Monthly Archives: May 2013

Burning off creative steam part 2


I decided to take another go at it! This time there’s a little heraldry joke in there (of sorts)… when a shield is shrunk and then imposed upon another (I forget the formal name, it’s long and fancy), it’s been “adopted” or kind of is subservient to the larger one.



Blowing off creative steam


So I came across this link on my Facebook feed earlier today and decided I’d take a crack at it myself, just for fun–and because I think the current logo is a little bulky and inelegant. I’m not intending to undermine the current graphic designer–just to propose something completely different so he can think about it.

I took into consideration the necessity to be scaled for multiple uses, as well as the idea that it will probably be embroidered on something–so I didn’t add any shadows. It’s entirely flat, and that’s on purpose.
Oh, and they’re the Scouts of St. George. I would’ve added a dragon but I thought it might be too detailed. Possible future iterations to come, as I get more ideas.


I think it looks a bit empty. Suggestions about symbols to add? I don’t want it to get too complicated or detailed–the fleur-de-lis is a little too flourishy as it is, and I think I’ll have to clean it up.

Exercising Patience


I’m taking a summer studio class. (This is important because it means my entire summer is full of formal architecture training.)

For this class, I’m analyzing a building (at least to start) to understand its context, history, typology, etc. And holy cow, Stuttgart is one heck of a confusing city–I can’t tell if it’s because I can’t read German (and it’s kind of an intimidating language to my Romance-language-trained eyes) or because it’s just a confusing city.


My Google Earth screencap of Stuttgart.

Architecture Seen Again


It’s common practice for architects to keep a sketchbook. It’s how we record our encounters with the world and keep our skills of both observation and editing sharp. I personally have quite an affinity for drawing churches–so I think I’m going to upload some of my favourite pieces that I’ve done here, from time to time. If it’s a real church, it will be labelled. I label everything.

Also, I date my sketches (but not my watercolours)–please keep that in mind as you look at it because I’m uploading some old work, too.


…I don’t even.



For anyone who doesn’t know what the Venice Biennale is, it’s a huge art show, held every other year (hence “biennale”) in Venice (duh). It’s one of the trendsetters of the modern world, the pinnacle of “contemporaneity” in many artistic spheres. How do I know about it? Architects like to enter, so we’ve studied “so-and-so’s entry for the XXXX Venice Biennale” quite frequently.

If you didn’t actually read that article, please note that most of the art is contemporary, it’s not blatantly Catholic (actually many of the artists who submitted weren’t Catholic) AND it was all done under the instruction of Pope Benedict–the pope who everyone says was an old fogey stuck in the past. WHAT NOW.

Sadly I won’t ever have the money to turn on a dime and show up in Venice for the show (alas, the life of a student in a ‘dead end’ major). However maybe in a couple years they’ll enter again. I’d love to go. Or maybe to enter.

The Evolution of Servitude


A generally accepted fact of history is that a culture’s art and architecture are highly representative of the culture itself.  This is often because these areas are where people put their money, if they have any.

Caryatids in Greece

In ancient times (think ancient Greece), it was considered a symbol of shame and subordination to be built into a column.  Frequently, men and women acting as supports for a structure are seen in the ruins of the ancient world.  Columns of men are called any of the following: atlases, atlantes, atlantids, telamons, or Persians; women are simply caryatids.  The last title for the male columns–Persians–should be a direct tipoff, if any of you readers know Greek history [1].  To be forced to hold up a column was humiliating (Atlas was being punished by being forced to hold up the world).  It was a form of enslavement, of humiliation, and of subjugation.

Saints built into the relief “columns” beneath the tympanum of one of the portals of Notre Dame de Paris

However, this entire mindset was wholly subverted with the teachings of Christ.  Jesus, who himself lived to serve, encouraged his followers to be servants as well.  As such, the piteously humiliating role of the servant/slave was subverted into a beautifully humbling role.  Instead of slaves being built into the columns of buildings, saints were.  Instead of being subjugated and diminished, the people at the bottom of the columns were glorified by being considered the foundations of the building.  The saints were not struggling beneath the crushing weight of the roof; with the help of God’s grace, they held up the church.

That is, hopefully, our role as members of the Church; we will become saints with the great honour of helping to hold it up.  And we won’t struggle with the weight because we will be imbued with God’s grace.



1. The Greco-Persian Wars, also simply called the Persian Wars, took place during the 5th century BC and contained the famous Battle of Marathon, where the Greeks crushed the Persians with a smaller army, fewer deaths, and better strategy.