21 January 2009

Words are worth a 1000 Pictures

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 were written all over the page.  For cathedral he was not interested in just drawing the building he wanted to know why people built them 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 vantage points both down and up from odd angles. 
c.  Truth vs. Exactness.  I was looking at the lines of stone that formed a wall.  From a distance they looked true but when you examined them they were not exact. 
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.  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.  The man is oozing with talent.  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 sheets of original liturgical art for the sanctuary.  I still have the prototypes and hope they come to fruition.  We were 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.)

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