This is a mysterious commission that comes from a woman in Minneapolis. She commissioned it as a gift for Fr. George David Byers, a Catholic Priest in Lourdes, France. She asked for the gift to be anonymous, and I respect that. I enjoy a certain element of mystery.
The only direction I was given with this request was the link to the popular blog that Fr. George keeps. It's called "bloggingLOURDES". She also told me that he refers to himself as a "jackass". This concerned me. I imagined that he may be some kind of "wacky" priest, with theological subtleties of an 80's prop comic. Father Gallagher. But thankfully that is not the the case.
The donkey-thing comes from a quote from the popular 4th century pillar of the Western Church, St. Augustine,"You are a jackass, but you carry Christ". This is good with me. When it comes down to it, we are all really jackasses, right? Certainly, I'll admit to being as assy as they come. (Ask the people who have to live with me.)
On his blog, Fr. George is very open and well spoken. Do I agree with everything he says? No. I'm not Catholic. I do think he is a good writer and respect that he's not afraid to speak his mind. And I am honored to make him a painting.
This painting came very hard to me. It took forever. It is painted over my completed first attempt. This first work was awkward on many levels. I tried to put a bunch of "Catholic-looking" stuff in it to make it interesting. Doves shooting lasers from their beaks and the like. The colors were dark and the proportions off. It looked like a baroque nightmare. Now, I kind of regret not keeping it for novelty and laughs. My donkey came out far better in this one anyway.
Thank you, mysterious-patron-lady and I hope you like it, Fr. George.
This blogger has also been send a couple of gift recently from readers. The Myerly Family kindly send me a small tripod last week. (They must have gotten tired of seeing my slightly out of focus pictures). And about a month ago, Rowan Keenan sent me this cute cat picture that she drew for me. If I ever need help with this project ...
Thank You, everyone.