Painter recreates religious art for East Texas Diocese

TYLER, Texas – Watching Robert Puschautz’s movie Madonna of roses, the people of Tyler can feel they have a clear symbol of their town’s connection to God’s plan.

The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports in the painting – which is inspired by a work by William-Adolphe Bouguereau which bears the same name – red roses taken from those of the municipal rose garden of Tyler spring in full bloom from a bush surrounding Mary and Jesus Christ .

The trees in the background are inspired by those created by American landscape painter George Inness, but might recall some of the Piney Woods of East Texas.

Because Puschautz, a Chicago native who now lives in Tyler, avoids using photographs to create his works, even Jesus Christ was drawn from a model – in this case his neighbor’s sleeping baby.

“I had an idea of ​​how I wanted the baby and then the baby would be in that position and it would move and I would be like, ‘well, there you go,’ said Puschautz.“ He ended up rolling in that position like that and that I had no intention of and it ended up being perfect.

“When life changes on you, you adapt and you integrate it into the work,” he added.

Since June, Puschautz, 30, has been creating sacred art for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tyler as a Stabat Mater Art Fellow of the St. Philip Institute for Catechesis and Evangelism.

“Sacred art is a work of art intended to help and complete the liturgy,” he said. “It has to be based on the Bible or on the lives of the saints, it has to be Christocentric, so it has to be about Jesus Christ in some form or another; and this must encompass the whole mystery of Christ, or at least touch on the mystery of Christ. “

In his role, Puschautz is responsible for creating eight to ten works per year, although this may vary depending on the size and scope of the project. Bishop Joseph Strickland, of the Diocese of Tyler, assigns Puschautz projects.

Puschautz begins his process with research by reading theology, history, and scriptures, as well as finding the sacred art created by the masters.

“My work ties into this tradition of all visual arts, so I don’t see myself as some sort of lone ranger, some kind of DIY genius with all the right ideas,” he said. “I think you can draw a lot from the history of art, and there is this beautiful, long tradition that you can draw from people who have done things better than you.”

He will continue his research through drawings, often using live models, mannequins and other paintings.

Once his paintings are finished, the bishop then chooses where the works go. The Diocese of Tyler covers parishes in 33 counties.

Two works that Puschautz is still painting that relate to the Sacred Heart will likely be sent to two of the four Sacred Heart parishes in the diocese once completed.

by Puschautz The Immaculate Conception currently hangs inside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Tyler.

Luke Heintschel, spokesperson for St. Philip’s Institute, said having an in-house artist in the parish makes parishioners feel closer to the sacred art they see. He said that Puschautz Madonna of roses was an example of painting where people can easily relate the artwork to their own life.

“The people of Tyler can say ‘this is our lady and the birth of Christ related to my hometown,” he said, later adding, “I think this is an important thing for the spiritual life of ‘an individual is that this is not something that happened 2000 years ago and thousands of miles away. The Catholic faith is something that is real to me right now, right here. “

Heintschel added that Vatican II endorses the use of sacred art in parishes and having someone create it for a diocese has become a bit rare in the 21st century.

Puschautz said he hopes those who see his art are able to feel a spiritual connection.

“All I’m trying to do is take the gift of my faith, all I’ve received from it, and point to the mystery of God,” he said. “It’s always going to be insufficient, which I do. The reality is always greater.”

Religion on 02/23/2019