|Homage to Van Gogh|
|Still Life After I Ate the Pear|
...Now, like a loving father who would never think of selling his own children unless they were unsatisfactory, I tend to keep them. No canvass is ever finished. There is a sermon in that.
|New Marlborough, Massachusetts|
Clearly in these there is excellent form and composition. I love the way he captures daylight, especially in the one immediately above. And he is very aware of what has come before, of the tradition; his "Homage to Van Gogh" is both clearly his own, and in a much more classical style than even Van Gogh's early work, yet, is it also clearly in homage to Van Gogh.
There is also great wit in his paintings--for example in the still life which is entitled "Still Life After I Ate the Pear"--we can see exactly where the pear would have sat. But we don't miss it either. I love a painting that is aware of itself.
Of course, two of the best ways to describe Fr. Rutler are: "witty" and "self-aware"--and I mean those as the highest compliments. In the brief introduction to these paintings he also discusses his other "intensities" (sports and music):
I had an African trainer for a while, but he was loathe to punch a priest since there is a superstition against that in his native Ghana, unlike in our own country. I overestimated myself not long ago in an encounter with a man stealing from my church’s Poor Box. When he lunged at me, I let him have it, since I did not have enough time to turn my cheek. But he did not feel himself bound by the Marquis of Queensbury, and he knocked me out for a short period.