Iconography class… and other art

“Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.”

– Pope St. John Paul II

A few weeks back I started an iconography class (I know, like I *need* something else to do, right?). Before I start talking about that though, a little background…

I went to a wedding in May:

St Charles
{church, for your reference}

The wedding was in Spanish, so I kept missing pieces of the ceremony. But when the priest was pronouncing the marriage I could almost see something, it’s hard to capture in words exactly what it was. It wasn’t anything *actually* visible, more I think the symbolism of marriage in a church and what the sacrament of marriage IS… I think… Like I said, hard to describe exactly in words. Anyway, I had this overwhelming urge to draw it, and try to capture it that way, but…. I don’t draw. Or I never really have before.

I really felt in that moment that even though I couldn’t draw, I was supposed to go figure out how to draw (by draw I mean: draw with pen, paint or something). I didn’t know really how to do that. I mean how does one begin drawing religious art if one doesn’t draw?

Then I heard about the iconography class. It was mentioned in passing while we were chatting with some friends (I hadn’t read the bulletin that week, so I had missed the announcement). I basically halted the conversation and said “Are you serious?” Not that I didn’t believe what they were saying, I was stunned that here I was, thinking just a week before that I *needed* to draw this feeling from the wedding (which I couldn’t do, and I was going to put aside) and then, there’s this class. And if Icons aren’t religious art then, I don’t know what is.

So after working out a few scheduling difficulties (I’ll be missing a few classes on account of our road trip), I signed up.

I’ve done two classes so far (plus one “makeup” session to work around the trip).

choosing the icon
choosing the icon

We did a brief history of iconography and chose the icon we were going to paint. Funny side story: The woman teaching the class doesn’t speak English. So, all my dust covered Spanish has been dragged out and been used like it hasn’t been since I spent some time in Costa Rica…. more than seven years ago….) There are a few people who have been translating most of the “ideas” here and there, but it’s a bit patchy. Still, so much fun 🙂

The next class was easier in terms of language barrier. We traced a copy of the icon and poked pin-pricks on all the traced lines.

icon class#2


(We spent three hours doing that…) I’m still not sure what the purpose is for that, but I’m sure we’ll get there.

In my “make up” class I chose/designed a border. I’ve still got to do the actual tracing of half of it, which I can do at home, but haven’t done yet.

Two main things I like so far are the amount of prayer and contemplation that goes into the whole process: choosing the icon, meditating on it, even the work itself. I mean, spending three hours bent over an 8 x 10 image of Christ is going to have some contemplation.

The other thing I’ve really come to enjoy is my little group of co-artists. We all three chose the same icon, so we’ve been working closely. And there’s been quite a bit of f sharing that’s happened in the last two weeks (motherhood, marriage, Church, all of it). It’s been really helpful in a lot of ways because both the ladies have been Catholic longer than I have, and they’ve both been mothers longer than I have. It’s really been wonderful. {Shout out to Seana and Rita y’all are great!}

Right. Now that I’ve used up the better part of an hour, I also wanted to touch on another artsy project I stumbled upon. Rakhi @ The Pitter Patter Diaries has a sketch-along {linked to the June one}, using words and quotes and such. I made two tentative little doodles this month, the theme was “JOY”. Here they are.



Lettering is harder than I thought. The top was a doodle, and the bottom was part of this quote:

Joy is prayer—Joy is strength—Joy is love—Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.
– Mother Teresa

I leave you there for this evening my friends.

~Ruth Anne

Answer Me This {summer #2}

Answer Me This summer

1. What’s the best thing about your dad?

His love of music, and artistic ability. The fact that he’s willing to sit there and take late night phone calls when I have a need to have a question answered RIGHTTHISVERYSECOND!!

Pretty much, I know if there is anything that I ever need, I just have to call him and he’ll be there to fix it.


2. If you’ve got kids, what’s the best thing about THEIR dad? (If you don’t, feel free to substitute your grandfather or another father figure.)

That he can walk into a meltdown home situation and take care of it without loosing his cool. Especially when mine is gone. 🙂

fathers day
This is the best we got this year. It was approximately 1329% humidity and no one had taken a nap, so we were all a bit on the grouchy.


3. What’s the best advice your dad ever gave you?

That my baby was a happy thing, and NOT the mistake (story of our pre-marriage pregnancy here).

He also taught me how to manage money, which {probably unintentionally} turned me into a money nazi…

4. What’s something you have in common with your dad?

This is something I’ve only come to figure out in the last few months, but we both really enjoy reading biographies and memoirs (of different types of people I’d say, but still in the same book genre)

fathers day-2
My dad, with my baby (eating cake before he’s one year, but I guess that’s a 4th child perk)

5. What’s the manliest thing you know how to do?

Um…. Nothing? Like I can’t change a tire, or mow the grass.
I can hang pictures and curtain rods… does that count?
Oh, I know, I can set up cribs and toddler beds, and move furniture around. 🙂

Or, there’s always the old standby:  I can manage money till you’re sick of me


6. Who is your favorite fictional dad?

I’ll be honest I’ve never really thought about a fiction dads. I’m usually paying attention to things from a mothers perspective… Since it’s super late for this post (Monday evening), and I’m having a hard time thinking up something right now, I’ll think on it this week and if I come up with something I’ll post real quick in next week’s answers.


Going to squeeze in my: summerstitchingsaintaffairs6

Post as well. I haven’t made tons of progress on things since my last update two weeks ago.

doily progress-2

I did manage to make the inner flower and the petals…

doily progress

This is how they’ll look once I get them on. I’m contemplating making another petal (even though it’s not part of the pattern) because it just doesn’t look quite right…. but I haven’t sewed it yet so I have until I get there to make that decision.

I also didn’t get the inner ruffle done (which will go around the “open” part and is a repeat of the outer ruffle). I had been hoping that maybe Katherine would like it without that ruffle (because there were so many stitches to put in that particular sequence), but nope. She said she wanted it to “look like the picture”…

Anyways, while I was getting around to asking her if she wanted that inner ruffle I started making a snowflake (on the same white thread). So I finished that up last night and will start in on the ruffle…. soon….



Linking with Kendra @ Catholic All Year and Erica @ Saint Affairs for the Stitching blast

Weekly Photo Roundup {172-185}

Right, so last weekend we were away Saturday night through Sunday afternoon and I was just too exhausted to sit and put up photos… but now, here we are again on a Saturday night, after 9:00PM and I have two weeks of photos to put up… and I’m still tired. Have contemplated just not putting them up, but then I think how this is the easiest way to fall off the 365 Project.

So, on we go… (words kept to a minimum)


{172/365} – Fed Zachary before Mass… yes, he required an outfit change


{173/365} – Zachary’s outdoor confinement area… mostly so he doesn’t get SO many leaves and things in his mouth. Not that I have a problem if he eats leaves, per se, but he can’t really swallow them, thereby choking… which is no bueno. So pool it is. And sometimes big brothers visit, with lightsabers.

Z and Jaredc

{174/365} – Couldn’t choose which one I liked of Jared and Zachary playing on the floor… So I used them all.

Z sleeping

{175/365} – Zachary sleeping.

{Gosh, that’s all Z…. let’s see if we can’t find some other things for the rest of the days 😉 }

Rose v1

{176/365} – We spent some time outside… so of course, I took some photos of my roses 🙂

Karl clipping

{177/365} – We popped over to my parents for a bit (don’t remember why), the boys got it in their heads they wanted to use the clippers… so….. they did…


{178/365} – Where we were last weekend (that bright spot in the water is the kids getting into a boat to go out with my parents – planning on sharing a few more of those in the next week, since I completely forgot this week..)


{179/365} – Another things all the kids loved from the weekend away was all the climbing they did.


{180/365} – Monday morning I realized that if we’re to have family stay with us for my brother’s wedding (which if you recall our timeline, takes place just days after we return from our road trip to the southlands), I figured I better get the attic room cleared up BEFORE we leave instead of after we get back…. Anyways, one of the things I need to clean is all my yarn that’s covering the bed. But… I can’t just shove it in a box and leave it, nope. I have to get it all untangled and rolled nicely…. right…

{181/365} – Karl tried on his Ring “Bear” suit for Simon and Yasie’s wedding… Hard to say who was more excited. Karl or Yasie?


{182/365} – Someone gave the kids a bag of little figurines… Now I have all these random movie characters watching over… everything


{183/365} – Icon class!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was “choosing which icon we were going to be working on”. I did eventually choose this one (The Good Shepherd)

{184/365} – Children of contractors… they get the old “blueprints” and have a blast!


{185/365} – right now. This is what I’m doing. 🙂 The only photo I took today.

And that’s a wrap folks. Thanks for sticking with me till the end! And now I’m going to bed.


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