Masonic Traveler

book cover, freemasonry, masonic, digital art

Masonic Traveler, 2010
Digital Illustration
Gregory B Stewart

The cover art for the 2010 book Masonic Traveler: Under the Shadow of Jehovah’s Wing.

This work is a composite of sorts that combining a variety of digital images both found and created through the medium of Photoshop. While other works have included an element of deeper meaning, this illustration functioned more in the literal sense in conveying the context of the work.

When the book was published, it was its own passion project featuring a collection of essays on Freemasonry.

The book, from its description, is self-described as “…a work at a crossroads; the product of nascent alchemy that is the personal expression of study of the highest form of the Western Mystery traditions known as Freemasonry. This work is more than a history book or an evaluation of ancient symbols. Rather it is about the personal journey of becoming a Freemason, studying its nuance, finding and mapping its parallels, and assimilating it into daily life. Included in the work is a consideration of the beehive, the symbolic attribution of the tenants of Faith, Hope, and Charity, and the symbolic meaning behind King Solomon’s Temple, and much more. This work is a journal of a Masonic Traveler.”

On a personal level, this work was my first foray into collecting and publishing written work on Freemasonry. Other works include The Apprentice, Fellow of the Craft, and Master Mason.

Masonic Traveler: Under the Shadow of Jehovah’s Wing available on Amazon.

U.S. Masonic Presidents

freemasons, presidents, America

U.S. Masonic Presidents, 2012
Digital Illustration
Gregory B Stewart

Freemasonry has a rich history wrapped in American political culture. In particular, a history tied to several American Presidents. This digital illustration is an encapsulation of those great (and infamous) political leaders.

What makes this piece all the more meaningful is the quote from Washington woven into the virtual fabric of the illustration. Washington’s quote to the members of King David’s Lodge in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1790, reads, “Being persuaded that a just application of the principles, on which the Masonic Fraternity is founded, must be promotive of private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be happy to advance the interests of the Society, and to be considered by them as a deserving brother.”

The text in the background Is Thomas Paine’s The Origin of Freemasonry.

Of particular interest in the art is how the presidents surrounding Washington are rendered. Using a technique to produce an engraving like quality, each President has the same appearance as the image Washington on the one-dollar bill. 

Modern First-Degree Masonic Tracing Board

Freemasonry, apprentice, Tracing board, digital, Gregory B. Stewart

Modern Third-Degree Masonic Tracing Board. 2006
Digital illustration
Gregory B. Stewart

book, The Apprentice, Freemasonry, Masonic
The Apprentice

This work is a modern representation of the Masonic First-Degree Tracing Boards of old. It is filled with metaphor and symbolism, fluent to all Apprentice Masons.

Tracing boards are visual mnemonics created to illustrate the meanings and principals of Freemasonry as taught within the degrees. The symbolism is very Western, but the symbolism has been adapted for the modern mason.

In the image there are many symbolic cues. In adapting this piece, the most significant change is the replacing of the Holy Bible with the major religious symbols of the world. These symbols of faith, in my opinion, represent the modern Freemason.

What this work represents visually is the journey through which the a neophyte becomes an apprentice mason. On that journey, he is introduced to the three Graces, the allegorical ladder, and the idea of the pillars, crowned here with the sun, moon and blazing star in the canopy of the heavens. 

Since this work was originally created it has appeared in a number of locations around the world including as murals, covers to esoteric works and emblems of fraternal societies. It strikes a cord for many at a deep level, capturing the essence of initiation into Freemasonry.  

Modern Second-Degree Masonic Tracing Board

fellow craft, second degree, tracing board

Modern Second-Degree Masonic Tracing Board. 2007
Digital illustration
Gregory B. Stewart

From its original context, this digital illustration represents the process of becoming a Fellow of the Craft in Freemasonry.

As it was included in the book, Fellow of the Craft, part of the text that accompanies the work reads:

In this image, you will notice several key aspects of the degree. We must interpret the image and the degree overall so as to contemplate it more as a sum total equation and see it as a reflection on our own personal journey of the Great Work.

Between the pillars of Boaz and Jachin on the left and right, bordered by the waters of primordial chaos and the canopy of heaven, we begin our inward journey of perfection. This journey is an eternal one and concluded only in reaching and understanding the divine through a faith practice or in the perfection of our being through the contemplative tradition we ascribe.

As this is only the second step in the journey, it is one its recipients should spend many years perfecting and renewing so as to reach a level of enlightenment and joy which comes at the end of a life well spent.

Also see The Lighthouse.

Modern Third-Degree Masonic Tracing Board

digital, art, illustration, tracing board, Freemasonry, Master Mason

Modern Third-Degree Masonic Tracing Board. 2010
Digital illustration
Gregory B. Stewart

This work has had many lives and graced many a web-site and book cover.

The Master Mason
The Master Mason

In its original context, this digital illustration represents the process of becoming a Master Mason. As it was included in the book, The Master Mason, part of the text that accompanies the work reads:

Here, in this tracing board, the focus of the teaching is on the transformation that the seeker undergoes in their quest towards becoming a master and member of the virtuous fraternity. Our journey upon the ladder and steps brings us to the gates of the temple, which ends in our allegorical death—the culmination of which being the faint glimmer of the divine spark as emitted from our creator. It is our choice to acknowledge this and complete our connection to it. And, like a faith tradition, the symbols and allegories are taught to create a common understanding with those who have traveled a similar path. The hope of completing this loop is the return to the Golden Rule, in that great proverb of “do unto others as you would have done to yourself.” The allegory of the ruffians illustrates their own ignorance of this principle.

Also see:
A Sad Object of Death
The Tree of Life
Anima Mundi