View the Image Slideshow for Tomasz Misztal's Work (Opens a new window).
Artist: Tomasz Misztal
Location: Lake Oswego, Oregon, U.S.A.
Photos: provided by Tomasz Misztal
Artist’s Statement: My Work Is My Prayer
As an artist who creates sacred art – whether for use in liturgical spaces or other settings – I am sometimes asked how I go about my work. Of course, there is not a universally defined method for doing such work. After all, creating sacred art is inspired work – Spirit-led work – and naturally, every artist is inspired in different ways at different times.
The process that I try to be faithful to when I create sacred art is one I can compare with Lectio Divina. My approach to my work and Lectio Divina as an ancient way to approach sacred texts have much in common.
First: Lectio (Reading)
I read and learn about the subject related to the project. I read scripture. I also reach out to books that contain commentary and images related to the theme of my future piece.
Second: Meditatio (Meditation)
This step consists of all kinds of research and reflection. I discuss the theme with my client and close friends in order to brainstorm ideas and formal solutions. This stage is very intense emotionally and intellectually. I walk and sleep with the subject, pondering it more and more deeply.
Third: Oratio (Prayer)
I pray to the Holy Spirit for light, strength, and guidance in my work. I submit myself to God as the Creator of Heaven and Earth, knowing that I am only a tool in God’s hands.
Fourth: Contemplatio (Contemplation)
It is the most wonderful and unusual experience of joy and peace. This is the momentwhen time disappears. I still work, but conversation between me, tools, and material ceases. There is a flow and a silence. I can almost feel God’s warm hand holding me like a chisel.