Sunday, October 12, 2008

Holy Longing

I attended an artist workshop this weekend taught by Doug Walton. It's always an adventure to paint with Doug. This time we were invited to bring our own travel compositions to paint (usually we have models or subject matter he brings from his world travels).

The Benedictine Monastery in Pecos, NM became very close to my heart during my month there this summer, so that was my chosen subject matter. I worked on three paintings this weekend, two were of the monastery building. Of those, one is "eh" and the other I haven't finished yet. The one I haven't finished yet has some dead tree branches in the foreground (like the ones on the wind swept bluff above the monastery)...the instructor liked my tree branches so much that he suggested that I leave the monastery out of the painting..."I don't think so!"

The only one I finished is a painting of the wonderful life-size statue called "Hosanna Madonna". The statue is carved out of a dead tree on the monastery grounds along the Pecos River. Here's a photo of the statue:

Here's how it feels to me:

I love this imagery...not just in celebration of new physical life but also new spiritual life. I see that God is always in the process of bringing forth new life in me which I need to gratefully embrace and celebrate.

Revisiting my time in Pecos, made me feel a bit homesick for the place. One of my fellow classmates described the experience this way:
"The silence and prayer remain with me like a little monastery within and I have a holy longing to return to the quiet." (Ray McCracken)
I am grateful for my "little monastery within" that calls me to return to the quiet.


Katherine E. said...

Ohhh, I love that, Kathy. It's SO evocative. I could sit with that painting a long, long time. Thanks for sharing it!

Jan said...

This is beautiful. The image of your monastery inside is evocative, as Katherine writes.