Drawing of St. Michael

Here is a description of another of my recent drawings. I drew this on commission in May, and issued a limited-edition print of it as well.

This is unlike anything I've drawn previously. The ink drawing (with gold leaf details) of St. Michael fighting the devil was commissioned by a priest of the Maryknoll Missionaries, an order with a long history of missionary activity in Japan. He asked whether I thought it possible to create an image of the archangel in the style of traditional Japanese art without the result being kitsch.

I was certainly willing to make an attempt. While inculturation is not something that I have consciously attempted in the past, I was eager to explore some of the illustrative ideas in Japanese woodblock printing. Utagawa Kuniyoshi, one of my favorite artists, provided most of the inspiration here.

I was also curious to see how successfully I could maintain the western iconographic traditions in the content and arrangement of religious pictures while using an eastern style of illustration.

I am pleased with the result - enough that I am now thinking about making more religious drawings in this style.

The drawing is approximately 5.5" wide, and 8.5" tall, centered on 8"x10" paper.


Herreid said...

You should do more like this one! This is one of my favorites of your recent work.

theodore said...

I agree. You managed to convey the lovely textures of the traditional woodblock printing.