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Linocut Art of Houston's St. Matthew Lutheran Church

Updated on September 24, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

St. Matthew Lutheran Church
St. Matthew Lutheran Church | Source

Linocut Art

One day a congregant from St. Matthew Lutheran Church wandered into the Museum of Printing History in Houston, Texas. She noticed a framed linocut print that I had created of her church. It was hanging on the wall in the gift shop.

She contacted me, and long story short...they now have the right to utilize my art print in their church bulletins, cookbook cover, and however else they wish to use my linocut image. My good friend Lisa asked me to tell her what inspired my creation of this particular print.

Exterior photo of the church grounds
Exterior photo of the church grounds | Source

Self-taught Artist

First of all, let me tell you that I am a self-taught artist. I took a one-semester art appreciation class in high school. That was decades ago! There was also a 3-hour free class at Bear Creek Community Center that I received regarding introducing the linocut art form. I have primarily ventured into this field of art with God-given talents.

The subject of art has always been of interest to me. My one and only nearby girlfriend I had when growing up in Wisconsin's countryside was artistically inclined. Together we drew, sketched, colored, and painted various objects as a form of play. She ended up becoming an art teacher in later years.

My parents moved to Texas when I had just turned 13. Except for occasionally dabbling in artistic endeavors, that part of my personality was put on hold. Becoming a registered nurse took me on another path, but I always appreciated art. When time permitted, I occasionally painted and created things for our home and my husband's office. Most of my paintings have been given away through the years to friends and relatives.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Church groundsChurch groundsAnother view of this Houston church
Church grounds
Church grounds | Source
Church grounds
Church grounds | Source
Another view of this Houston church
Another view of this Houston church | Source

Relief Printing

To satisfy my curiosity, I wanted to learn about linocuts and relief printing. My husband and I had collected some old etchings, among other types of art, through the years. I merely wished to become better educated regarding works of art on paper.

After I had created a few linocut prints by hand, I began utilizing an antique press at The Printing Museum in Houston. It is there that most of my linoleum cut art prints came into being. It was an excellent opportunity to use a 100+-year-old printing press. I was able to show people touring the establishment just how those antique machines worked while I was printing my art pieces.

Old printing press I used at the Printing Museum
Old printing press I used at the Printing Museum | Source

The Architectural Design

The design of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church was by noted architect Joseph Walter Northrop, Jr. It began life as the First Congregation Church in 1927. Mr. Northrop, Jr. was a former president of the South Texas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. I did not know this when I first saw it's beautiful exterior.

Churches, in general, are often fascinating structures. They tend to reflect the aspirations of the supporters and attendees in directing one's soul towards a higher and better elevation of life.

More affluent churches often have more elaborate exteriors as well as interiors. St. Matthew's fits that category. I particularly liked and represented with my art the juxtaposition of the different roof lines with the tower and the arches that seem to tie it all together.

Imagine if you will some folded and praying hands. The arches represent them. The sheltered walkways with the arches protect people from inclement weather such as rain or searing sun. Those arches are like the church's body, which offers protection to parishioners by way of unification in prayer.

The wings of the church have different angles. It makes me think of other families joining together to form a cohesive whole in sharing a collective religious experience.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My original linocutHand-colored version of this linocut
My original linocut
My original linocut | Source
Hand-colored version of this linocut
Hand-colored version of this linocut | Source

Location

The large spreading branches of old live oak trees adorn this part of Houston just north of the Museum District. They also help to provide St. Matthew's with a framework of natural beauty.

Hopefully, this answers my friend's query about why I created a linocut of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Houston. Art is definitely in the "eye of the beholder," and this linocut is my unique perspective and personal symbolic meaning of her church home.

St. Matthew Lutheran Church was celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2016. The location is 5315 Main St., Houston, Texas 77004.

Saint Matthew

This Saint is known as one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ by Lutheran as well as Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox churches. Along with Saints Mark, Luke and John, he walked the earth spreading the word about eternal salvation. Before becoming an apostle and evangelist, St. Matthew was a tax collector. According to the Catholic and Orthodox churches, he died a martyr.

Right: "The Inspiration of Saint Matthew" Left: "The Calling of St Matthew" By Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Right: "The Inspiration of Saint Matthew" Left: "The Calling of St Matthew" By Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio | Source

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."

— Matthew 5:6

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Denise,

      Sorry that you could not comment on the article about the scalloped potatoes recipe. I hope that they fix it so that we can leave comments on the ones on niche sites. I have written an entire article showing almost all of my linocuts if you are interested. Take care, and thanks for your comment.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      4 days ago from Fresno CA

      How I would love to comment on your scalloped potatoes but the niche site still won't let me. I love scalloped potatoes but the vegan cheese I've been buying doesn't melt quite the same and dairy cheese. I've given up finding a good vegan recipe and just bake my potatoes with my own gravy sauce with nutritional yeast which gives a cheesy flavor. I still love your linoleum cuts as well. Can't wait to see more.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 days ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi manatita,

      So glad you like the appearance of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church. There are a couple of other beautiful churches in the same area of our Museum District. You are indeed rich in spirit! Thanks for your comment. Blessings to you!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      5 days ago from london

      Yes, Peggy. He died a martyr. Churches do inspire. After all, we go to them seeking the Highest of the High. Such a blessing! Much love to you and yes, I will have one of your paintings. No money though. God has utilised me in my travels so many times that I have gone broke, yet rich in Spirit. Haha. Still love you guys.

      St Matthew's Lutheran looks immaculate!! - Lantern

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Adrienne,

      Houston does have an amazing variety of places to please visitors with all kinds of interests. Thanks for reading about this church, and leaving a comment.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      2 weeks ago

      I am always surprised to learn about all the treasures Houston harbors for those who are willing to discover this city. Thank you for revealing all the wonderful perks this city has to offer. It is nice to go on virtual visits especially now that with the pandemic it is difficult to travel safely. This church is stunning both inside and out.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rajan,

      Thanks for your comment. It is indeed fun to create art.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      3 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Beautiful linocut. Quite interesting to learn how you got into this art form. It is indeed a blessing to be able to create art of any form.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      3 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ann,

      It is fun learning that you like to draw and paint. I have dabbled with art all of my life. Learning how to create linocuts was a fun part of that which kept me quite busy for awhile. Thanks for your comment.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 weeks ago from SW England

      Beautiful church and your lino-cut does it more than justice. You have an eye for composition and colour. I loved doing art at school and I still draw and paint a bit but I found lino-cuts too laborious and fiddly. You must have more patience than I!

      Great that your work is sold and used for church publications too.

      Ann

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Denise,

      I have created quite a number of them, and many of the Galveston prints are being sold in two different tourist sites in Galveston. If inspiration strikes, I may do more in the future. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      4 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      I hope you keep these up and do more linocuts in the future. You are really good at it!

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for your positive comment about my linocut of St. Matthew Lutheran Church.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Christy,

      This church is one of the many beautiful ones in our area. I am pleased that you liked the recipe. Unfortunately, you cannot make comments on many of the niche sites. Thanks for your comment on this article.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      4 weeks ago

      Great going with your linocut. Congratulations.

    • profile image

      Christy Birmingham-Reyes 

      4 weeks ago

      I do not live close by so I have not seen this church before. The architecture, wow! I love how you bring me the sights of Houston, including its Museum District. I also read your eggplant parmesan recipe, mmm!!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Umesh,

      Thanks for your comment. I am pleased that you enjoyed this article.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      4 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Well sketched, well presented. Nice reading.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi George,

      Houston's Museum District is filled with some beautiful structures. I am glad you liked my linocut of St. Matthew Lutheran Church.

    • profile image

      George 

      4 weeks ago

      Good to know about and see your unique art representing this landmark structure in Houston's Museum District.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Dolores,

      It was pure happenstance that Lisa spotted my art, and we became friends because of it, which lead to the church being able to use my linocut. I have written an entire article about my linocuts if you are interested.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Raymond,

      Yes, the church has my permission to use the image that I created in linocut form. I do possess a copy of their cookbook with the image. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Devika,

      I am pleased that you enjoyed reading this article. There are many beautiful places of worship in all denominations in the Houston area. It was happenstance that I did a linocut of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, and one of the parishioners saw it. A great friendship developed with Lisa and her husband because of it.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Anya,

      Thanks for your complimentary comment.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Brenda,

      My husband and I also saw some of the churches in Spain some of which took centuries to build. They are impressive structures! I am pleased that you enjoyed reading this article about this church in Houston.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Audrey,

      The trees in that part of our city are glorious! I'm glad that you liked the video presentations in this article. Thanks for your comment.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      4 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

      Wow, Peggy, that is awesome! I love the hand colored print the best. And to have a church member find the print then have it used by the church must have given you a real thrill. I'm going to check your other articles to see if you have any on the process which always confused the heck out of me.

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 

      4 weeks ago from The Netherlands

      How nice that your linocut (which I liked very much) can be used by the church. Well done.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Peggy this is another one of your interesting and informative hubs, but of the Lutheran Church. A wonder to me and lovely photos too. A tour to a beautiful place.

    • Bushra Iqbal profile image

      Anya Ali 

      4 weeks ago from Rabwah, Pakistan

      Beautiful church, stained windows, linocut and prose. Thank you!

    • Brenda Arledge profile image

      BRENDA ARLEDGE 

      4 weeks ago from Washington Court House

      Interesting to read about your linocut. It seems to be quite a process.

      Churches are so amazing when they have this older structure.

      I visited Spain many years ago and the churches there were awesome.

      This one seems to have a few of the same qualities.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 weeks ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Your Linocut art work is glorious! You are talented, Peggy. I love the branches and leaves of the trees. The video is an extra treat. Thank you for sharing this informative, wonderful presentation.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liza,

      How fortunate you were to be a student in Italy! That would be a dream for many people. Getting to visit the Vatican City and other churches will be an experience I am sure you will long remember. Thanks for your comment.

    • lizmalay profile image

      Liza 

      5 weeks ago from USA

      I love visiting places of worship. When I was a student in Italy, I had a wonderful tour inside Vatican City and other churches in Italy. I adore the architecture of the buildings and the paintings. I'm amazed by your story, Peggy and I love your original linocut. You have a great talent! Thank you for sharing it!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for your comment. I have an article on HubPages on the FeltMagnet site that is titled "Original Linoleum Cut Art Prints by Peggy Woods" if you wish to see more of my linocuts. I have also made some collages, paintings, and lithographs, none of which are featured here.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      Peggy, that is such beautiful artwork. I have always known your appreciation for art but until now, I have not seen one of your creations.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Heidi,

      Thanks for your comment and inquiry about our safety. We have had our share of inclement weather all along the Gulf Coast this year. I will be glad when the hurricane season is over. We have a few months to go. Where we live in west Houston, so far, we are fine. We did get a lot of rain, but no flooding. Other parts of our city did not fare as well. It is so sad to see the flooded homes, businesses, vehicles, etc. In the middle of a pandemic, it makes things even worse.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rosina,

      Creating art has always been a pastime for me, but I have some commercial success with it as well. Thanks for your complimentary comment.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      5 weeks ago

      Thank you, Peggy, for taking us on a journey of Linocut art and print. That you are a self-taught artist is indicative of your talent. It is all very appreciative and awesome. Thank you for sharing.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      5 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      It doesn't matter how, where, or when you start your art... as long as you start! And your story is so encouraging.

      I can see why they were interested in your linocut. It would be easy to recreate it for print production, especially by computer graphic programs. They'd just have to convert it into vector art.

      Thank you for sharing something of yourself and another site in your area. I hope you're staying safe with all the extreme weather that's been heading your way. Take care!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Linda,

      Churches can be grand edifices or simple structures with few adornments, but all have a story. Thanks for your virtual visit to this one in Houston.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Denise,

      I have made some postcards using two other linocuts, but not this one. Thanks for the compliment. I have hand-colored some of the prints of the St. Matthew Lutheran Church. The trees do soften the image of the building.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cheryl,

      Thanks for your comment, Cheryl. May God bless you too.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      5 weeks ago

      Thank you, Peggy, for taking us on your journey of Linocut art and print. It is highly appreciative and praiseworthy that you are a self-taught artist and can do so much. You truly show great talent. Thank you for sharing.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I enjoy exploring churches, especially ones with an interesting history. Thank you for sharing the information about St. Matthew Lutheran Church. Your art is lovely, Peggy.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      5 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Perspective is the hardest part of drawing and recreating buildings and your linocut would be so unforgiving if you had been off just a little. It's perfect. I especially love the leaves of the trees and branches that border the edges. Outstanding! Have you made cards or printed T-shirts with this lino block? It would be fabulous.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      5 weeks ago from Roanoke

      Wow you truly have an amazing talent. God bless you and keep sharing with the world.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pamela,

      Thanks for your comment on this article. I have a first cousin who does stained glass. Have you ever shown any of your stained glass creations on HubPages? I love the beauty of stained glass.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      Being a self taught artist is wonderful and you do beautiful work. I think any type of art is worth the time to create something beautiful to behold. I love your original linocut. I taught myself to make stained glass projects and I think you certainly achieved your goals, Peggy. This is a very interesting and enjoyable article.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi FlourishAnyway,

      As far as I know, they do attribute the artwork to me. Lisa gave me a copy of the cookbook that they produced with my artwork on it. I am glad you enjoyed reading this article.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Chitrangada,

      Thanks for your comment. St. Matthew Lutheran Church is one of three impressive churches located just north of our Museum of Fine Arts. All three of the churches are architecturally beautiful.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      We did get a lot of rain but had no severe flooding where we live. The east side of Houston, nearer the Gulf of Mexico, had some real problems, as you would have seen on the news.

      Yes, I am more than ready to say goodbye to 2020. Let's hope 2021 is better in every aspect!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 weeks ago from USA

      Your art is beautiful and the fact that you are self-taught is phenomenal and inspiring. I admired how you described the church symbolically. Simply marvelous. It was also generous to give away your publication rights to the church. I hope they attribute your art properly in all they publish.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Great article about Linocut art. I am pleased to learn about this artistic talent of yours. And, the art work shared by you is beautiful.

      I enjoyed the information about the St. Matthew Lutheran Church. Beautiful architecture, worth appreciating.

      Thanks for sharing this excellent article.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      All quite lovely and interesting, but I'm more interested in how you are doing in Houston with the flooding. I hope this finds you well and not too-affected by the flooding we are reading about. I think it's high-time for 2020 to be over, don't you?

      Be safe!

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