I'm partial to this Pope, not just because he ditched the ridiculously expensive papal wardrobe, reprimanded a German bishop for spending $3 million on a marble courtyard, sneaks out at night dressed as a priest to feed homeless people in Rome, and used to ride a Harley.
In addition to those things, I also admit to a bias with regard to his choice of name, because St. Francis is my favorite - the patron saint of animals and little children - how could he not be everyone's favorite? I have a life sized, hand hewn mesquite statue of St. Francis in my living room, if that tells you anything about my bias. (You can see pictures of him in this blog post.)
But the real reason I'm partial to this Pope is that I think he's an artist. If you listen closely to what he says, he speaks a very visual language.
I particularly liked this section: "There are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows," Francis said in his homily. "If our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us. "
I also just got done with a four week drawing class where our teacher kept teaching us to look for points of tension in our drawings - those places where things were out of balance, and where the viewer might get trapped in sameness with nowhere to go. To escape these points of tension, you need contrast. You need light and dark, up and down, complementary colors. To appreciate the white of the paper in your drawing, you need deep, dark shadows.
That was one of the most useful art tips I've ever gotten. And it's not a bad life lesson either.
But again, I'm biased. My go to art is high contrast, black and white, yellow and blue. No feathered edges here :).
This year's Christmas card, while it praises light by contrasting it with some crisp dark, is a bit of a departure for me from my normal neat and clean Christmas cards. I've had such fun with the Mix-Ability challenge on Splitcoast this year, I had to do a little mixed media for my Christmas card.
And, since every year I break down the anatomy of my card - for 150 cards, I only used three sheets of the Canson ($1.23), and 75 sheets of Whisper White cardstock ($17). So the total consumable cost of these 150 cards was $.12 each. How about that for a bargain? The cheapest I could find on Amazon were cute, but about $.72 apiece. And not lovingly handmade by yours truly.
I had fun making them, and I always have fun writing a note to my friends each year. It's a time that I really treasure, because I rarely (sad, but true) make time to just write notes to people for most of the year.
I like (despite my Virgo tendencies) that each one is completely unique this year. here's a sampling.
Maybe you recognize one of these as the one you got!
Joy to you and yours today. I hope you have a great holiday!