As many of you know, I have been re-focusing my creative activities, after a long break from them. The creative process is one of delicate and sometimes misleading discernment, and I’ve had to “unlearn” many habits of the imagination that I learned as I went through life trying to express my experiences and impressions.
Writers (painters) of icons learn their art in a traditional school of careful visual rules, prayer, and austerity as they seek to express spiritual realities of a very particular kind. People of many times and cultures have recognized the influence, and therefore the importance, of the arts on the shaping of culture and the human psyche. It is the artist or writer’s responsibility, then, to create responsibly, with an eye not only to entertaining or appealing to the senses, but to the uplifting of the human spirit, shaping and inspiring it through the senses.
As I was just beginning to get back into creative work again, I began a project with a local author named Dave Palmer writing a book series presenting Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica in easy and fun lessons for children. I completed a drawing for the cover of the first book, and I have to say I felt this was a great victory for me as I approached this project with prayer and care of the type of inspirations and feelings I allowed to color the work. As I continue on this illustration project I have great hopes that it will continue to refine my skills and approach into something truly worthwhile for the betterment of my fellow sojourners on this Earth!