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is of the Popish Persuasion
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Theophilia's Commissions and Prints by Theophilia, visual art

Artist // Professional // Traditional Art
  • United States
  • Deviant for 15 years
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My Bio
Theophilia - Meet the Artist Meme

I'm an avid reader and am particularly fond of ancient and medieval European history (and enjoy historical fiction of the same), as well as theology and philosophy, especially of the Thomistic and Aristotelian variety. Although primarily self-taught, I graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2017 with a B.S. degree majoring in Art and minoring in Classical Studies (Latin, Ancient Philosophy, Greek and Roman history and the like).

In my artwork, I am principally inspired by the traditions of Catholic sacred art, along with the culture, history and art of the Middle Ages. The Catholic theological worldview of the Incarnation (the great drama of God Himself stepping into human history) elevates humanity and the whole of history into a glorious and epic narrative which fuels my passionate love for religious and historical subjects. This incarnational attitude is the reason that the human figure (especially that of the saints) plays such a central a role in all my artwork. I love to work with a variety of materials and art forms. Much of my portfolio consists of icons, landscape paintings, portraits, calligraphy, illuminations, wood-carving, pyrography, graphic novels, poetry, and short stories. The media I work with the most are ink and watercolors, though I also paint with acrylics and enjoy working with wood as well. In all my work, I delight in dense ornamentation, bright colors and vivid contrasts between light and dark (I love chiaroscuro!). I also like decorative elements of all sorts: designs, borders, and patterns, and pay particular homage to my love of gothic architecture and stained-glass windows. I work in a traditional, naturalistic style inspired by the paintings of late nineteenth-century artists, stained-glass windows, and traditional Byzantine and medieval iconography.

In my portraits, I take especial care in the rendering of the faces, and most especially the eyes (for "the eyes are the windows of the soul" as the great proverb says). I enjoy thoroughly researching my subjects before painting them. In my icons of the saints I try to convey their personality and spirituality through the use of symbolism, while also grounding them in the historical period in which they lived through accurate contemporaneous clothing, hairstyles, etc. The saints are universal and are for all times and places, but I've found that too often in artwork they are abstracted to the point of seeming like nothing more than vague mythological figures. I want to try to depict them as real, joyful, and alive, always ready to encourage and pray for their brothers who still struggle to fight the good fight. I aspire to create artwork that is a rich blend of theology, historically-grounded realism, symbolism, ornamentation, and transcendent goodness and truth through the beauty of the pieces I create. I want the viewer's eye to be captivated and drawn in so that they are led onward to contemplate the beauty of God and His creatures.

Some of my favorite artists include William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Viktor Vasnetsov, Augustus W. Pugin, Br. Max Schmalzl, Sandro Botticelli, Jan van Eyck, Edmund Blair Leighton, Frank Dicksee, Alphonse Mucha, Edmund Dulac, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Thomas Cole, Graham Turner, Mariusz Kozik, Henryk Siemiradzki and the Limbourg Brothers (the artists of the wonderful Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry).

"Contemplare et contemplata aliis tradere"

("To contemplate and to give to others the fruits of contemplation.”)

~ Motto of the Dominican Order

“Fight to the death for Truth, and the Lord God will do battle for you.” ~ Sirach 4:28

Favourite Visual Artist
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Sandro Botticelli, Viktor Vasnetsov, Edmund Leighton, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Edmund Dulac, Alphonse Mucha, Thomas Cole, Frank Dicksee, Jan van Eyck, and others...
Favourite Movies
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Lion in Winter, Becket, A Man for All Seasons, The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, The Prince of Egypt, and others...
Favourite Bands / Musical Artists
Enya, Jeremy Soule, Hans Zimmer, Kate Rusby, Azam Ali, Cappella Romana, Howard Shore, Josh Groban, Two Steps from Hell, and others...
Favourite Books
Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Silmarillion, The Brothers Karamazov, Anna Karenina, With Fire and Sword, Theology and Sanity, Quo Vadis, Count Bohemond, Lady for Ransom, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Anne of Green Gables, etc.
Favourite Games
Skyrim, Morrowind, Oblivion, Pharaoh/Cleopatra, Medieval II: Total War, Age of Empires II, Age of Mythology
Favourite Gaming Platform
Tools of the Trade
Pencils, Paper, Computer, Scanner, Watercolor, Ink
The Adoration of the Magi by Gentile da Fabriano (1423) "Today the Bridegroom claims His bride, the Church, since Christ has washed her sins away in Jordan's waters; the Magi hasten with their gifts to the royal wedding; and the wedding guests rejoice, for Christ has changed water into wine, alleluia." ~ Antiphon from Lauds for the Solemnity of the Epiphany Salvete All, Well, I don't know about you, but I am not terribly sad to see old 2020 go. It's definitely been a hard year, but there's also been a lot of (painful growth), and I think I can say with most everyone else, that this past year is not one we'll quickly forget. Here's hoping that 2021 is a better year for us all. The quote that best sums up my feelings for everything going on right now comes from Wilfrid Sheed: “I find absolutely no grounds for optimism, and I have every reason for hope.” I have a couple of artistic New Years Resolutions for this year. I want to do a sketch or drawing everyday in my sketchbook
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Happy Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Day! :heart::boogie::heart:

And to you! What a wonderful, historic day this is! TE DEUM LAUDAMUS!!! I've been listening to this all morning:

Extremely fitting! And if that's the kind of organ playing that makes ME jump in my seat, what does it do to demons? I want more of that and less of the sappy piano bar style stuff that seems inescapable around here.

hey, do you do commissions?

Depends what it is, but yes, I do commissions based on an hourly rate of $60 an hour.

Thanks for the watch!