Fragments of Light

Monthly Archives: May 2018

As It Was in the Beginning

Father Arthur Poulin, Starlight #1.

Father Arthur Poulin’s work, drawn from landscapes, seascapes, and skyscapes of his own experience, radiate light. Speaking about his process, the Camaldolese monk states: “I begin every painting by covering the canvas with twenty to twenty-five layers of black gesso, building texture and preparing the ground for the sacred image. This is where the contemplative process and the experience of painting begins for me. I next apply layer after layer of small brush strokes of paint, starting with darker shades of color, including their opposite colors. In time (two–three months), the mysterious gift of a work of light and beauty gradually emerges. Even though these landscapes are based on places I have seen and visited, I interpret them through paint so that a new vision can be seen and experienced.”


Paintings are ultimately about a soul connection between the viewer and the painting itself—often a revelation and love at first sight!

Father Arthur Poulin, Pentecost (Midday Sun, Big Sur).

Father Arthur Poulin, Sunrise (Easter).

Often guided by verses from the Psalms, meditation and prayer are part of the “behind the scenes work” of bringing forth Poulin’s images. He allows the feel of the gesso’s texture beneath his hand to shape his vision. With tremendous focus and discipline, Father Arthur journeys into darkness, into the unknown, into the the limitless, to emerge with new insight and possibility. His process is rooted in the ways of Nature: “What birth,” he asks, “is not begun in darkness?”


Artist Bio
Father Arthur Poulin is a Camaldolese monk, priest, and artist living at Incarnation Monastery, Berkeley, California. He holds a degree in fine arts from Loyola University.
Father Arthur has developed his own unique style. The little dots that he uses are symbolic of the mustard seed in the Gospel parable: the seed of faith . . . the one that makes up the many, and the many that ultimately become one. His paintings have been extensively acquired by people living in his native California, as well as throughout the U.S. and internationally. His work can be seen at