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DANIEL MITSUI ~ ARTIST


DEAR FRIENDS, PATRONS & BENEFACTORS:

I have at last moved my home and business, permanently. Please do not use any of my old addresses henceforth.

Having made that transition, I am now examining nearly every aspect of my business, in order to plan for a successful future and for the completion of the Summula Pictoria, my ambitious project of Biblical illustration.

I am especially concerned now with introducing my artwork to a wider audience. I hope to have my lectures and some of my website translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese and other languages. Please contact me if you know anyone who may be interested in working on this, especially if he or she would consider a barter of art for translation.

At 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 12, I will deliver a public lecture at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago. This is sponsored by the Catholic Art Guild.



              Yours faithfully,

              Daniel Mitsui
              July 2017





RECENTLY COMPLETED DRAWINGS

Click on the images to read full descriptions of these drawings and to see larger images. The original drawings of St. Peter and of St. Paul are for sale; giclée prints of the other three are available.

ST. PETER

St. Peter
4 1/2" × 6 1/4"
Black, Red, Blue and Green Ink on Egyptian Papyrus
Original for Sale for $814


ST. PAUL

St. Paul
4 1/2" × 6 1/4"
Black, Red, Blue and Green Ink on Egyptian Papyrus
Original for Sale for $814


INVENTION of the HOLY CROSS

Invention of the Holy Cross
5 1/4" × 7 7/8"
Color Ink on Calfskin Vellum
Private Commission


ST. AMBROSE

St. Ambrose with the Emperor Theodosius
5 1/4" × 7 7/8"
Color Ink on Calfskin Vellum
Private Commission


ST. DAMIEN of MOLOKAI

St. Damien of Molokai
5 1/2" × 8 1/4"
Color Ink on Calfskin Vellum
Private Commission





TRANSLUCENT ICONOGRAPHY

I have more and more been using the translucent quality of calfskin vellum to artistic advantage. In my recent drawings of the Invention of the Holy Cross and of St. Ambrose with the Emperor Theodosius, I depicted background architecture, damask patterns, wood grain and coral fossils within stone on the reverse side; these show through the surface faintly, and more clearly when the vellum is held up to light. These are the first works in which I have used this method as extensively as I plan to use it in my future drawings for the Summula Pictoria.

Here I am attempting to invent a new artistic medium, which I have named in my mind the translucent icon; My desire to do this was born of a fascination with perspective and lighting in medieval art, which have an altogether different significance than in most postmedieval art.

In the composition of medieval holy pictures, the artists’ intention is to depict earthly events from a heavenly perspective; to depict things as though seen by the eyes of a prelapsarian Adam, or of a saint in glory (at least insofar as the artists are able, being themselves fallen men and women). This is why medieval holy pictures do not include a single vanshing point or light source within them; the infinite and eternal and the source of all light is behind the artist and the viewer.









This compositional intention is the same regardless of the natural light source for the work of art; the same arrangements are present in illuminated manuscirps and panel icons (which are only brilliant if a light source is in front of them to reflect off of the gold leaf) and in stained glass windows (which are only brilliant if a light source is behind them). A beautiful symbolism is suggested by both kinds of art; God’s light is both reflected by His creation and permeates it. But in these media, relection of light and permeation by it are mutually exclusive.

Here I am attempting to create works of art that have something of the nature of illuminated manuscripts and panel icons, and something of the nature of stained glass windows, and that are beautiful no matter which direction they are struck by natural light. Beheld at different places or at different times of day, the drawings can have an unlimited variety of appearance.

I beleive that it is especially important in the present day, when so much artwork (including my own) is commonly seen in the form of digital scans, to assure that original works of religious art are inextricable from reality. As the adage goes, to a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail; to a man with a scanner, everything looks like a .jpg. It is tempting, as an artist in the present day, to disregard any artistic method that does not translate to a scanned image (which is absoultely flat, absolutely static, identical in every light, without any objective size). I am rather determined to do the opposite.





NEW COLORING BOOK

Christian Labyrinths will be published by Ave Maria Press in August. It measures 9" × 12" and contains thirty coloring pages. Some of these display labyrinths that connect different scenes from the Old and New Testaments; others spell out the Pater Noster in stylized block letters; others imitate the cruciform carpet pages in early medieval manuscripts. There are two different puzzle challenges in the book: that of finding a single deliberate mistake in the ornament on each page, and that of deciphering a coded message at the end.

It can be ordered through the following websites:

Ave Maria Press
Amazon



Here is an excerpt from my introduction to the book:
One of the most distinctive and beautiful styles of Christian art flourished in Irish and Northumbrian monasteries from the sixth to the ninth centuries. The style is usually called Celtic, although some of its finest examples were made by Saxons. Its greatest masterpieces are sacred manuscripts, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Kells, which are decorated with intricate, labyrinthine patterns of knots, spirals, keys and animals.

Today, Celtic knots remain popular, although they are more commonly encountered on knickknacks than in churches. I want to reconnect this style to the purpose that occasioned its greatest works: not to decorate bits of paddywhackery, but to honor the Holy Gospel.

A different tradition of Christian art places labyrinths on the floors of churches, at a large enough scale that their paths can be walked. This kind of labyrinth was inherited from Classical culture and given new use and meaning by the early Christians. In some churches, the labyrinth is a symbol of escape from the spiritual death of sin; in others, the center represents a destination of pilgrimage, such as Jerusalem. The most famous examples are in the Gothic cathedrals at Chartres, Reims and Amiens.

In recent years, there has been a revival of labyrinth-walking, whose promoters are influenced by New Age spirituality. This has made some Christians leery of labyrinths altogether... My intention is to restore Christian labyrinths to their rightful context: biblical, patristic and liturgical, the same that they had in illuminated manuscripts and in Gothic cathedrals. I hope to demonstrate that the beauty, the mystery and indeed the fun of these things properly belong to orthodox Christianity.
You may read more about this and my other coloring books at this web page.




NEW BOOKPLATE DESIGNS

BOOKPLATE   BOOKPLATE


You may see many more of my custom bookplate designs at this web page.






MORE ORIGINAL WORKS for SALE

Click on the images below to read full descriptions of these new works, to see higher-resolution images, or to purchase them.


TIEN CHU

Virgin & Child
4 1/8" × 8 7/8"
Blue ink on paper
$1154

***

JONAH

Jonah
5 1/2" square
Black and red ink on paper with gold leaf detail
$756

***

CRUCIFIXION WINDOW


Crucifixion Window
4 1/2" × 7 7/8"
Color ink on paper
$675

***

SACRED HEART

Sacred Heart
3 3/4" × 7 1/6"
Color ink on calfskin vellum
$990

***

8 DRAWINGS

8 DRAWINGS

Tetramorphs, Church Fathers, Major Prophets, Hoc Est Enim Corpus Meum and Alphabet
Set of 8 drawings
Each 3 1/2" × 4 5/8"
Color ink on calfskin vellum
$3960 for the set

***

3 DRAWINGS

Pater, Credo, Ave, Salve, Quicumque and Gloria
Set of 3 drawings
Each 3 1/2" × 4 5/8"
Color ink on calfskin vellum
$1485 for the set

***

2 DRAWINGS

Ecce Agnus Dei
Set of 2 drawings
Each 3 1/2" × 4 5/8"
Color ink on calfskin vellum
$990 for the set

***

IESUS

Iesus
2 1/2" × 7"
Color ink on calfskin vellum
$544

***

BUTTERFLY

Butterfly #1
10" × 8"
Black ink on paper
$1105

***

BUTTERFLY

Butterfly #2
5 1/2" × 4 1/8"
Black ink on paper
$370

***

BUTTERFLY

Butterfly #3
11" × 8 1/2"
Black ink on paper
$1360





LETTERPRESS BROADSIDES from MILLEFLEUR PRESS

WALSINGHAM RESURRECTION LAST JUDGMENT ECCE QUAM BONUM
ST. NICHOLAS ST. CECILIA THOMAS & ANSELM ST. BRENDAN
SHEPHERDS MASS for the DEAD SWEETPEA ST. JOSEPH
ST. ALBERT PATER NOSTER AND RISING CRUCIFIXION
UNICORN HUNT ST. CHRISTOPHER SACRED HEART





GICLÉE PRINTS

TREE of JESSE WELFARE of CREATED THINGS BENEDIXIT, FREGIT DEDITQUE ST. ADELAIDE
ST. HUGH SARAH ST. ELIZABETH TU ES SACERDOS
ST. GOBNAIT VENERATION DEACON CHRISTOPHER
SACRED HEART INFANT KING INK GARDEN WEDDING at CANA
DAVID GUNSTON CHRIST in MAJESTY ICXC NIKA PERPETUAL HELP
HIGH PRIEST LAST SUPPER PRESENTATION PENTECOST
CRUCIFIXION BUTTERFLY ST. GREGORY TONSURE of ST. PETER
MAGI TRINITY BATTLE NATIVITY
ST. ELIZABETH CHI-RHO ST. RAPHAEL ST. JOAN
IN THE BEGINNING CHRISTO GLORIA ST. COLUMBA SCARAB
ST. DROGO ST. CAJETAN ST. JULIANA VIRGIN & CHILD
ST. FIACRE ST. JULIAN VINE LEAVES UNICORN HUNT
TE IGITUR AVE MARIS STELLA PIUS XII BAPTISM
MEMENTO MORI OAKES of IUSTICE TREE FROG BUTTERFLY
VIRGIN & CHILD ST. PATRICK ANNUNCIATION NON NOBIS
PLUM BLOSSOMS ST. ALOYSIUS ST. LUCY ST. MICHAEL
DEUS LUX EST ST. ROBERT INFELIX EGO ZOE
ST. SILVESTER LEX HUMANA ST. PHILIP NERI ST. BEDE





The prices quoted in this newsletter do not include shipping. Please review the ordering instructions and general information here. If you want to commission new artwork, e-mail me at danielmitsuiartist at gmail dot com.

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all works copyright Daniel Mitsui / danmitsui at hotmail dot com