Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

As Ellie & I get ready to celebrate New Year's Eve (that's her shot through a wine glass) we wish everybody a Peaceful, Healthy, and Happy 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I will end this series on Arizona and Sedona with this picture of Giant's Thumb.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


One of the challenging aspects of shooting in Sedona is there is so much to take in. Do you isolate a single item or do you try to put a lot of elements into the picture? Here is a panorama of two images stitched together taken from the airport mesa overlooking Sedona.

Monday, December 27, 2010


As you drive into Sedona its beauty can be very distracting as it is hard to keep your eye on the road.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chapel of the Holy Cross

I found this hummingbird hiding in the little garden area. This will end the series on the chapel.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chapel of the Holy Cross

In the little garden area was this simplistic water feature.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chapel of the Holy Cross

There is a little garden area along the walkway up to the chapel and this statue was quit striking.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chapel of the Holy Cross

At the entrance to the chapel this vibrant mosaic can be found.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chapel of the Holy Cross

As you enter the chapel this is the view looking out the window behind the alter.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Here is a view of the chapel from the entrance.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Part two of Marguerite Brunswig Staude story...

Together with the Architects, Anshen & Allen, we prospected the country, deciding on a twin-pinnacled spur, about 250 feet high, jutting out of a thousand foot rock wall, solid as the ‘Rock of Peter.’ This was to be the pedestal wherein to plant out cross.

However, being government property, it took practically an act of Congress to receive a deed and building permit. Thanks to Senator Goldwater’s recommendation, the church could proceed. Plans were started in 1953, completed in ’54. Having been approved by Bishop Espelage, the building was handed to the William Simpson Construction Company who broke ground April, 1955, and the structure was completed in April 1956. The chapel was built as a memorial to my father and mother… Lucien and Marguerite Brunswig.

The accomplishment of this dream was made possible when sculptor and architects met on common ground. The sculptor then became the donor and passed on her vision to the architects who sublimated it in terms of transcendental form. It is now a Monolith with the Christian connotation of the one cross… organic to the structure. When we consider that just as the soul inhibits a human frame, and the house is built to shelter that frame, it is the mission of the church to shelter and inspire both soul and body. It therefore should not only be a monument to faith, but a spiritual fortress so charged with God, that it spurs man’s spirit Godward!

Throughout the ages the church has not only been a patron sponsoring the arts, but has used architecture, sculpture, and painting to illustrate her teachings, thus proving that truth is beauty through her prayers in color and stone. In the manner she uses the Gregorian chant to lay open the ways of the heart and soul of man, allowing her liturgy to flow through the very channels of his being.

Having prepared the ground, her seed has taken root, grown and invaded the world. May this chapel spread these same truths a thousandfold… finding Christ through Art.

As an artist, this is my offering… “Ad Magorem Dei Gloria”… in answer to the One who in order to save us stretched out His arms on the cross.

Though Catholic in faith, as a work of art the chapel has a universal appeal. Its doors will ever be open to one and all, regardless of creed. That the church may come to life in the souls of men and be a living reality… herein lies the whole message of this chapel…

Marguerite Brunswig Staude

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Today I will start to tell the story of how the chapel came into being. These are Marguerite Brunswig Stuade words that she wrote in 1956.

Part - 1

In order to relate the story of the church, we must turn back the pages of time… twenty-five years have gone to engender this moment.

The first conception came to me in 1932. I was in New York, watching the newly completed Empire State Building. When viewed from a certain angle, a cross seemed to impose itself through the very core of the structure. What an idea for a church! For days it haunted and obsessed me, insisting on taking shape. Being a sculptor, I visualized a model in sculptured terms. Using simple, bold strokes, a sketch was made… the result being a cruciform church… in plan and elevation. And was this not a natural and logical express of the sign upon which every Catholic Church is built? Unfortunately, the leit-motif is lost in construction, so much so that a cross has to reassert itself on spires. This is particularly apparent in the light of St. Patrick’s Cathedral which has exhausted itself in copying the Gothic instead of bravely pioneering, giving an expression of the day in contemporary language as did its laity neighbor, the Rockefeller Center.

All the more reason to start the ball rolling. My sketch was seen by Lloyd Wright, who was struck by the idea. Together we interpreted in terms of a modern skyscraper cathedral to a 500 ft. scale. He built the first architectural model with the articulated cross, the whole structure lined in glass and perforated stone screen. This was to encircle one square city block. In 1937 this plan was accepted and to be built in Budapest on one of the Hill overlooking the Danube. The war soon put a stop to this dream.

Having lain dormant for some years, the urge of making this church a reality again started a ferment, when seeing what Assis and Vence have meant in liturgical church movement. Should not we in America also have a national shrine where God can be worshipped as a contemporary? And would this not bring Him closer to each and every one of us? Having a ranch in Arizona in the Oak Creek Canyon, an abundance of spectacular sites presented themselves and seemed to be calling for the existence of a shrine.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chapel of the Holy Cross

A must see icon in Sedona is the Chapel of the Holy Cross. With Christmas fast approaching I will be Showcasing this chapel for the next two weeks. It took decades of searching for a perfect location before Marguerite Brunswig Staude's inspiring modern Catholic church could be built. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is an extraordinary architectural achievement, designed by architects Anshen & Allen. Its modern design and construction were considered bold and daring in the 1950s, winning an AIA Award of Honor in 1957.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sedona Art

There is a Metaphysical influence to some of the art in Sedona that is best showcased by this mural painted on a brick wall that is titled Dance of Life.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sedona Art

Some of the art even had a functional side as evidenced by this nice garden bench.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sedona Art

For the Christmas season I found this sculpture that reminded me of a modern representation of the three Magi (Melchior, Casper and Balthasar).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sedona Art

I'm back from my latest trip so I will now continue with the Sedona Art series. I thought this carving looked just awesome.