Unfinished Lenten Project

Now that Easter’s over, I’ve decided to currently suspend my personal project for the past Lent where I attempted to draw all the Stations of the Cross as a form of penance. That’s eight out of the fourteen Stations I’ve finished pencilling so far. I had intended to add in a bit of colouring and/or shading in Painter or Photoshop after I scanned the drawings on to my PC. Instead, I’ll just leave things where they are now and add the finishing touches to the eight drawings and complete the remaining Stations next Lent.

Meantime, you can look at what I’ve finished pencilling so far. Note that these are basically the basic drawings for the stations, lacking any additional effects (such as additional blood) which I intend to add later. Click on the thumbnails to zoom in.

Station 1 – Jesus Is Condemned to Death
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Station 2 – Jesus Carries His Cross
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Station 3 – Jesus Falls the First Time
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Station 4 – Jesus Meets His Blessed Mother
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Station 5 – Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
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Station 6 – Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
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Station 7 – Jesus Falls the Second Time
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Station 13 – Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross
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Meanwhile, I can go back to drawing other things. Raquel suggested I draw more fairy tale images and/or Filipino myth images. I’ll probably be doing those in the coming weeks. That is, if I don’t get distracted by my other hobbies.

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Published in: on March 27, 2008 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lenten penance

It’s Lent again and for Catholics, such as myself, it’s a time for penance. This traditionally meant abstinence from meat flesh and fasting. We are also encouraged to abstain from other things we like as a form of penance during the the forty days between Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday. This time, I’m abstaining from chocolate snacks. And people who know me knows that I love chocolate goodies. This is going to be a tough challenge.

In years past, I also drew/digitally-painted religious images nearing Holy Week as a sort of offering to the Lord. I’m planning to do the same this year but I’m going to be more ambitious by doing more than just one image. I’m thinking of drawing the 14 Stations of the Cross which was something I’ve been wanting to complete for a long time now. Alternatively, I’m thinking of drawing Parables, Beatitudes, one of the Mystery-grouping of the Rosary.

I still haven’t started drawing any religious art because of other things I wanted to finish drawing first. But now that’s done, I can finally start with this in the coming days. Let’s see if I can accomplish this goal this time.

Published in: on February 13, 2008 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Religious art

I started to draw when I was quite young. Some would say I was artistically-inclined. I believed even then that God had given me these skills for a reason and I felt that the very least I can do is to create art that could help strengthen and renew people’s faith in God. So, while I was still studying in a Catholic school, I volunteered to be one of the school-boy artists for our school’s parish church.

Our chruch had three main entrances and, if I recall correctly, there were at least two entrances with a big blackboard beside the entrance. Our job as volunteer church artists was to draw a biblical scene based on a relevant Bible verse for that week’s mass. We would letter the actual verse on one half of the board and draw the matching scene on the other half of the board using coloured chalk. We took turns at who gets to draw and letter on which board. I had to stay later after school to do this but I didn’t mind one bit. I believed that I was using my God-given artistic gift to good use and it felt good.

Studying in a Catholic school meant we have Religion classes. I didn’t mind. I liked the stories and the lessons I learnt during these classes. The other thing I like about these classes were the textbooks. They were very colourful and it had lots of art in it drawn in a particular style that I really liked. The style used was well suited for those Religion books, I thought. I even imitated the style when I drew on the Chruch boards.

Now that I’m grown up, I still feel that God is calling me to make religious-themed art. That’s why I had drawn a few artworks a few years ago that is related to the Passion of Christ. Sad to say, I haven’t drawn anything similar since.

After winning the Artist of the Year prize in our Company’s art competition, I start to feel God’s call again. And so, here I am again.

I already started to draw my version of The Annunciation thinking that it may be appropriate for this coming Christmas season. After thinking about it some more though, maybe a Holy Family portrait or scene in the manger work would be more appropriate. So I’m putting the Annunciation work on hold for now.

Coming back to the art style in those old Religion books, I was thinking that maybe I can imitate the style again for the thing I’m planning to draw for Christmas. However, I don’t have access to those very old textbooks so I have to rely on memory alone. Before anything else, I first wanted to try if I can pull of the style or at least come up with a style that has a similar feel to it. So, I drew this piece: The Tax Collector.

I originally drew this with a ballpoint pen on my notebook at work as a doodle to help me clear my mind during the large amount testing that needed to be done with the system. When I got home, I took a webcam photo of it then inked it in Painter IX.

The art style of those textbooks had strong lines, a bit angular and the people always faced straight towards the reader even when looking to the side (the artist just tilts the head and points the eyes in the direction of what the character is looking at).

Now that it’s done, I think it came out well. I’ll probably do some more trials before actually starting on the real piece I want to draw.

Published in: on November 14, 2007 at 11:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Weekend Events in the Western Suburbs

Just letting everybody who might be interested know that this year’s Philippine Fiesta in Melbourne will be held in the Philippine Community Centre at Laverton tomorrow and Sunday (November 25-26). So, if you’re a Pinoy expat missing the Philippines, here’s your chance to go to a fiesta here in Melbourne. Just go to their website for more information.

If you are Roman Catholic and live in the West area (well, even if you aren’t), there is a Filipino Mass at the St Peter Apostle Mission Parish located at 31-33 Guinane Ave., Hoppers Crossing (Melway 206 F1) this coming Sunday at 12 noon. Actually, according to Mass schedule, there is a Filipino Mass every fourth Sunday of the month at noon. But this coming Sunday though, according to a friend of mine, there is also a free lunch made up of Filipino dishes after the Mass.

So, some friends of ours intend to hear Mass at St Peter this coming Sunday and have lunch there before going to the Philippine Fiesta at Laverton (which is just a few minutes car ride from Hoppers Crossing).

Although we’ll be attending Mass at Hoppers, Raquel and I might not go on to the fiesta with our friends. We decided that we’ll just give this year’s fiesta a miss since we’ll be flying home to the Philippines in December for Christmas anyway.

Instead, we’re heading off to the 2006 Spring Harvest Picnic at Werribee Park at K Road, Werribee (Melway 201B4) for something different. It’s from 9 am to 5 pm this coming Sunday only. Here’s a description of the event from their website:

Food and wine producers from all over Victoria will gather in the grounds of Werribee Park to sample, showcase and sell their tasty products. This is a wonderful day for the family and will feature music and dance on stage throughout the day, cooking demonstrations by well known chefs and lots of activities for kids.

Bring a picnic blanket and basket, and create a picnic from the delicious array of goods on offer. Stock the pantry in time for Christmas, or buy Christmas presents for all your food-loving friends. Ticket covers admission to the Spring Harvest Picnic, Werribee Mansion, the Victoria State Rose Garden and access to the Winemaker’s Cup polo tournament.

So, although we don’t really care much for wine, we care a lot about food. Also, we haven’t seen the Werribee Mansion yet (which is one of Werribee’s tourist attractions), so this is a good excuse to go visit it since the admission for it is also included in the admission for the picnic.

Anyway, this weekend is looking to be a busy and fun-filled couple of days for us. Thank God. I’m so looking forward to doing something leisurely after all the work I’m doing.

Published in: on November 24, 2006 at 12:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

The End Is Near

I don’t want to be an alarmist but it seems very much like it is near the end of the world. Literally. Raquel and I have recently watched Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth over the weekend. It’s a documentary about global warming and climate change.

But don’t let the fact that it is a documentary put you off. Al Gore, who is the film’s narrator/lecturer, was pretty entertaining while he gets the message across to his audience. And what is this message? Well, if we don’t change now, our planet Earth may not be livable in 50 years.

Here is a quote about the film from its website:

Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced.

Although it may seem like just a lot of fear-mongering, when you see the facts presented in the form of raw data, charts and photos taken of places a few years ago compared to today, you wouldn’t be able to deny that we are in fact destroying ourselves due to our apathy towards the environment.

I think most of that apathy is due to the fact that caring for the environment means living a more inconvenient life. Turning down the thermostat 2 degrees lower to cut down on carbon emissions means that winters would be slightly less comfortable in the house. Switching to green energy means paying more for electricity. Driving the car less means walking more and taking the public transportation available. But what is all that convenience gained today if there our planet is unlivable tomorrow?

Trailer of An Inconvenient Truth

There are rumours in the media that the jury is still out on whether this global warming thing is even actually happening. Well, according to scientists it is happening and it’s happening fast. Meanwhile, the government implies that not all scientists agree on this. But it just isn’t so. This is just the government’s way of appeasing the corporations and the people who have a stake on carbon emitting technologies such as coal and petrol.

I can understand why these people may feel threatened by people wanting to take action toward reduction of carbon emissions and some such. After all, if we stop using coal tomorrow, there would be a lot of unemployed workers from the mining industry. But if we don’t take action, the farmers will be out of business as the continuing rise of temperature annually will cause yearly droughts. So, on top of not having enough food to feed the planet, we all have to contend with the rising heat. The miners could find other jobs. We can’t find another livable planet.

And with the rising heat, that means the glaciers of the arctic will melt. It’s actually already melting at an alarming rate. With all that melted water added to the ocean, cities near the sea will be submerged in up to 20 feet of water. That would affect a lot of major cities in the planet.

And once this happens, there is no turning back. There would be nothing we could do to save the planet and ourselves. So, while we still have a chance, we should definitely do something about it now. I’m sure some of you reading this are still skeptical about the whole global warming issue. Why don’t you go to the cinemas and watch this film and see for yourself?

As for me, I’ll try to do my part. Also, I’d like to help spread the word on this very critical issue. I want there to be a livable and sustainable planet Earth for my children-to-be and my grandchildren-to-be.

Speaking of the end of the world… Recently, Pope Benedict gave a speech in Germany that angered a lot of Muslims. Now, they are calling for the Pope’s head because of the apparent slur against their prophet. This reminded me of St Malachi’s Prophecy of the Popes. St Malachi was 12th century Irish archbishop who listed 112 future Popes. And guess what? Pope Benedict is pope 111 on the list.

So far, the predictions for all the popes on the list have been accurate specially with Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II. As for Pope Benedict, well, the description given by St Malachi “Glory of the Olives” for the 111th pope on his list could be considered close enough for now. The Benedictine order has an order called the Olivetans and Saint Benedict (the saint whose name Ratzinger chose to adopt) founded that order. Some people interpreted the phrase to mean that the 111th pope would be a peace maker much like St Benedict. So, the current pope could still probably earn the “title” of “Glory of the Olives” later on.

However, the thing that stuck to me was that the 111th pope’s reign would supposedly be a short one. I’ve read this somewhere when I was young but I wasn’t able to find reference to it on the Web. And with the radical Muslims wanting the Pope dead, this might just turn out to be true, too.

As for the last Pope, this is what St Malachi has to say:

In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & Judex tremêdus judicabit populum suum. Finis.
(In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End.)

A bit scary if it came to be true. But with what’s happening with global warming, freak weather patterns, famine and pestilence, it may not be too far fetch to imagine that the end is indeed near. Well, unless we take action against climate change, then, whether you believe in prophecies or not, the world will definitely end anyway.

Published in: on September 19, 2006 at 7:43 am  Comments (3)  

Mortality

I know I’m still relatively young to be thinking about aging and inevitable mortality but there are days when I just zone out and think about what it would be like a couple of decades from now. I’d be in my fifties possibly afflicted with some sort of chronic ailment thinking about the good old days when I was an invincible adolescent. I don’t know why I think about such things but I do. And thinking about it depresses me.

Sometimes, I imagine being executed either through lethal injection. What would it be like? What would I see after death? Am I awake one moment then suddenly I’m in a dreamless sleep the next? If the atheists are right and that there is no God and no heaven, would I just cease to exist upon my death? Should I just accept that as the end? I supposed it could be comforting in some way in that after a long time of living, one can finally just sleep and never wake up. I guess it shouldn’t really matter to the dead person. He wouldn’t know any different.

And if there is God and there is Heaven and Hell, what then? One moment I’m dying and then the next I’m either up in Heaven or burning forever in Hell. I sometimes imagine dying and then popping up in Hell where I will suffer for my sins the next eternity or two, burning in a vat of boiling magma yet never ever really dying. It’s a horrible thought. Sometimes, I imagine I go to Heaven. But then, what do I do there for eternity? Would it be all fun forever? Would it eventually get boring? I suppose it’s something I’ll never fathom with my mortal mind.

I sometimes imagine what if instead of suddenly being in either Heaven or Hell after death, I just find myself awake on the ground surrounded by other people also just waking up and then I look up and see God preparing for the Last Judgment where all those unworthy would be thrown in Hell with the Devil and his minions to suffer for all time. I imagine it would feel worse than waiting for your turn at the dentist.

I remembered when I was having my kidney stone episode a couple of years ago, the pain was so intense and unrelenting that I honestly thought that death might have been an better alternative than continue enduring the pain. I guess, that’s when I first ever thought about my own mortality. That’s when I first thought about what it would be like to die.

Even though I’ve been thinking about my own mortality, it doesn’t mean I want to die… yet. Dying actually scares me. After imagining being dead for a minute, I snap back to reality with my heart slightly pounding from the despair of it all.

So, in the end, what’s the point of this post? Nothing, really. It’s just something that has me pre-occupied at random times and I wanted to talk about it with someone. Actually, I already did by talking to Raquel. Anyway, I wish I was 20-something again. I wish I was that invincible youth again. I wish.

Published in: on June 14, 2006 at 12:00 pm  Comments (8)  

Easter Mass at Werribee

I confess that I haven’t gone to hear Mass for a while now. This Easter Sunday, I decided to start going again at the nearby St Andrew’s church here in Werribee.

I actually thought there’d only be a dozen people there like when I went to the Easter Mass at South Yarra a year ago. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people. In fact, the church was so full people had to stand outside to hear Mass. I was one of them because I didn’t get there early enough.

Still, it felt good to be there with everybody celebrating Easter morning at church.

Published in: on April 18, 2006 at 8:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jesus Carries His Cross

Last Easter season, I thought I could draw all 12 Stations of the Cross as part of my panata for Lent but couldn’t. I was only able to draw the first station of the cross: Jesus is Condemned to Death.

Well, although it’s a year later, here is the second station of the cross: Jesus Carries His Cross.

I never thought I’d draw anything at all for the Easter season. I just picked up my tablet stylus and started doodling and decided to draw the second station for kicks. Then it came to me that it was actually Holy Week again. Anyway, since I haven’t drawn anything nice for some time now, I was hoping I still know how to draw. Well, it’s finished now. Hope you like it.

Published in: on April 14, 2006 at 11:44 pm  Comments (5)  

Why Maundy Thursday?

Today is Holy Thursday, also called Maundy Thursday. In the Philippines, this is a public holiday. Here in Australia, we have to come to work. At least we get Monday off though because of Easter Monday which was something we didn’t have in the Philippines.

This reminded me of a story of when I was still working in the Philippines for an American company’s new Philippine-based office. There were only a handful of us working for the company and we were left almost entirely unsupervised in the first few months of operation. However, we are required to make a conference call to the bosses in the US every week to monitor our progress.

On one of these conference calls, we mentioned to the boss that there would be public holidays coming up during the Holy Week. We said that there would be no work on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Our boss couldn’t believe it. He said that he was surprised to hear that there was a week-long public holiday coming up. We were a bit confused with his reply. Week-long? We clarified that there’d only be no work on Thursday and Friday.

He said, “then why did you say there’d be no work from Monday to Thursday and Friday?”

Ah! There it is. We corrected him that we didn’t say “Monday to Thursday” but “Maundy Thursday.” We had a good laugh about it. He still complained though, “why didn’t you just Thursday. Why did you you have to say ‘Maundy’?”

We didn’t actually know why it is called “Maundy”. We’ve only ever known the holiday as Maundy Thursday and sometimes as Holy Thursday.

I did a little research and found out the reason for Maundy in Maundy Thursday. According to scholars, Maundy is derived from the Latin word Mandatum that means Commandment. It is taken from John 13:34 of the Latin version of the Bible: “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos ut et vos diligatis invicem,” Jesus Christ said to His disciples during the Last Supper. In English: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.”

Well, now you know why, too. For more information regarding Maundy Thursday, you can read the Catholic Encyclopedia entry here.

Published in: on April 13, 2006 at 1:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Jesus look-alike contest

I mentioned in past entries that Holy Week and Easter isn’t given as much reverence here in Australia as we do in the Philippines. Here, Easter is about chocolate and the Easter Bunny. Forget the part that the season is about Jesus Christ dying on the cross for the sins of humanity and defeating death itself on Easter day.

Okay, I’m sure there might be some of you who will contend that Easter is a pagan-derived celebration. Well, the Resurrection of Christ was celebrated by Christians in the early years of movement at around the same time of Easter (and the same goes with the Jewish Passover ) even before it was ever called Easter. It was only named that later on to help convert pagans into the Christian faith. So, even if the name “Easter” may have etymologically been derived from pagan sources, the reason why it had been observed by Christians and why it is still celebrated widely today was because of its Christ’s Resurrection. Anyway, my apologies for digressing.

Let me get back to the point of this blog post.

I expected that there would be little mention of Jesus in popular media this year’s Lenten season. Not so. Our current favourite FM radio station, 101.9 Fox FM hosted a “Jesus Look-alike Contest” on their morning breakfast show hosted by Matt Tilley and Jo Stanley (and co-hosted by Troy and Adam Richards).

I’m a little conflicted about the contest. On the one hand, it seems borderline blasphemous. On the other, it does let people know that Easter is about Jesus more than it is about the Easter Bunny. I can’t help but be slightly offended by their irreverence toward Jesus. I remember feeling offended a while back when they were poking fun at Pope John Paul II’s death, too. I’m really tempted to stop listening to their station just for the principle of it.

There were a few complaints from listeners objecting to the contest. But one Anglican priest called in to say he’s okay with it. God would just probably think it funny, he said (I paraphrased him). He did gave kudos to the morning breakfast team for helping getting the word out that Easter is about Jesus.

To see the pictures of those who joined the contest, go here. What do you think? It does seem like a harmless contest. But names like “Motorbike Jesus” and “Taco Bell Jesus” (which are reminiscent of the movie Dogma’s “Buddy Jesus”) make me feel uncomfortable. It’s like poking fun at Jesus.

Well, like I said. I’m conflicted about the whole thing. At the very least though, I could use the photos of these Jesus look-alikes as reference if I wanted to draw or paint a portrait of Jesus. Also, they did have a Jesus trivia portion in the contest so people who knew nothing about Jesus would’ve picked up something about him if they were listening in. The good news, though, is that the contest ended this morning. That means I could look forward to listening to Fox FM again without hearing anymore nonsense about that silly contest.

Published in: on April 13, 2006 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment