Last Monday I was on a field trip, which ate up a sufficient amount of time that the blog post that day had to be skipped. Sharon Dietrick who is on the board of the Poor Clares, and Wes Hollendonner of Rubber City Productions (see photo below) headed up to St. Paul Shrine (see more here) to interview Mother Thomas (who spoke at a luncheon recently at St. Sebastian as a fundraiser for the new Academy of Culture and Arts) about her two works in progress. Below is part of her studio.
It was rather a unique experience. As you might expect not many visitors (especially men) are allowed about the cloister. So it was a very special and solemn visit for us.
This is the backside of a reredos of an old chapel that has been converted into an art studio for Mother. It is here that Mother is working on a painting of St. Sebastian that will be destined for this parish. Below is an under coating and Mother is preparing it for the final stage of applying more exact coloring, shading, and details. This is a picture taken by Sharon of Mother explaining her technique to me while Wes videos.
Wes shoots the nave from over the reredos for the second video we shot while I explored nooks and cranneys.
Below you can see the main room of the chapel. Behind the altar is where the other pictures were taken. Here you can see the enormity of the other painting on which Mother is working. It is of mammoth proportions. The title of it is Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and was destined for a parish of the same name in Philadelphia. Unfortunatley, after it was commissioned, it parish was closed. That is part of the reason for the documentary: a hope to find another home for the painting.
I think this is one of Mother's finest works. Here you can see Mary and Jesus surrounded by the communion of saints. If you could see the rest of the painting it would work its way down to the Church militant.
If you get the chance I recommend a visit to the shrine. You will get to spend some time in adoration (or go to Mass - see the link above for details) see the beautiful architecture, visit the gift shop (I highly recommend it if for no other reason than that there prices are VERY reasonable) and to see some of Mother's other paintings. You probably wont get to see Mary, Mother of the Eucharist or St. Sebastian since they are in the cloister. Hopefully, however, you might be able to see St. Sebastian at the parish as Mother hopes to have him done in time for our annual St. Sebastian Day celebration in January.