Friday, October 27, 2006

I think one of the bad things about man-made (cultural) architecture is that it renders the wind invisible. In God's (natural) architecture the wind is very visible.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

more on trees and cathedrals

While walking by the Library the other day I snapped this photo with my phone:
It reminds me alot of stained glass window tracery found in gothic cathedrals.
I'm continually amazed at gothic architecture and at trees for that matter.

A few weeks ago I came across this quote:

"The cylindrical pillar is always beautiful, for God has so molded the stem of every tree that it is pleasant to the eyes. The pointed arch is beautiful: it is the termination of every leaf that shakes in the summer wind, and its most fortunate associations are directly borrowed from the trefoiled grass of the field, or from the stars of its flowers."

-John Ruskin

Here are my previous posts on the subject:

Trees and Cathedrals
The Gothic Enterprise
Chesterton on Gothic and Greek Sculpture
Tree Column
Architecture and Music, Goethe and Augustine

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Light as Glory

Old Drainwindow

It's interesting how light can make even ugly things look beautiful.

Perhaps this is a helpful way to understand how the glory of god plays over and bathes even things that are ugly or evil in themselves.

So much of beauty, visual beauty, is because of light and how it plays over things. And it that makes sense if you see light as the glory of God. All light is light from his glory. The world is lit with it. We see by it and through it.

So when light shines on some object, it not only makes that object visible, but beautifies that object or person. (Jonathan Edwards called the Holy Spirit the beautifier) It is beautiful only because it is reflecting a light that is the glory of god.

One ugly thing, and perhaps the ugliest thing in history is the cross of Christ.
But in the light of God's glory, it is the most beautiful thing in history.

Perhaps this is why photographers so often delight in taking pictures of ugly things bathed in beautiful light.

blue shadow

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Nicholas Wolterstorff

I read books slowly, non-fiction books that is. I started reading this book several years ago, read 40 pgs or so, and I just now picked it up again, but anyway, it's an excellent book "towards a christian aesthetic" (the subtitle) and a good critique of modern western notions of art and the artist. Also a good critique of gnostisim:

"This world of colors and texures and shapes and sounds is good for us, good for us in many ways, good also in that it provides us with us with refreshing delight. It is the Platonist and not the Christian who is committed to avoiding the delights of the senses, to take no joy in colors, to avoiding the pleasures to be found in sounds. Delight in the colors and textures of the eucalyptus seed pods, as well as in the scultures of Henry Moore; delight in the sound of the sea, as well as the music of Debussy's La Mer; delight in the rhythms of John Donne's poetry as well as the movements of flowing streams-all contribute to human fulfillment. The Tragedy of modern urban life is not only that so many in our cities are oppressed and powerless, but also that so many have nothing surrounding them in which any human being could possibly take sensory delight. For this state of affairs we who are Christians are as guilty as any. We have adopted a peitistic-materialistic understanding of man, veiwing human needs as the need for a saved soul plus the need for food, clothes and shelter. True shalom is vastly richer than that."
-Art in Action

Here is an excellent lecture by Wolterstroff from the Image 2005 Conference:

I want this T-Shirt!

These are sold by Image (a journal of a Arts and Religion)

It sort of sums up alot of things that I've read in the last year or so: mainly a lot of Dostoevsky and books on theological aesthetics( the Beauty of the Glory of God).

Apparently the quote is from one of Dostoevsky's journals, and is explored in The Idiot .

Also, I read a very good short essay/story by J. Mark Bertrand today on Beauty of God:
Beautiful & Supernatural

Sunday, October 15, 2006


(I decided to post this on both blogs, though I won't normally)

After listening about Sketchcrawling on friday I really wanted to do one, so, yesterday I wake up at about noon, and I'm not really in the mood for a sketch marathon, but I had some movies to return to blockbuster and having a broken bike and no car, I thought I might as well go by sketchbook and feet.


random aggies: and another one of my fav. trees:
if beautiful women were trees this would be one:

First I went to the SCC to scan the last's post's drawings,
while I was there I sketched, and debated about where
to eat lunch:

I decided on Taco Cabana, which is sort of on the way to blockbuster...

(click on the maps to go there on google maps)

So I walk through this field and decide to sketch plants,
but my "financial aid" pens that I picked up the day before
really do suck as the lady told me, so, I goto office max and buy
some blue 12/1$ pens (on sale), then I go to Barnes and Noble and
sketch people there:

After B&N I eat at Taco C. while reading a good book on aesthetics

Then move on... sketch myself in a store window...

Return my movies....

Head towards the neighboring parking lot

And sketch a telephone pole and street light in the parking lot,
wander south, sketching trees and plants

About now I pick up this strange looking thing I'll call a brain-fruit, which I sketch, and take a pic of with my cell phone(along with an interesting flower):

Let me know if you know what they are called.

So, I end up here...

....and draw the backs of these stores, which was fun,
and perhaps the best sketch of the day:

during all this I'm listening to Ennio Morricone, Moulin Rouge, and (to complete a natural list) some Douglas Wilson sermons.

So I head over to Sweet Eugene's Coffee shop to sketch people,
and on the way I sketch a car and a tree, and see the Sunset:

While sketching people, I get 'noticed' and pointed at by a group of people, who proceed to randomly stare at me at take my picture with a flash. Keep in mind, this is College Station, Tx, where any art has shock value.

As I grow tired of sketching, I run into "a geek with reasonably good social skills" and have some good philosophy/theology conversation.

The End.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

new sketch blog

I've decided to start a sketch blog:

I've also put most of the sketch and painting from here over there:


"Think of the act of drawing as a doorway that leads you into a far richer world of experience and discovery. It provides an excuse to leave home for an afternoon in order to meet new people, or poke around on the far side of town. It gives you an opportunity to sit on a stream back for two hours looking at nothing but a six-inch high plant. It gets you out there in the wonderful carnival of the human race, as you go people watching with a pencil."
-The Artist's Guide to Sketching

I had some fun in photoshop with this one, in 'just a few clicks' I turned it in to a 'gritty piece of modern art':

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I was reading Surprised by Joy for the first time yesterday, and this struck me:
Lewis says (speaking about him and his brother in there childhood):

"We never saw a beautiful building nor imagined that a building could be beautiful."

Now that is patently false for anyone born in the 1800's in europe. Ugly architecture, like florescent lights, and atomic bombs, wasn't invinted untill the 20th century! Living in 20th century America I would say that he never saw an ugly building nor imagined that a building could be so butt-ugly.

Also this:

"I am the product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under tiles. Also, of endless books."

That pretty much somes up why I love myst, riven and adventure games in general. It's fitting that the brothers miller were Lewis fans.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

the American Book of Kells

I discovered at Barnes and Noble yesterday what calls it's self the first hand written Illuminated Bible commissioned since the invention of the printing press! It's absolutely beautiful, this volume contains the the 4 gospels and the book of Acts. You can look inside it on amazon here. They have the pentateuch and the psalms complete as well. I have to get these!