Now that this painting, which was commissioned for a fundraiser effort, has made its way to its final destination via an exciting in-person auction, I am free to make the official reveal:
St. Joseph the Humble
As I mentioned, this painting was commissioned for a fundraiser, in this case for the group Young Catholic Professionals.
The folks at YCP and I were in talks about this painting long before we knew that this year would be declared by Pope Francis as the Year of St. Joseph. The conference was originally scheduled for last September, but of course was pushed out until this spring. In the end, the timing was auspicious, as the Conference took place over the weekend of May 1, feast of St. Joseph the Worker.
In the process of this painting, I was certainly meditating on St. Joseph the Worker. I tried out different poses with my model, considering painting the Saint with his hammer and square to emphasis his carpentry. St. Joseph the Worker is absolutely my patron in my studio and I am devoted to him especially as the model man who provides for his family with hands-on work. In the end, I chose to paint St. Joseph with his flowering staff. His head down, his brow somewhat furrowed, his mind pondering the tasks placed before him and his heart in prayer, he eventually emerged to me as a man most humble. Hence the title.
I had the pleasure of traveling to Dallas, TX for YCP's annual conference and presented this work at the VIP reception before the concluding gala.
"John is a very talented artist who clearly puts his heart and soul into his commissioned pieces. The painting exuded light, depth, and sophistication, which translated into an excellent live auction experience with substantial funds raised for our non-profit." - Jennifer Baugh, Founder & Executive Director of Young Catholic Professionals (YCP)
After the unveiling, I painted on my signature as the very final step to complete this work.
Here's a shot of the winner (left) and the gentleman who graciously agreed to let this painting go in exchange for a whole separate commission. So another St. Joseph painting will soon be underway!
The auction was very exciting, with two bidders eventually getting into a bit of a war over the piece! After considerable back-and-forth, time was running short. The auctioneer made the suggestion on the spot: would I be willing to paint a second painting for the runner-up? I agreed, and in the end, you might say, the painting sold not once, but twice to benefit YCP.
And then to make it even more complete, a priest was available to give the painting a blessing on the spot! So the artwork was able to go to its new home all ready as a blessed object to aid in prayer and devotion. It was perfect!
Many thanks to my model, an excellent study for St. Joseph -- my brother-in-law. We had a good - if quiet - time in the studio to make this come to life.
As part of the Big 5 Event I'm running during the month of May for the members of my private email list, I'm celebrating the collection fo children's books I have in publication thus far: 5 major works as well as a handful of smaller projects.
As I've mentioned before, I think the quality of what we hand our children to read is very important. In our household, we "just say no" to children's books that have garish, unharmonious, ugly, or otherwise unpleasant illustrations.
Although illustrating children's books is a departure from my fine art work, the creative process that goes into these works is just hard for me to turn down! You can thank my friend Matthew Mehan for really getting the ball rolling when he roped me into Mister Mehan's Mildly Amusing Mythical Mammals. Since then, opportunities for illustration have been beckoning, and I've had the chance to answer for the ones you see here below.
Without further ado, a compendium of my illustrated work thus far!
Mister Mehan's Mildly Amusing Mythical Mammals ("M5" for short!)
Hello there, I'm John H. Folley, an oil painter in the Boston School tradition. Thanks for visiting the Beauty Advocacy Blog, where it's my job to help you become a more discerning art appreciator.
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