29 January 2009


A couple of weeks ago I went down to the RISD art museum for the afternoon (the main reason was to see the David Macaulay exhibit). I like to go to art museums hoping to catch a glimpse at how artists form their work. I love the finished projects that hang on walls or displayed in cases but I really like to see how ideas are concretized. Macaulay's display did not disappoint my hopes. The curators, thankfully, displayed his journals, his sketch books, and prototypes he built before constructing his books.

I like to observe the methodology of other artists because it always refreshes my own artistic methodology (pastoral ministry). I do not see why other pastors do not view themselves as artists, for a living we write, preach, listen, create, bring out passion and the full range of emotions from others, and hope to foster creativity and beauty in others.

Here is what I gleaned from Macaulay:

a. Questions, questions, questions.  His notebooks were riddled with questions all over the pages.  When working on Cathedral he was not interested in just drawing the building he also wanted to know why people built it in the first place.
b. Point of View. He draws his subjects from the oddest angles. This is probably the best insight I gained. Macaulay does not draw from a normal perspective. He draws from odd/peculiar vantage points.
c. Truth vs. Exactness. I was looking at the lines of stone he drew that formed a wall. From a distance they looked like a wall should look like but when you examined them up close you could see they were not exact, but rather freely sketched.
d. The formation of pictures. I know it is seems a bit redundant to say this but at the end of his book there is a picture a completed work. He is concerned about process.

While I am on the topic of art I need to include Michael DiMucci on my links list. Mike was the former choirmaster and organist at LRBC. The man is oozing with talent.  I loved working him and miss his contribution to church life like crazy - luckily we are still close friends and get together on a regular basis.  Once a week we would get together go over music - everything from tempo of a hymn to trying out different instruments for accompany. One project we were never able to fully finalize had to do with 2x8 feet sheets of original liturgical art for the sanctuary. I still have the prototypes and hope one day they come to fruition; another church  member designed and created them, they are amazing.  We were, however, able to get a mosaic of Noah's ark above the sanctuary doors.
(Here is an action shot of me screwing in the mosaic. For the record I did not have anything to do with the formation of the mosaic, but my kids did.)

Couple of follow-up notes.  1.  This week may very well be the week I get to 100 Facebook friends.  2.  Yesterday I suggested to the VOR that we make a loaf of bread to go with dinner.  Usually I make the bread, but this time she did.  She called for directions and I dutifully communicated them.  After I arrived home, shoveled rain soaked snow off the walk (ugg, no ugh cubed - cannot do fancy math notations on blogger), I was hanging out in the kitchen and noticed that the bread was not covered (the recipe will explain).  She then informed me that I never said anything about a lid.  I then began to wonder...Could it be that deep down in my psyche I withheld that critical piece of information because she grossly outnumbers me for facebook friends and that her group has three times more members than mine (although my group has gone officially international - two folk from Ireland).  I think there may be a nugget of truth in this assessment.  

Sermon writing time...

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