Friday, May 18, 2007

St Thecla of Iconium

I went into the Studio for a little while this afternoon to take care of a few things related to next week. One of the tasks was to print a proof of my St Budoc block. This is in case they want me to demonstrate my coloring technique- it's best to do it with a print that has dried for at least a few days. It should be fine by Tuesday.

The other thing was to prepare a piece of wood for a new Everyman print. The next saint is going to be Thecla of Iconium. Actually, this relates to St Budoc in a way. I made the Budoc print partly as a wedding present for a recently wed couple that have come up in this blog from time to time. But back a few years, before the bride was officially engaged, she was a fellow professor at my State U, and I showed her examples of prints from the series. Somewhere in that time she brought up St Thecla as having an odd story that she remembered. I noted it for the future. Looking for a print to do now, I recently went through the index of my Butler's set, and found 3 St Theclas. It turned out that the one I wanted was from September 23, a date I haven't done yet. That changes now.

The book's author/editors do often cast doubts on some of the sensational stories that typically are part of the biographies of the early century saints, and do so here, going so far as to say she may not have existed. Part of this is due to her story coming from a popular but apocryphal book written by someone discredited by the church in his own time. However, if it's in Butler's, it is eligible for my series. As the story goes, Thecla is a young woman when she is converted by St Paul, which causes family, friends, and authorities to try any and all things to either change her mind or kill her. She miraculously escapes from a number of dangerous situations, rejoins Paul for a while, then retired to isolation in a cave for the next 72 years. The part of the story that had interested my friend is that when she was back travelling with Paul, she was dressed as a boy. Why is she a transvestite? Is it a disguise for a fugitive? An attempt to avoid the scandal that might come with travelling with a man she wasn't married to? To make her more credible as a preacher? The book doesn't say, and it's not important for my print.

So far there's nothing to show here. No sketches yet, just some notes as to what I intend to do. All I did today was cut the piece of wood and surface it with wood filler. If you want to see what that looks like, you can look in the February archives of this blog, or go directly to this past entry.


Blogger Patricia said...

How fun! Glad to see I've been helpful in your artistic process...

5:47 AM  
Blogger arrabbiata said...

You never know where a good idea will come from. Of course, as someone familiar with the Thecla legend longer than I've been, you may have a different image in mind than what I came up with.

10:00 PM  

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