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Tension builds. The protagonist worries.

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The authorities rant. Suspects and action abound. Janet McNally Reed, a widow attempting to get beyond the loss of her murdered son, begins a new job, that of pastoral assistant at St. However, her hopes for peace and healing are dashed when she finds a body in the adoration chapel, a place for prayer usually open to the public twenty-four seven.

The saintmaker's Christmas Eve - Bates College

The victim is a lawyer seeking to atone for past misdeeds. The prime suspect for a time, she persists with her own investigation, getting herself caught up in some sticky wickets, uncovering evidence until the murder is solved to the satisfaction of the authorities and, in the end, solved for the reader. Sorry to be so cryptic, but elucidation would spoil. The narrative is told in the first person, from the point of view of a thirty or forty-something business woman steeped in her faith, yet not above an occasional salty phrase.

For this reader, the prose could have used a little more salt, especially in the beginning. The subculture of the Catholic parish is subtly portrayed and the sense of place is so strong that it becomes a character.

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I felt that I was right there in the chapel praying or in the office dealing with crises or with the bishop. The two main characters—the protagonist and her long time friend, an atheist—have their own arc, and at the end of the story find a certain if muted sense of peace. They grow. Themes include a longing for salvation, the vagaries of grace, and the difficulty of uncovering truth.

For this reviewer, the novel was engrossing. About the Author. She loves a mystery and her Catholic faith.

The saintmaker's Christmas Eve

Two have moved on to eternal life, and one is no longer writing. Determined not to let the genre die, she wrote The Saintmaker, her debut novel.

Mary Carroll works in the Catholic communications field and lives in Texas with her husband and children. Not only is it vlliausy inspiring but it reflects a fresh feeling. It documents a whole generation and captures the feel of today. She has an ability to break her images down to the basics and add new layers that make each image unique in their own collection. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. A progression that started in skateboarding and now seems to bleed into anything that can hold a graphic, it's a story that is inspiring since it's about making art that lives along side us.

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Flores began his artistic life as a designer. Shortly after earning his bachelors degree, he received his first break working for Shorty's, a manufacturer of skateboard equipment. This experience led to his work being featured in the popular magazine Transworld Skateboarding. Originally a movement born out of surfing, the young sport of skateboarding experienced incredible growth in just a few decades, as it gained a mainstream audience through the success of the X-Games and the sport's celebrities like Tony Hawk. Despite this success, skating still exists as mainly an individual exercise practiced in the streets, a dualism that Flores attempts to maintain through his murals and commercial work.

Foundationally, these experiences were an early taste for making work that folks use as part of their identity, a lesson about the importance of creating imagery that resonates with youth culture. The jump to murals was a chance encounter by a friend who appreciated Flores' work. The end result was a huge portrait of James Dean.

Swami Brahmananda, the Saint Maker

Once completed, it lit a fire for the possibilities of creating art outdoors and the exposure it allowed as thousands of people engaged it every day. The public reception was also well-received and quickly followed by additional invitations.

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Seizing each opportunity and embracing the new challenges, each mural continued to broaden Flores' exposure and audience. The abundance of portraiture by Flores along with his distinctive style, I believe, is best understood as a celebration.

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The varying level of importance of each individual is arguable but his or her likenesses are not. The stark contrast created by his contours draws one into the image and is akin to the stain glass masterpieces of the Medieval Era but instead of Biblical narratives, Flores' heroic portraits are a celebration of culture. His audience is attracted to the work because they can touch and engage it. From taking a photo and posting online to purchasing a product designed by Flores like sunglasses or a skateboard emphasizes that the approachability is key.

It may be an image of Johnny Cash, on the outside of the famed Viper Room, or it's just as likely to see one of Flores' portraits on the bottom of a skateboard as it flips underneath the athlete's feet. The stained glass style of painting is simple but memorable, leaving us with who we want these people to be. Yet it's Flores's history in design that paved a path for his take on portraiture. The culmination of subcultures including collectables, skateboarding, mural making, and street wear -- David Flores' work represents a distinct part of culture and the art world that didn't exist a few decades ago.

The explosion and interest in design associated with skating grew from a youth subculture to a mainstream audience that allows Flores to make art that you can wear, play, or contemplate. Dig this story? Also, follow Artbound on Facebook , Twitter , and Youtube. We are dedicated to providing you with articles like this one. Show your support with a tax-deductible contribution to KCET.