In this contemplation, St. Ignatius invites us to reflect on the Nativity from the viewpoint of a maidservant accompanying the Holy Family. I imagine it this way.
The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem has been long—winding miles through hill and valley. The sun is setting as we enter the gates of Bethlehem. We are hot, sweaty, hungry, and thirsty.
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Mary has gone into labor and has been in so much pain today that we had to keep stopping. She never complains, though. The streets of Bethlehem are packed with others, like us, who are in town to register for the census.
Making our way uphill through the market, Joseph and I position ourselves on either side of Mary, who is atop the donkey. We try to shield her from the crowds pushing to get to the market before the last vendors close for the night. Everyone is so preoccupied with their tasks that they seem not even to see the woman in labor right in front of them.
We finally come to an inn.
Contemplating the Nativity - Ignatian Spirituality
Joseph goes to the door and talks with the innkeeper while motioning toward Mary. The man shakes his head. We continue on to one inn after another—all of them full. At the last inn in the town, the innkeeper shakes his head but points toward the field behind the inn. Joseph returns to us and says the inn is full but the owner said we could stay in the stable, so we will, at least, have a roof over our heads.
She tells me not to worry or be upset. How can she be so calm? I wonder. I admire her faith and her grace. The stable is within eyeshot, but it is certainly not close.
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Joseph carries Mary while I hurry ahead to prepare a place for her. I locate a flat area in the center of the stable and remove the soiled hay and dung. I toss a thick layer of fresh, sweet-smelling hay over which Joseph spreads his outer robe. Mary collapses onto the bed of hay. Grabbing my lantern, I run up to the inn to fetch water. I walk back to the stable as fast as I can with the pitcher of water in my right hand, the lantern in my left, and the cloths tucked under my arm.
My work ranges from digital illustrations to traditional acrylic paintings and graphite drawings, created for both commercial and personal projects. One of the reasons why I find traditional media so appealing is the fact that it forces me to be more deliberate with my mark making as there is no undo button. The process itself creates a lot of unpredictable textures and marks, which for me personally adds a particular charm and uniqueness to each piece.
On the other hand, digital tools such as Photoshop together with Wacom Cintiq offers me much more control, and precision that is harder to achieve using traditional media. Therefore, as a way of balancing the clean nature of my digital work I incorporate scans of textures and spontaneous brush marks, and as a way of balancing the textured look of my traditional work I incorporate cleaner graphic elements.
How personal or autobiographical do you allow your art to get? When you look back at certain pieces or larger collections of your own works, do they remind you of certain events or eras in your life? Pretty much all of my personal work is used as a way to explore my own thoughts and emotions. A very clear example of that is my Byronic series.
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It was created in the months following my MFA graduation. I learned so much about myself and my work, and it was time to put it all to use in some profitable and satisfying way. I contemplated a lot on the meaning of life, and in many ways it lead me to a dark, brooding place. So to make that struggle feel better and in many ways get that existential poison out of me, I created a series that encapsulated the struggle I felt in that period.
What has been the most exciting life and impact you have you witnessed any of your art take on, once it has left confines of your studio?
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What kind of feelings do you have about letting your creations go and live their own lives in the big wide world? When I decide that a piece is done and I let it go out into the world, I have to admit, that moment is pretty thrilling. We are all different in different ways.
The most obvious ways I was able to measure how successful some pieces have been, was based on how many commissions I would get right after I release a series. If I am in a calm state of mind, and there are no distractions, I can paint in silence for hours and just think about the task at hand. Painting can be like meditation for me. I do like to feel like I am also learning something while I paint, so often I will put on podcasts, or an audiobook.
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Every once in a while, I am pretty distracted and I have to put on music to sort of drown out my thoughts a bit. The most unexpected feedback came from one of the artist agencies that I was hoping would represent me. This particular agency wanted me to diversify the type of imagery I created mainly for the reason that it would be easier for them to sell my work to potential clients.
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The feedback was to expand my visual vocabulary that goes beyond human figures that are up close up to the viewer and are floating in surreal environments. To be honest I agreed with them, that I could definitely benefit from diversifying my visual vocabulary. They wanted me to make changes before they would consider representing me. As you can assume, I did not go with them, as it would take me forever to expand my portfolio and I needed someone to represent me as soon as they could so I can make money now, and not in a year.
Another awesome agency, Debut Art, embraced my work as it was.
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Hence they are who I went with. Have you ever painted something that surprised you? Every once in a while I create a piece that is a pleasant surprise. I tend to sketch out what something will be and then follow the overall format. In the end I was pleasantly surprised by my decisions that shaped the piece. There is something liberating of creating in such a manner.
Furthermore, when I am overthinking less, I create faster. In order to get a better understanding of the personality of an artist, it can help to get a peek behind the curtain. Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token. Have Institutional Access? Forgot your password? PDF Preview. Richard of St. Table of Contents. Related Content. Victor d. Related to the historical study of philosophical psychology, Richard of St. Richard also deals with the interpretation of biblical language, metaphors, rhetoric, and the possibility of creative imagination. Animal Rationality Later Medieval Theories