I am realizing that I am utterly obsessed with Venetian masks. This is probably due to my childhood experience with painting and decorating small versions of them as a craft. But these days I just find them mesmerizing to stare at…maybe because they stare back? What ever it is, I think I could easily become a collector and have a whole room wall covered with them. I know – creepiness!

“Mask” by Kim Vandapool


“Saint Joan of Arc” by The Catholic Science Geek

I found this wonderful art over at The Catholic Science Geek’s blog. So, it turns out that not only is she a super-smart scientist chick; she’s one hell of an awesome artist! Sharpie pens and colored pencil… are you kidding me?! This depiction of St. Joan of Arc (Patron Saint of Badass, as the CSG refers to her) undoubtedly makes oils on canvas jealous. And her reflections on the valiant saint would seem appropriate for any era, but feel particularly pertinent in this age we face now. Great work, CSG, keep it up!

“Saint Joan of Arc” by The Catholic Science Geek

Hail, Full of Grace…

The Annunciation, by Kim Vandapool

The Annunciation is a powerful concept. No need to unpack it, theologically, here – as much as I want to dissect and expound upon words like kecharitomene…I think I’ll leave all that important heavy lifting stuff to the pros. What is important is that the Blessed Virgin Mary did say yes to such an inconceivable (pun intended) proposal. What is hard to capture, artistically speaking however, in the face of Mary, is her pure fear, surprise, humility, and acceptance of that moment. Once again, I found myself intimidated and unable to move forward at multiple times in this piece as I started, stopped, and returned to it over a period of several years. But eventually I simply accepted it for what it had become (in all its evolution), and with a few finishing touches, called it finito yesterday.

So here is my ambivalent contribution to “The Annunciation” motif. With that, I think it’s only fitting to recall Our Lady’s words in the Magnificat:

My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.