From the Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Cathedral. It was still on canvas in the studio when I took this photo. It was an interesting problem, or play, to choose the colors for all twelve, their robes and feathers. And their fluttering ribbons. The ribbons perpetually flutter to symbolize the constant murmur of God in their ears. Again, about 9 feet tall, 14 foot wingspan. I made the wing tips separately; it was easier to position them that way.
I’ve been remembering, finding more photos and adding a few, little by little, to the Liturgical Art gallery -- see thumbnails over yonder on the left side (had to think about that a second -- left -- right... never very clear in my mind. Lucky the angels were in a circle.)
While doing dental work on the 1 mm teeth of my tiny dinosaur -- he has 60+ and they vary in size -- I find myself missing the work my mother Lou and I did on the murals she designed for the Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, PA. It was as much in the Eastern style as we poor westerners could muster. We both found it a deeply congenial language, though we were surely interlopers: women and heathen, and who could say which was worse in the eyes of the Old Believers. Indeed, we were declared Anathema (or was it Abomination -- I forget). That seemed to me to be rather an honor, altogether.
A ring of twelve angels were my job, and each had a 14 foot wingspan. We were about 60 feet up on scaffold (constructed by persons who liked to have a mighty good time in the evening; there was an element of suspense). The church bell would strike the hours, which, somehow, gave a timeless rather than a timely sense. Self and Angel, so long ago:
I was able to draw each angel on heavy mural canvas, mostly paint it, cut it out like an enormous paper-doll, adhere it to the ceiling and finish the painting there.
When Mr. Dinosaur and several other belated Entities (bless your patience, Friends) are complete, I may have to pause and do something Large.
...working large. One of my angels, who flew to a dome (see "Liturgical Work" gallery) and had a 14 foot wingspan. I need to find a vulnerable building. But meantime, a Merry Midwinter to us!
And, with thanks to Lisa S., who sent it way long ago:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
~ 'Wild Geese' by Mary Oliver
Most of my creatures begin about like this, quite often on a paper napkin,
done at a coffee shop in the morning. This should turn into a winter angel,
cousin to the Eros below.
Baba Yaga should appear here again soon, too. And a blue angel in a rather different style...
"He Is Not Here"
'He is not Here' by Lou Rogers. Oil on canvas.
Thank you, kind and faithful Friends, for sticking with me through this time. I'm
hoping to have a memorial show of my mother's work in Boulder, Colorado,
September 14th 2007, at the Myriad Gallery. This must be finalized, but that's my aim.
Soon I should be posting more images of my own creatures, too.
My best to you all,
For those alone in the silent night, know you are in good company...
For a Russian Orthodox Cathedral dome in Pennsylvania. There were 12 angels in a ring, each with a wingspan of approximately 14 feet. They were, with the madonna in the apse, my part of the project. It was possible to begin them on canvas (seen here) in studio, then affix them to the dome, and do some finishing in situ. A fascinating experience...
Angel, "Eos," in clays and silk.