Sketching from the Neck Up #15

Bled… Bled… Bled…

Bled-lake-w.jpg

Have you ever watched the animated movie, Hotel Transylvania, starring the voice of Adam Sadler as Dracula? Do you recall how humans would tease Dracula on how he talked? “I’m Count Dracula… Bled… Bled… Bled.” Well, okay… it’s actually ‘blah, blah, blah.’ But I really needed a lead off. You see, my next sketch subject is a very old church built on an island on Lake Bled. It’s a pristine lake in the Julian Alps of the Upper Carniolan region of northwestern Slovenia near the border of the Austrian Alps.

The Church of the Assumption of Maria has a 171 ft tower and leading up to it from the shoreline is a Baroque stairway dating from 1655 with 99 stone steps.

The Photoshop I always use is the old 7.0 version. The tools are not as fancy as newer versions but I make do. For this project, I played more around with the smudge tool especially when I worked on the reflection.

——————————————————-

If you like my work and want to support my writing and artwork, please donate into my PAYPAL account [click below]

DONATE TO MY PAYPAL

Thank you.

Sketching from the Neck Up #14

Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso

(Eremo di Santa Caterina del Sasso)

santa-caterina-sasso-w.jpg

According to Wikipedia the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is a Roman Catholic monastery located in the municipality of Leggiuno, in the Province of Varese and the region of Lombardy, Italy. It is perched on a rocky ridge on the eastern shore of Lake Maggiore.

The monastery can be reached on foot by descending down a long winding stairway or by taking an elevator or by a number of ferry services or boats that dock at the pier.

The construction of the monastery dates from the 14th century, although the more recent frescos are from the 19th century. It consists of three buildings: the southern convent, the convent and the main church. In 1914 it was declared a national monument.

Check out the Google Earth or Google Map coordinates: 45.877411°N, 8.596887°E

http://www.santacaterinadelsasso.com

——————————————————-

If you like my work and want to support my writing and artwork, please donate into my PAYPAL account [click below]

DONATE TO MY PAYPAL

Thank you.

THE CENTURION’S GOSPEL – Ch10 – part 7

THE SIGN – Wilderness East of the Lake of GalileeCG-book-cover-w

“What you have heard this night, keep it guarded only among yourselves. The time is not yet right. But it will soon be.” Jesus paused and closed his eyes in contemplation for a long minute. Then he opened his eyes and said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.”

The men began murmuring among themselves. Peter stood up and requested Jesus if he could talk to him privately. Cornelius watched them walk not too far, just at the edge of the light of the camp fire. At first, the big man was calmly whispering things to him. But then he started gesturing angrily. After awhile, Peter was heard angrily saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” The men went silent. Jesus was walking back with Peter wanting to talk some more. Then Jesus angrily pushed Peter back, turned his back to him and said, “Get behind me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind in God’s interests, but man’s.” [Matthew 16:22,23 NASB]

Peter’s face first showed shock and anger, and then realization on the implication of Jesus’ words. Shock was soon replaced by shame. The once big proud man who was minutes earlier praised for his faith stood there humbled with his head down in dejection.

This is the first time that Cornelius has seen Jesus angry. But as quick as it came, Jesus’ face was composed. He went up to Peter and placed his hand on his shoulder and guided him back to the circle of men. He looked at each face and said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it.”

Jesus sat and everyone else followed suit. Then he said, “For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” [Matthew 16:24-28 NASB]
Cornelius returned to his own campsite. Jacob, Trax and Cestus were already sound asleep. As he wrapped himself in his blanket, looking up onto the starry sky, he tried to think about Jesus’ parting words. But to no avail. He finally gave in to sleep with one question lingering in his mind, ‘Why the cross?’

—————————————————————————————-

The story continues on in my next post.

If you are interested in reading the entire ebook, you can find my ebook in Amazon.com for only $1.99. Just click the link below.

If you want to support my writing, you can donate by clicking below…

DONATE TO MY PAYPAL

Thank you

Johann Q

Sketching from the Neck Up #13

More Tree Sketches and a Poem

dead-tree-by-coast-w.jpg

Here is the rest of the poem…

TREES by Joyce Kilmer [1886 – 1918]

I think that I shall never see…      A poem lovely as a tree. 

castle-carnasserie-w.jpg

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
——————————————————-

If you like my work and want to support my writing and artwork, please donate into my PAYPAL account [click below]

DONATE TO MY PAYPAL

Thank you.

Sketching from the Neck Up #12

The Good Ol’ Oak Tree

old-oak-tree-w.jpg

Joyce Kilmer penned in her poem, “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.” In my virtual tour of Google Earth, I was exploring the State of South Carolina just near Charleston when I came upon a grand father of an oak tree known as the Angel Oak. A massive oak that is estimated to be 400-500 years old. Wikipedia says that it stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall, measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet (1,600 m2). Its longest branch distance is 187 ft in length.

I think way back in the early 70s, I have a vague recollection that my family (while cross-countrying) stopped over once to check it out. I was a kid then. The Angel Oak as I understand is a favorite subject of many artists. With their easyls propped under the heavy branches of the tree, they would sketch and paint away blissfully. I may not have the pleasure of actually be there to sketch my heart away but I do have a slew of pictures.

For my drawing, I really wanted to emphasize the age of this tree. I did the usual practice of outlining the the gnarled ol’ trunk and its many twisted branches. Then I applied Photoshop’s filter function which gave my drawing a basic charcoal look. But the results of the auto-render of the trunk and branches hardly showed any distinguishable features and I was not satisfied. So, I painstakingly erased only the auto-render of the trunk and branches. Then, I redid the trunk and branches using different Photoshop brushes and smudge tools.

I hope you like the results.

——————————————————-

If you like my work and want to support my writing and artwork, please donate into my PAYPAL account [click below]

DONATE TO MY PAYPAL

Thank you.

THE CENTURION’S GOSPEL – Ch10 – part 6

THE SIGN – Wilderness East of the Lake of GalileeCG-book-cover-w

Jesus welcomed Cornelius to their circle and gestured that he sit between Simon and Matthew. Matthew had his writing tablet out and was scribbling away. As he was meticulous in keeping records as a former tax collector, he had taken on the task on keeping a journal. By the light of the campfire, Cornelius saw that it was only the twelve that was gathered with Jesus. All of them offered him a nod of greeting. The men were talking among themselves about today’s event, when Jesus interrupted with this question.

“Who do the people say that the Son of Man is?” Jesus asked.

The men started to answer all at once. Some have heard that he was John the Baptist returned from the dead. Matthew and a couple of others called out Elijah. Every major Prophet of old from Jeremiah to Elisha was mentioned.

Then Jesus raised his hand for silence and asked, “But who do you say that I am?”

Cornelius watched the men look at each other like they were afraid to give the wrong answer. He wanted to blurt his answer out but felt that it was not his place. Then Peter stood up with determination and answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!”

Then Jesus approached the big man and to Cornelius’ surprise he spoke in Greek! “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”   [Matthew 16:13-20]

Jesus then sat down allowing them to discuss it among themselves. Cornelius, as to his practice, preferred to think it out by himself. The first thing that came to his mind was, ‘Why in Greek?’ Here in Galilee, Aramaic was the common language among the locals, but Greek was often used in trade with foreigners. In fact, Greek was often used this way throughout the Mediterranean even as far as the cold North Country where the empire had not touched. As he stared at Matthew’s writing, he thought, ‘Of course, one day Jesus’ teachings will go out among the nations and Greek is richer in vocabulary and meaning than Aramaic! At that matter, it is even better than Latin, the language of Rome.’ This message is for the ages, not just for the Jews or else Jesus would have spoken in Hebrew.

So, Cornelius focused on the message. Jesus said that God had opened Peter’s eyes and revealed to him who He really was. He himself came to that same conclusion even before Peter declared it. He had to wonder if God’s hand was behind this as well. Was his conclusion that Jesus may be the promised Messiah from months of investigative work? As he looked back, he began to see patterns of a divine guiding hand. He would never have investigated Jesus closely if it were not for John the Baptist.

‘But hold on’, he thought. ‘He did not exactly point out Jesus directly!’ John pointed him to the manuscripts of Isaiah of which he was already studying even before he came into this land. Was that coincidence? At that matter, he would not have shown any interest in the Baptist if it wasn’t for his childhood interest in the Prophets of God. Cornelius eyes widened in astonishment to the realization that God may have put him on this road of discovery when he was still a child hearing for the first time of Jacob telling a story of God choosing a shepherd boy to lead His people. He felt he should talk about this in length with his old mentor.

Meanwhile, his mind started to work on the final part of Jesus’ message. He was staring at Matthew’s writing tablet and the freshly scratched message on it. He asked him if he could look at it closely. Matthew handed the tablet to him. Cornelius tilted it toward the fire so that he could read.

Matthew wrote Jesus’ message, word for word, in Greek. Right under it, he also wrote the Aramaic interpretation. His first impression was that Jesus was declaring that Peter would be the ‘rock’ on which He would build His church. But for some reason, he was not sure if that was correct. He again looked over the Greek and Aramaic passage. At first, he was not sure what he was looking for. Then he saw a discrepancy in the Aramaic passage and compared it to the Greek. In the Greek, Jesus used the words Petros for Peter and petra for a big rock. In the Aramaic, Matthew used only one word for both, cephas, which both translate to Peter and rock. But then Cornelius realized that the Greek word, Petros, also means small stone. Now, he understood why in Greek.

It is a play on words. Jesus was not declaring that Peter would be the ‘rock’ on which He would build His church. He again looked at the original passage. ‘You are Petros… small stone… and upon this petra… big rock… I will build my church.’

In his mind’s eye he saw an image of a small stone being placed upon a massive rock. The small stone was definitely Peter who was privileged to be placed on the big rock because of his open declaration of faith. The only other question that came to mind was, ‘Who is the big rock?’ Of course, there was no doubt who that is.

Cornelius looked over at Jesus and found him looking at him too with that knowing smile. Then Jesus quieted down the men.
—————————————————————————————-

The story continues on in my next post.

If you are interested in reading the entire ebook, you can find my ebook in Amazon.com for only $1.99. Just click the link below.

If you want to support my writing, you can donate by clicking below…

DONATE TO MY PAYPAL

Thank you

Johann Q

Sketching from the Neck Up #11

Beauty in Dilapidation

dilapitaded-house-w.jpg

When I used to cross country the United States in my hay days, we would encounter all form of dilapidation like ghost towns, abandoned structures, rusty vehicles, etc. In my artist eye, seeing decay and things in disrepair was not depressing to me. I see beauty. I love them. Of course, I’m referring to natural dilapidation. I find that I still appreciate things like that. When I found a photograph of an old abandoned overgrown village house at the end of a dirt road, I had to sketch it.

In this drawing, I really wanted to show details like the rotting tiles of the roof and brush growths around it. I took my sweet time on this one. After I sketched out the lines, I applied the Photoshop function which gave it a charcoal look. But what Photoshop usually produce is always lacking. So, I had to clean it up and add more shadow.

I hope you like the results.

——————————————————-

If you like my work and want to support my writing and artwork, please donate into my PAYPAL account [click below]

DONATE TO MY PAYPAL

Thank you.