Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Drawing Quarters

I've been working on the next installment of my liturgical calendar drawings, Winter 2015. I originally thought this would be the last of them, since it would make a complete year. I figured why go to the hassle of drawing the same framework every three months, just make something more perpetual and be done with it. But then I realized that I enjoy the process, it is actually a kind of meditation on the year, and I can imagine choosing different bits of each quarter year to illustrate every time. So, this will not be the last! The proportions may move a bit and which saints' days I include may also change from year to year.

The first was Spring 2014, which covers Annunciation (March 25) to Midsummer (June 24).

Spring 2014
The drawing is an Easter Vigil procession. Every time I look at it, I see the one goof, the date of Corpus Christ should have been June 22. This drawing was published in Soul Gardening Journal.
There's a lily for Annunciation/Lady Day and water droplets to represent baptism for St. John's Day/Midsummer (for St. John the Baptist). Flowers for May Day, a little rock covered tomb for Holy Saturday. Some other little symbols for some of the Sundays.

The second drawing was Summer 2014, which I drew and colored and posted to SGJ's facebook page.

Summer 2014
I am pretty happy with how this one turned out. I added more detail about the quarter days, since these are pretty unrecognized in the USA. Summer runs from St. John's Day to Michaelmas, with Lammas in the middle as the cross-quarter day. The drawing is of two women on a walking pilgrimage. This continues the theme across the bottom of the picture, first the Easter Vigil procession, then the continuation of pilgrimage through life.

For the saints days I included, I made the men's days red and Mary's days blue (also St. Ann's and St. Hildegard's, who are included because they are family patrons). I drew a little loaf of bread for Lammas and a St. John's Wort flower for Midsummer, along with an Aster/Michaelmas Daisy for Michaelmas. I added different kinds of green leaves for the Sundays of Ordinary Time.

Third is another black and white drawing, published in Soul Gardening Journal's most recent issue. Unfortunately, my scanner made kind of a mess of it and it was reproduced really small in the journal, so a lot of the detail did not come through.  

Autumn 2014
This drawing was really tricky to plan out. There are so many saints' days and important feasts in Autumn, plus I realized that Michaelmas and All Saints' Day are really not that far apart from each other, so the arrows of the calendar wheel had to be adjusted slightly. Every three months has 13 Sundays in it, but each quarter has slightly more or less, making some creative rearrangement necessary.

I really liked the decision to make the saints days stars in the night sky, and All Saints is a cloud, because of the "cloud of witnesses." I wish I had made the Nativity arrow bigger and easier to read. I liked the overall effect of the stick figure Christmas scene at Bethlehem. I included a few phrases from hymns and scripture as I thought of them while drawing.

For the fourth and current drawing (unfinished), I knew I wanted the background to be a wintry sky of some sort. It covers the period of Christmas to Annunciation (Dec 25-March 25) and Candlemas is the cross-quarter day (Feb 2). I included a bit more explanation of the quarter days template, since it is not the usual way Americans think of the calendar. If people have heard of it, it is either from old English novels or from neopagan holiday articles. The Quarter Days and Cross-Quarter Days are part of a seasonal calendar system that fits nicely with the Christian liturgical calendar. 

Winter 2015
I'm not quite sure if I will do more to this or not. Sometimes the calendar drawings are so busy, I wish I'd left them more plain, but I do like having the Sundays colored to match the vestment colors, so there are always going to be a few more colors included in the drawing than I would generally prefer. I tried to keep it simple by only including a few extras outside the Sundays: Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Valentine, St. Patrick and St. Joseph. Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Ember Days are there too. As well as the arrival of spring. There are six Sundays before Candlemas and eight Sundays from then to Annunciation, so again, a little tweaking necessary to make the dates all fit properly.

I love the wintry sky blended colors. I'm happy with my cartoon of Mary Hodegetria (She shows the way) and even the little angel with the strangely curled trumpet. I added even more verses that popped into my head as I worked on this, with the theme of stars, sun, moon. January 1 is a holy day that sort of sneaks up on you, and so it does in the drawing too, as a little gold cloud to begin the new year. At the bottom right, Annunciation/Lady Day reads "nine months to next Xmas!" Pretty much it is always either almost Christmas, during Christmas or going to be Christmas again soon it feels like! ha ha

When this is finished, I may share it on the Soul Gardening Journal facebook page again for their readers to enjoy, as I don't think they'll be publishing another issue until Spring.

You can roughly see what all four drawings would look like if pieced together (if Blogger is cooperating). For the next drawing, Spring 2015, I need to take the time to make a scan of the finished black and white before I color it in (if I do). Or I could do the entire year in one go. Hmm....


  1. These are simply beautiful. I'd love hanging these up in my home. It is neat toread about the thoughtfulness behind the creative process as well. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for the kind compliments. I've had others ask if I had prints available and I'm considering the best way to make that happen.

  2. I am a middle school teacher and teach 150 kids. I would love to use this with my kids- do you have one for the upcoming months?

    1. Hi Jeanne, I'm working on a new calendar quarter for fall. I'll publish it here when it's done. Thanks for your interest! :)

  3. Take a look at the home page, friends, for a new liturgical quarter coloring page. -- LeeAnn

    1. I'm having trouble finding it, would you point me in the right direction please? Is it one of your new blog posts? I'm trying to put together a liturgical calendar for the next year (starting now). Thank you so much for sharing your lovely art! I'd love to buy prints too, if you do decide to offer them.


      Click on the 2nd picture for the black and white version. Or go to here for a color version:

  4. These are beautiful! I want to make them too!
    Monica @

  5. LeeAnn...these are wonderful!! I would love to use them in our parish school of I have your permission to reproduce for class purposes?? Thanks!!