Tuesday, July 24, 2007


"Ring," oil on linen, 36"x 48", by Pretty Lady, 2007

...For the best -- not of course the only, but the best -- text-books for pastoral theologians (and that is what every priest must be) are not the ranks of theological tomes that line the shelves of their studies, but the living work of artists who are in touch with the living springs of creative imagination. That's only another way of saying that theologians cannot direct men's minds to God until they are themselves steeped in God's world and in the imaginative creations of his most sensitive and articulate creatures.

And that, in turn, is only another way of saying that the enterprise of theology cannot come to life until it takes to heart the principle of Incarnation; for the starting point for each of us is not argument but heightened awareness.

--small excerpt from homily delivered at the Catholic Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Arlington, Texas on July 8, 2007, by Fr. Hawkins, to honor the First Mass of Fr. Raymond McDaniel
Please email Pretty Lady if you would like a copy of the entire homily; it is quite lovely.


Desert Cat said...

Oh a print of that painting might interest me.

You can tell me I'm an ignorant philistine anytime I step over the lines, but I have to comment/query.

Below the dividing line, there seem to be people, of the sorts that populate the obscure backgrounds of many classic paintings. And in the middle, there is an individual in a white robe, but his head is obscured by/part-of the larger world above the dividing line.

And above there, I have few words. It is evocative, but of what exactly I cannot define. Certainly the heavenly realms--the blue and the transparent, liquid pastel shades of yellow/orange seem to indicate. But the meaning of the rest would take me some time to contemplate. Certainly that ring, with everything else seeming to warp or flow around it...

The connection to that homily seems unmistakable, if I'm not totally off.

Pretty Lady said...

Hooray, DC! Hoo-whee! Thank you! Pretty Lady feels Validated. Her painting is doing exactly what she wants it to do.

Because the fact is, it is almost completely abstract; there are no literal people, no literal anything (except of course a gold circle, which is abstract in and of itself), but many suggestions.

It is meant to subvert your linear brain and Expand Your Consciousness, to a contemplation of the infinite and the sublime, which it seems to be doing.

The Pretentious, Postmodern version of this agenda will be available as soon as Pretty Lady gets through the current jag of actual inspiration, long enough to finish the tedious job of documentation, and uploads her new website.

Pretty Lady said...

Oh, and this painting is only her current favorite, out of LOTS.

Anonymous said...

This painting makes a lovely, bell-like sound in my head. It is calmg but enlivening; like being in a desert in the cool of the dawn, looking up at the sky.


thimscool said...

The breast on the (viewers) left looks relatively unfulfilling, but it still reaches the mortal plains.

Maybe it lacks a gold ring?

The person whose head is obscured by the right breast seems literal enough to me. But I am persona non grata, so who gives a boob?

Anonymous said...


Have you had some transcendental experience recently that sent your bodies total supply of adrenalin rushing up your spine?

BoysMom said...

Well, I think it looks like a sunrise.
I like it.

Anonymous said...

The Pretentious, Postmodern version of this agenda will be available as soon as Pretty Lady gets through the current jag of actual inspiration, long enough to finish the tedious job of documentation, and uploads her new website.

Obviously, this "work" demonstrates oppression by the capitalist Patriarchy, unresolved conflicts with the artist's parents, and The Death of the Artist.

Other than that, I like it.

Pretty Lady said...

Thims, Freud is so Last Century.

Bobert, as far as I know my kundalini is still quiescent, but I am back in the yoga studio.

DuckMan, you are So Wrong.

Beck and Boysmom, yep!

DC, I don't generally do prints, but if anyone would like to email me privately, I will undertake to send a high-res JPEG, and will accept donations in my tip jar for whatever moves you.

thimscool said...

Last millennium, even... I was just feeling frisky.

Here is my penance.

Anonymous said...

DuckMan, you are So Wrong.

So, I don't like it? Or did I perform the Postmodernist shtick incorrectly? Did I err in not including condemnatory phrases concerning DEWMs? Or should I have denigrated the Author more and expounded greatly upon the Virtues of the Reader? I wish to learn from my mistakes.

Pretty Lady said...

DuckMan, I hardly feel the need to explain, but here is the ugly truth: you did not use the words 'reification' or 'teleological' once. 'Death of the Artist' is heresy; you should have railed on the 'Death of Painting", except this isn't the year for that. (Pretty Lady suspects that we are due for another Death of Painting year sometime around 2011.) And real artists do not have parents, at least parents that they admit to; parents must provide trust funds and then disappear.

Also, readers are not virtuous; the only truly virtuous people are the liminal people. They, being Powerless, have their own Superior Language with which to subliminally communicate their oppression. You should be trying to untangle that, you elitist dog, you.

Anonymous said...

I have been truly and most deservedly deconstructed. But I must protest that I am an elitist duck. I will pass along your anti-canine remark to the appropriate investigatory and punitive agencies.

Anonymous said...

I second Beck. I've been sitting here staring at it for the past five minutes while the child has been attempting a backflip off the tupperware tub she's balanced atop the stroller, and I don't even feel like screaming.

Anonymous said...

Ah Awareness. How many people are even "aware" that they are living their lives asleep?

As Anthony DeMello wrote:

“These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness and worship without awareness.”


"Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don't know it, are asleep. They're born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence.

"You know, all mystics -Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion -- are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare."

k said...


and I mean, besides the breathtaking art of the painting - the verbal art of ALL of you.

k said...

And! Yes, please, to the full text of the homily. I'd love to further absorb that art, too.

k said...

Got it! Thank you, Pretty Lady.

I keep coming back here and falling into this painting.

This visit? What struck me the most was how extremely female it is. A very nurturing and life-oriented sort of femaleness.

Full of growth and soul food.

thimscool said...

That's what I'm talking about!

k said...

Oh! And starting with the birth part, of course. Full of birth and growth!