(scroll below for pictures)
Artist Patrick Stewart, a member of Madonna House for more than twenty years, has a passion to paint. Inspired by God and the beauty of nature, his oil paintings are filled with the radiant light of sunrises on the rivers, lakes, and landscapes of this area.
“The victory of beauty guides my eyes and hands as I craft often large canvases of figures and interior and exterior landscape. Art and God are the two continuous threads that connect the days and years of my life. I started my search for God when I was 7, at 12, I began to draw.
Though I experienced much joy in my youth, I functioned in an often foggy grey interior atmosphere that had been laid over my mind and heart by childhood trauma. Art has always served an inner function of helping me break through that murkiness into clearly lighted realities.
I let my eyes guide me along the surface of each painting to the next brush stroke. I do not ‘know’ the precise end toward which I am traveling, but trust my eyes, the eyes of my heart, to lead me there. Real figures and features in real lands of meaning and wonder continue to catch me and take me to each next painting.
Influences: Eleven years of traveling the world on the seas with the US Navy and thirteen years of living on the western prairies of Canada have set my eyes across and up into broad expanses of land, water and sky.
On New Year’s Eve of 1987, I found and claimed a new light onto the interior and exterior landscape of my life, the light of Christ. The infinitely broad expanse of this life in God, the Holy Trinity, One God, and a family, my Madonna House family, to share a Christ centered life with, weave their way through each painting. Serving the poor of Edmonton, Alberta’s back alleys from 1997 to 2010 brought me face to face with my own interior and exterior poverty, its ugliness and its beauty. I am by nature a romantic, so each painting is also a flirtation with beauty, even the beauty within the apparent mundane or even ugly.
I do not paint to sell but selling is certainly gratifying and especially so as all the proceeds from my art are donated to missions and missionaries around the world. My personal fee is the joy of painting, the joy of those who love my art, and the joy of those poor who benefit from the sale of my paintings.
‘The Greek word for Man anthropos is connected with the verb anarthein, meaning “to look up.” Unlike most of the other animals, humans stand upright, with their eyes toward heaven and their gaze toward the stars. In Latin, on the other hand, the words for man and human, homo and humanus are linked to the noun humus, which means earth. The human being, then, though human and related to the earth is created to look up to heaven.’
(From: Philokalia The Bible of Orthodox Spirituality Athony M. Coniaris p.133).”