The Eucharist: The True Presence of Jesus Christ

The Eucharist: The True Presence of Jesus Christ

Diane St. Germain

"The Eucharist: The True Presence of Christ" | Diane St. Germain

Watercolor on paper

“‘The Eucharist: The True Presence of Christ’ has an overall symmetrical design using overlapping, symbolic forms representing the artist interpretation of The Eucharist. Starting at the bottom of the painting, the Nativity scene is represented by images of St. Joseph with a lamb, the manger with the Christ Child centered at the base of the Chalice with the star over Him and Mary with an outreached hand to her child. The manger, a feeding trough, is a strong symbol for Christ as our food from Heaven. And, the lamb pictured near St. Joseph reminds us that Jesus would become the ‘Lamb of God’ sacrificed on the Cross for atonement for our sins. Moving up the Cup, we see the image of the crucified Christ superimposed on it; and, the top of His Cross is seen as part of the broken consecrated Host. It is broken here to represent Christ’s Body broken as His love offering for us to the Father for our hope of eternal life.

This painting attempts to portray The Eucharist, offered to us at every Mass, as the very same Jesus Christ who was born in a manger, crucified and rose from the dead. We receive His flesh and blood for our food and drink. As our eyes move to the top of the painting, the image of the open gates to eternal life are placed to confirm our hope in the promise by Christ, ‘Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.’ [John 6:54]

-Diane St. Germain

Diane St. Germain

How old are you?
74

Have you had any formal training in the arts? Where? When? How long?
I have been creating art since 1972. It started when I took my first art class from an excellent pastel teacher Dennis Ruiz once a week for three years as a “Mother’s Day Out” gift from my husband. Since then, I have been on a quest to explore every art medium: acrylics, oils, printmaking, collage and watercolor. Presently, watercolor is my favorite medium. 

What inspires your art? Who/what influences you?
The beauty I see in nature and in people inspires my art. I want to capture what I love most about the scene or person in order to give it special attention and make it last for a very long time. If it gives glory to the Master Artist and Creator then I am extremely grateful.

On a few occasions, I have been inspired to make art about Jesus, recently this painting of The Eucharist,  and a couple of His Mother. I am grateful for those because my intent is to give glory to God for the gift of artistic expression. 

How would you describe the style of your art?
I usually paint what I see as close to the real forms before me. However, when I paint subjects that are on a spiritual or supernatural subject, I am not painting what I see visually in front of me. My style is more abstract realism.

Who are your favorite artists? Favorite works of art?
John Singer Sargent tops my list of my favorite artists! I am inspired especially by his watercolors both landscape and portraiture. I also like works of Winslow Homer. Two contemporary favorites watercolorists of mine are Joseph Zbukvic and Alvaro Castagnet. My favorite watercolor teacher, presently, is Andy Evansen. In general, my favorite works of art are the watercolors of these men.

What direction is your art taking now and where do you see yourself going? Do you have any new projects you are working on that you are excited about? Any new areas (types/styles of art, subject matters) you’d like to explore or try?
I am heading in the direction of watercolor instruction…specifically online or through virtual workshops. I see there is a great need for art to be taught, especially during the pandemic, safely and online classes are a good way. I have been asked to teach a 3 day online workshop for Eureka Springs School of Art in early spring of 2022 and I am preparing for that. And, I would also like to do more plain air painting. Love to do this when I travel…not happening presently and miss it.

What do you do for a living? Do you create art professionally?
I consider myself a trained artist/teacher. Fortunately, I do not have to do this for a living although I do sell some of my work and have a few collectors.

Besides art, what are your other interests – professional or otherwise?
I love painting in the art studio upstairs in our home with my husband, Marty, who is a retired veterinarian. We both have the major responsibility right now of taking care of my 99-year-old father who has been living with us for over three years. He and I enjoy playing daily games of Rummikub in which he beats me often! I also enjoy making homemade Greek yogurt and  bread with my Instant Pot.

I have been the director of the Grief Ministry for my parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in Slidell, LA, for over 6 years.

 

Are you Catholic yourself? Are you a convert to the faith or a “cradle Catholic”?
Yes I am a “cradle Catholic” and love being one!

Would you say that you have experienced a conversion or renewal of your faith at some point in your life? Did art play any particular role in your faith story? Would you like to tell us more about that?YES! Definitely, I experienced a renewal of my faith when I was at a point of disillusionment with life in the early 1980s. I asked directly by a friend, “Who is Jesus Christ for me?” My answer disappointed me: I realized I could not say He was my Lord and Savior. I was challenged by her to read the Gospel of John. I read it all in one sitting and met Jesus Christ in a very personal way and could say now and forever that He is Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God and He died so I might live with Him for all eternity in Heaven.

After that, I was inspired to paint some portraits of Jesus and people seemed to love them. After this encounter with Jesus, my husband and I went on a Marriage Encounter. We realized that Jesus was the third Person in our marriage!  And, we accepted the call to serve Him and His Church  as a presenting team in WWME, which we did from 1985- 2000. We also served as team on a few Teens Encounter Christ weekends. And I felt a calling to teach at St. Margaret Mary from 1992-1994 where I taught primarily art and religion.

This artist has chosen to not be involved with the Year of The Eucharist and St. Joseph Art Auction.