Saturday, March 29, 2014

At jacob's well

I don't know how many hours I have put on this Painting but quite a few. The Subject of the meeting of the Samaritan woman with Christ at the well and the discourse between her and the Son of God has 
always been one of my favorite moments in the New Testament. 

However, not happy with the position of Christ's head and the lack of focus on the work, I have done a few things more to it. Here are the results:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Brother Gerardo of Deliceto (Fra Gerardo da Deliceto)

I found this picture on the internet of a Friar I knew when I was living in San Giovanni Rotondo at the Monastery where St. Padre Pio lived and died. His name is Brother Gerardo. He was a lay brother. His cell was next to mine. (Religious call their rooms cells, not rooms).  Here he is in the Monastery kitchen scraping off apple peels from plates. These most likely would go out to the chickens. This Brother was extremely happy. He had a perpetual smile across his face and would always greet you when you passed by. In my book CAPUCHIN DAYS I talk about some experiences I had with him.  I think he had lived there since the 1920's.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The old way of doing Storyboards

I do miss the old way of doing storyboards where one drew with real art materials on real paper.
You could hold it in your hand. It was the only original. Everything else was a copy.
Here is an old Charcoal and pen board panel from some story of mine. This goes back to 1990.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Two paintings and one frame

The Martyr
9 x 12 in.
Oil on panel

Here is my Presidents day weekend project 2014:  My version of a 'Tabernacle' frame. I've have always liked the looks of this style of frame, thought mine is far from the craftsmanship and quality of a true Tabernacle frame. It is constructed of maple and painted black. I had this painting (The Martyr)  of mine in another frame and thought it might be a good candidate to try and make a Tabernacle frame for.  

Lanscape with red clouds
8 x 8 inches
Oil on canvas

A small landscape. My cel phone's camera doesn't seem to have good quality in close ups. It could be the operator and not the phone.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Capuchin Nuns

The Capuchin Franciscan Reform of the Friars in the 1500's spread to the Sisters as well. 
Longing for a more true following of the Rule of St. Clare, the Capuchines was born. This is a painting in the works

Monday, February 3, 2014

ST. Filumena (Philomena)

The latest state of this painting. St. Filumena holds a flaming arrow.
Interesting story. After numerous tortures by the Roman Emperor Diocletian (who wanted her for her beauty of which she would not yield) she was put to face archers with flaming arrows. However, this young virgin Christian was yet  to confound the Emperor once again, for the arrows, upon release, returned from whence they came and struck the archers who fired them, killing them dead. Furious at this, Diocletian had her tied to an anchor and thrown into the Tiber. Marvel to behold! she rose up out of the depths of the water, unharmed and dry! He ordered her beheaded, which she was, and another martyr entered the company of Paradise.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The present stage of things on this work

Quite a different state tonight as I stop. All along I have been thinking of the incredible story of St. Filumena (Philomena) Here I see her in the company of martyrs looking down thru the veil of time to those below who call upon her.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

a little more work

This is a case of going downhill fast. Maybe the next go around will be better.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking back to 1951 as 2014 arrives

My parents and my sister and I in Rhode Island. We moved to California when I was two years old so I'm guessing this must be about 1951.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


I've often dwelt on the problem of Beauty in the Arts. Is Beauty, as the popular saying goes, 'In the eye of the beholder?' Yes and No. Sounds contradictory doesn't it? It is not about 'me', it is about 'it' for 'it' does exist outside of me, but I must be of the right moral space to recognize it - otherwise less than beauty will appear to be so. And this lower plane of beauty can be confused with the true Beauty.

Here is a great Lecture on this subject. It is by Professor Alice Ramos and was given at the Catholic Artists Society conference. Here is the PDF text of her lecture:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Feast of Christ the King

Though this feast day was last Sunday, I am putting this up just now.
I had painted the robe a brighter value, but because it is such a large surface it dominated the image. Instead, I painted a bright aureole behind the head of Christ to help draw the eye toward the face.

Friday, November 15, 2013

New work - The Christian

The lives of the Christian martyrs during the reign of Diocletian are something to read. What fortitude! What Faith! Men, Women, Children; it made no difference to the Emperor. If they were didn't offer sacrifice to the false Roman gods, they were tortured and killed in the most dreadful ways.
This painting is inspired by that time. Here we have a Christian who awaits death.  I purposely made it neither male nor female. They hold in their hands a crude cross fashioned from some sticks to meditate on the death of the Son of God by crucifixion. But in a few hours or maybe minutes they will slip from this land of time and men and pass through the veil to the land of eternal blessedness.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

She Breeched off the Bow

"I was not but ten leagues offshore when of a sudden I saw her leap from the sea just off the

An Illustration in progress.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Night Dancer Fairy

When the world sleeps the night dancers come out. These fairies  have an affinity for bodies of standing water; mostly ponds and lakes. I am planning on doing a series of Fairy images to sell as prints.
All artwork © 2013 J. R. Howley

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Jehenne la Pucelle

Always moved by the life, virtue and steadfastness of St. Joan of Arc, here is another work I am doing at the present. The palette is monochrome. It is interesting to see how subtle one can get in changes of value and still be able to read the figure. Jehenne ' la Pucelle '( Joan, the Maiden ) is what she was known as during her lifetime.  A Maiden was understood as an unmarried Virgin.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy feast day of St. Theresa of Liseaux, the 24 year old Doctor of the Church

Imagine! a young girl who died of Tuberculosis at age 24 and known by maybe 12 people at the time, has turned the Christian world upside down. She was canonized a Saint AND a Doctor of the Church.
She wrote down her humble thoughts of 'Her Little Way' in the last years of her earthly life at request of her Mother Superior. Those writings tore through the church, and secular society, like wildfire bringing 'a shower of roses' to the world. Hence she is called the 'Little Flower'. Her book THE STORY OF A SOUL is a masterpiece.

Happy feast day 'Little Flower'.