencil and watercolor Easter Lily.
Last week, I had the opportunity to do some painting work for St. Vincent Catholic Church in San Diego. My friend, Tiffany of Heon Design, was working on preparing the Church for Easter Sunday services and brought me in for a few painting projects.

The Church had acquired a 100 year-old set of amazingly beautiful paintings depicting the Stations of the Cross and wanted signs made to describe each of the fourteen paintings commemorating the Passion (or final hours) of Jesus. I was in awe of the rich vibrancy of the colors, the smoothness of the surface and the incredible detail. The paintings are also in impeccable condition, showing very little wear, only what appears to be a natural crackle to the enamel. I was surprised to learn that they were oil painted on copper sheets, a technique I read about in my art history classes, but had never really seen up close.


According to The Grove Encyclopedia of Materials and Techniques in Art by Gerald R. W. Ward, “The ability of copper to withstand heat, its good conductivity and comparative stability also make it suitable for paintings in enamel;…the attractions of the medium are its absolute permanence and superb colour quality.”  

Before painting: the Station plaques beautifully constructed by Bill, Tiffany’s husband, as well as laser cut wooden Roman numerals and crosses.

Wooden plaques (pictured above) were custom made to fit underneath each Station and I was asked to paint the frame to match the wooden border/frame of each painting, as well as hand-letter or paint the title of each Station. Since we had a limited time frame (everything needed to be completed before Good Friday), I knew that there would not be enough time to “fix” anything, so I had to be spot on…I only had a few snapshots and my memory of the frame color from my visit to the Church, as reference. For the typeface, they chose a more modern (sans serif) font to coordinate with the contemporary-styled recent remodel, as well as their printed materials.  

I also did some small painting projects in other areas of the Church, such as touching up a plaster wall finish, staining a wood pedestal to match a carved wooden statue, and painting symbols onto the Paschal candle used in Easter Mass.

Joe of Equity Builders did an amazing job of installing this restored and recently silver-plated Tabernacle directly into the wall behind the Altar.  Can you tell where I did a teeny bit of touch up to the custom plaster wall finish? Nope?  Good…that was the goal.
The stain is still wet/tacky on the pedestal, so we were not yet able to put the statue back when I snapped this photo.
I think everything worked out nicely and I was extremely honored to be part of this project. I’ve painted for their St. Vincent de Paul School in the past, including helping with some items for school fundraisers. But this was my first time painting for the Parish…and even though the work I did was fairly minimal and uncomplicated (it’s not like painting an elaborate mural on a ceiling), I couldn’t help but feel reverent to be a small part of this. In a way, I felt a sense of kinship to the artists and artisans of the past, some of whom devoted their “life’s work” to the creation of art and ornamental decoration for Churches, Cathedrals, Temples, Mosques and places of worship…for the education and experience of congregations both present and future.
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This entry was posted in Antiques, Blog Series, Just Because, Paint, Sketch Every Day. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to >Sketch Every Day: 4.24.11

  1. >Vincent de Paul School in the past, including helping with some items for school fundraisers.I felt a sense of kinship to the artists and artisans of the past.

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