6 of 35 photos
Categories & Keywords

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Keywords:God, Luke 1:46 - 55, Luke 1:46-55, Magnificat - Joy in God, Mary, acrylic, art, artistry, calligraphy, devotion, devotions, faithfulness, fine art, fine lettering, forgive, forgiveness, generation, generations, gouache, handmaid, handmaiden, hope, informal capitals, inspiration, joy, lettering, letters, love, meditate, meditation, meditations, merciful, mercy, my spirit has found joy, painting, pardon, praise, prayer, remembrance, rock, rocks, salvation, script, spirit, spiritual, water, watercolor
Broadside • Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55

Broadside • Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55

Title: Magnificat
Client: Church of Saint Louis, King of France the Little French Church • The Reverend Paul F. Morrissey, S.M., Pastor
• 506 Cedar Street • Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-2280
Year: 2011
Size: 23 x 34 inches
Text: Luke 1:46-55
Hanging in the Saint Dorothy Portico of the church

It was in July 2010, that Father Morrissey proposed working with the Magnificat text in anticipation of the Marists' 125th year of ministry in Minnesota. The recognition of their Jubilee Year would begin August, 2010, and culminate with celebrations in August, 2011.

On December 1, 2010, we met and discussed some basic building blocks of this project, among which were:
1. the text would begin with the Greek words, "And Mary said"
2. The Msgr. Ronald Knox translation of the Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55 would be used
3. the size cover a vertical space of about 24"x38".
4. The Marist crest/coat of arms would be included
5. A Latin Magnificat chant line would be incorporated somewhere in the design
6. The due date would be early August 2011.

I designed some layouts and studied the text looking for a theme phrase or phrases for a focus. I had traditional sketches with illumination and the image of Mary with the Child Jesus. There were contemporary sketches incorporating rocks and some vertical and horizontal lettering. Subsequently, it was determined to use the contemporary layout. The next step was to refine and solidify the design. Each design element became a kind of puzzle part. As they were moved around, I observed each interaction with adjacent layers, colors, values and shapes. Working with watercolor, pencil, pen, brush, watercolor paper, tissue paper and acetate, I began to visualize a pleasing balance, harmony, proportion and contrast of the design elements.

A goal in this painting was to have different levels in which the viewer could participate.
From a distance, the viewer can observe the blocks of text and illustrative features and be drawn into the piece by the different layers. The most prominent are the bold vertical line, the emerging horizontal line, the rocks and water. Another layer is the main text stated on either side of the vertical line. The next layer is the main text written on either side of the vertical line — a foreground layer of bold oranges and yellows on the left and a narrow column of greens and blues on the right. The same text written under each of these layers provides a background of subtle color and texture. The Marist crest with its laurel and lily plants is grounded with rocks in the lower left. The Latin chant line follows Mary's words of praise and adoration in the upper right. The laurel leaf from the crest is repeated in the laurel bush in the rocks.

Another level lies in contemplating the symbolism in the colors and arrangement of text blocks and illustrations. I can give some ideas, but I invite you to contemplate your own ideas, lessons, analogies. Briefly, the oranges and yellows symbolize joy, freshness, happiness, exuberance—Mary's outpouring of praise and adoration because of what God has done for her. The blues and greens symbolize God's faithfulness and constancy — His patience with his people over the generations. Soli Deo Gloria.