E is for Ecclesiastical

As the son of an Episcopal Bishop, I grew up in an ecclesiastical world.  My rearing revolved around church life, and therefore became an integral part of whom I've become.  That's why ecclesiastical themes often emerge through my art and writings.  The Church is also the foundation upon which my marriage, parenthood, and professional work have been built upon.  I have even considered going into the ministry at a couple of points throughout my lifetime.  This doesn't mean I've lead a perfectly righteous life, but God's grace and guidance have helped me through.  Life brings trials and tribulations, but God is good all the time!

Isaiah 52:7
Greeting Card
Word Art Wednesday #196
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Food &/or Drink
Tag You're It!  Challenge #27
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 23 Year 5
Anyway, as a guest designer at Word Art Wednesday for the month of August, I decided to design a card this week.  I began by printing the free scripture art from Isaiah 52:7, on a piece of DCWV Garden Party (GP) cardstock print.  I tacked it with a Uhu Stic onto a DCWV blank card; pierced a line of holes on the upper and bottom borders using a piercing tool, pad and a Tim Holtz ruler; and did some hand stitching.  Next, I created a border using another GP print with a Fiskars AdvantEdge system and the Ivy League Punch cartridge.  I trimmed the left border with it, along with some Tim Holtz tissue tape.  As a focal point, I created a miniature tag using one of the GP embellishments, Tim Holtz tape, ribbon, and the Fresh Brewed Designs' Study Time Bible digital stamp.  I illuminated the latter with Prismacolor watercolor pencils and outlined it with a micron pen.  I also highlighted the mug with Ranger's Crackle Accents and the Bible with Frayed Burlap Stickles.  I attached it with some scrapbooking foam tape.

Saint Elizabeth
Mixed Media Art Journal Page
Piarom's Mix It Monthly Challenge - Aug/Sept Mixed Media Flowers
The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge - #15 Get Texty
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Homegrown Summer
Kim's Show Your Face
Julie's Art Journal Everyday
Illustration Friday - Heart
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
So, what else is on my work desk this Wednesday?  Some Gelli prints I made over the weekend, as well as a quick mixed media sketch in charcoal, Gelatos, Cray-Pas oil pastels, and gold Sharpie in my 14"x11" Mead Académie art journal.  I did the sketch over one of the pages that I used to roll the excess paint off of my brayer when I was working on the prints.  (I'll share more about my prints in a later post.)  It's an original take on an icon of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary.  I learned that she was a princess in the early 1200's, who gave up her riches to become an early member of the Third Order of St. Francis.  Amongst other things, she is considered the patron saint of bakers, countesses, charities, tertiaries, widows, and young brides, and her symbols include flowers and bread.  She is quoted as saying, "How could I bear a crown of gold, when the Lord bears a crown of thorns and bears it for me!"

Sunflower in NOLA
iPhone 4s Shot
Sue's Image-in-ing
Bella's 52 Photos Project - Gallery 15 {Yellow}
Leslie and Roger's ABC Wednesday - E is for Exquisite
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #323
Maria's Orange You Glad It's Friday #155
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #189
Last, but not least, I have a photograph I took during my trip to New Orleans, Louisiana.  It's a giant sunflower that was growing on a patch of grass at a corner along a strip of shops.  Its beauty and strength reminded me of the passage in Luke 12:27-28 and Mathew 6:28-30, where Jesus said, "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you?"  Yes, God is good all the time, we just need to have faith in him and not waste time worrying.  Yes, there will be trials and tribulations, but I feel we must stay strong and just believe.  He is in charge, even though we may not always understand the mysterious ways in which He works.

I apologize for the lengthiness of my post this week.  Thank you for your visit and for taking the time to leave a comment.  Blessings!


Unknown said…
How different lifes can be.....
Myself born into a family wich was against 'god' in all its ways... i later on found God (or got found-ed by Him) and eversince He is part of my life in all i do and don't.
Through very tough pfases and good ones, He was (and is) there. Like you i had some moments in life in wich i want to become a preacher.... started with the studie aswel but never ended it.
I strongly believe that each and everyone of us has to find his way with goods and bads.. of wich we have to learn... but with Him at our side.. it all will be good at some point.

Before my answer gets to long... i stop ;-) with wishing you the guidance of his blessing hands.

Thank you for participating and hopefully you will keep on doin so.

Melody (abc-w)
NCSue said…
This post wasn't too long - it gave some insight into your work.
Thank you for sharing, and thanks for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/08/say-yes-to-neigh.html
Ann said…
God is good ALL THE TIME, thankful for your journey and your artwork.
Donna said…
This is simply a very beautiful, crafted piece of art. Love all of the design elements and how you've made them work in harmony together :)
Thank you for joining us at a Tag You're It...
Sharon Madson said…
I never mind how long your posts are, because I enjoy them so much. I love your Is. 52:7 card. So much detail on it besides the beautiful verse. And what a lovely photograph! I haven't been to New Orleans in years! How observant to spot that flower and to photograph it so beautifully and to be reminded of God's word. Thanks for sharing.. #30
Sue Jones said…
Lovely post and wonderful art work :) Have a great week x Soojay 22
Annie Claxton said…
Your posts are always interesting and full of beautiful art work. Have a wonder-full week :o) Annie C #34
Anonymous said…
Dear Arnoldo, I enjoyed learning more about your life and faith and its intersection with your art. Aside from the "eye candy" aspect, I think many of us participate in WOYWW as a way of connecting with others and when you share something of yourself, that connection is enhanced. Happy WOYWW from Laura #48
Kim said…
Your journal page is stunning, and I loved reading your post. I can't wait to see the gelli prints...I had to put mine far away, as I was using up paper way too fast!
Have a great week.
-K #42
anja curvers said…
Very pretty so much detail. Thank you for joining us over at Tag You're It.
Leslie: said…
Your posts are never too long for me, Arnaldo. "Trials and tribulations..." I know very well of which you speak! Having just been through the fire (again!) I sometimes ask God, "Why?" And He always tells me that He made me strong and so I could take away the suffering of others. Maybe through exhortation - maybe through example - only God knows, and I follow His example. Have an excellent week.

abcw team
Obsessivemom said…
I loved your artwork - that greeting card is so creative and has so many elements. The journal looks beautiful and the sunflower is like a painting. You have a wonderful relationship with God and that perhaps shows up in your work.
Hi Arnoldo, great post. It's always very inspiring to read your thoughts. I was born into a family of Methodists and although I didn't realise it for a long time I do believe that it has influenced the person I am today but for the good I hope.
Wishing you a great week, thanks for the visit to mine and happy woyww, Angela x 24 xXx
Wonderful work and sharing. Have a blessed week. Peg R 52
Shoshi said…
No need for apologies, Arnoldo - I read every word of your fascinating post! My hubby is a Franciscan tertiary. I must ask him if he knows about St. Elisabeth. She certainly gets around, being the patron saint of so many different things haha!! I love the picture, and your card is beautiful - one of my favourite Scriptures from Isaiah, that one. What are the beautiful glass things in front of the card? Thank you for your lovely comment. I saw the oncologist on Monday and she has prescribed more steroids for me this time, so hopefully I will feel better after my treatment, which is on Friday. My mystery project is now on its way to its recipient and I'm hoping to start the Big Reveal over the weekend, depending on how I'm feeling. It's going to take the form of quite a few blog posts because Shoshi's been a very busy girl over the past few weeks working on it all!

Happy WOYWW,
Shoshi #37
Lilian said…
I thought it was great that we chose the same image! =)
Love your card! All the little details!
The Leaf Studio
Annie said…
What beautiful artwork. Thanks for visiting me yesterday.
Annie x #23
Deepa said…
Lovely take on the prompt
Beautiful tag, thank you for joining us at Tag You're It Challenge.
Yup...all the time!!! LOVE your card, and especially the journal page! The flower just pops, I almost thought you painted it!
When I was 12, most people thought I would become a minister, and I tended to agree.

Valerie-Jael said…
Beautiful work as always, Valerie
Giggles said…
Wonderful card and the photo is stunning!! Very noble post!

Hugs Giggles
Faye said…
What a marvelous post this week, Arnoldo. I love the St. Elizabeth and wish I could make it enlarge. For some reason it wouldn't on my computer. The flower is so beautiful. I don't think we have this kind growing where I live.
Trubes said…
Your posts are never too long Arnoldo, I enjoyed reading all of them and feel exceedingly inspired.
Your artwork is divine too.
My sis-in=law makes the most beautiful hand crafted greetings cards and I always look forward to receiving one from her on a special occasion.
Thank you for sharing your faith with us, I find it uplifting too.
Blessings to you dear Arnoldo,

ABCW team.
sirkkis said…
Lovely post, Arnold. Love your paintings.
Christine said…
Lovely work this week Arnoldo!
Jo said…
Interesting post. When I was growing up my father was a Methodist minister, so like you, much of my "formative" years revolved around church life etc. Twenty-twenty five years later my mother also became an ordained Methodist minister, so I saw and "felt" the church from another perspective- a more feminine perspective. My earliest moments of the performing arts, arts used in worship stemmed from my early childhood and have and will remain with me for the rest of my life. I did not mean to ramble.

I really like your St Elizabeth piece. I think it's wonderful you chose to celebrate the feminine.
GlorV1 said…
Awesome work and words as always Arnoldo. Love your card, great photo. Enjoy your weekend.
Unknown said…
I love the old world feel you captured - it a beautiful work!
Photos by Stan said…
hello Arnoldo, Another prodigious work!! Oddly enough, my fave is St. Elizabeth. That proves one can still appreciate 'church art' and not belong to the Church. Peace & Love, Stan
Suz said…
Wonderful Saint Elizabeth! I love the aged look like a true relic would have.
Meihsia Liu said…
Love your gorgeous journal page! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. :)
St. Elizabeth is so gorgeous. You outdid yourself on that piece.
Kelly said…
I look forward to stopping by your blog to see your beautiful artwork. You never disappoint. :-) Always lovely. Creative Blessings on your week! Kelly #46
sheila 77 said…
I agree with others that your post was very enjoyable and certainly not too long. Loved reading the details of how you made your art.
I do like the stitching on the word art card, and the mug and bible, and it's beautifully presented and photographed. Your Saint Elizabeth painting is so complex and thanks for her story, very interesting.
Hope you have a great week ahead.
Irene Rafael said…
I always enjoy your thoughtful sharing and your creative work here on your blog. Not to long for me. Thank you. Have a lovely week.
Wanda said…
Great post. So enjoyed getting to know you from your narrative. The Church has been a part of my life since 3 when my parents started taking me to church. As a teenager committed my life to serve the Lord and went to Bible College where I met my husband. Before retiring 7 years ago, we were in ministry for 50 years.

Your work so tell of your life of faith. Love this, and thanks for sharing.
GranthamLynn said…
Beautiful work. I love the sunflower photo and the accompanying scripture. Thanks for sharing.
Have a good week.
Gayatri said…
Lovely card with great scripture.Thanks for playing along Simon Says Stamp Food and/or Drink Challenge!
Maiah Harrison said…
That card is really sweet. Love it!
Under The Tea Tree
Wonderful artwork!
PiaRom said…
How amazingly you always put all the challenges into one! Really in love with your saint..wish I could see it more detailed, hihi! http://mix-it-monthly.blogspot.de
Beth Niquette said…
What a wonderful blog entry. My husband was in the ministry. I miss him so much. The verse, Isaiah 52:7, is not only framed beautifully, but it ministered to my heart this morning. Thank you.
mandysea said…
I also thoroughly enjoy your posts. I love your card, the stitching looks fabulous and the little attached tag. Wonderful watercolour work on your next project. Gorgeous sunflower!
Always loving your cards, Arnoldo. I especially love this one and Isaiah 52:7 is a fave of mine. Wishing you a blessed week! :)
JKW said…
Your creativity (thanks for the details) and words are so Blessed. Thank you. Blessings, Janet PPF
Kim Dellow said…
Gorgeous work! Thanks for linking up to Show Your Face and for the shout out too!
~*~Patty S said…
Hello from Mix it Monthly
Very nice post and artwork.
Your Saint Elisabeth is really wonderful.
Brightest of Blessings always
Donna B. said…
Gorgeous projects! Loved reading about them. Thanks so much for playing at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge this month.
Rachel said…
what gorgeous pieces! you have so much talent!! Thank you so much for playing with the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge!

Nancy B said…
I love all your beautiful art and that sunflower but I especially love the bible with the coffee cup. Tells me your probably start your day with God's Word. I'll be reading Isaiah 52 tonight.