How what started as a budding artist’s quest for a formation in beauty and creativity became a manifesto for cultural renewal; and will now be available as a whole program of courses offered by www.Pontifex.University.
It’s not just for artists. It’s good for anyone looking for creativity and inspiration no matter what they do!
I started to research the material for my book the Way of Beauty about 20 years ago in England, where I am from originally, when I decided I wanted to be an artist to serve the Church. Of course at that stage I didn’t know that it would end up as the material for a book. I was fed up with the art I saw appearing in the churches around me and decided I wanted to do something about it by becoming an artist myself. I was full of the zeal of the newly converted and was on a mission to change the world.
The problem was how to get the necessary training. I knew that no existing art school would give me what I was looking for. I needed the traditional skills and although it was difficult to find people who still taught drawing and painting with rigor, it was just about possible. The real problem was knowing how to direct those skills once I had them.
Two things were necessary for such a formation. First, was a Catholic inculturation, so that I understood how to recognize what it is that makes some forms instrinsically Catholic – the iconographic, the gothic or the baroque styles of art for example; and others instrinsically anti-Christian and anti-Catholic – cubism or abstract expressionism for example.Secondly, I needed a spiritual formation that would develop my sense of the beautiful, and would engender creativity and an openness to inspiration.
No one I knew could tell me enough about either so I started to do my own research into both the traditional understanding of the basis of Catholic culture; and I how artists were trained.
The Way of Beauty contains all the details about what characterizes Catholic art, Catholic culture and the spiritual formation that engenders those personal qualities needed in the creative forces behind such a culture. In short a formation in beauty.
It describes how the worldview of the artist is manifested in the style of his art, for good or ill, by giving an overview of the all the stylistic characteristics of the great (Read More)