Born in San Diego, California in 1943, Father Giovanni has been a monk of the Greek Orthodox Church for over four decades. Since October of 2013, he has been a resident of the monastic Community of Our Lady and Saint Laurence, located on Tallahassee Creek, 32 miles northwest of Cañon City. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served during the Vietnam War.
While still in his teens, he began his artistic journey by studying examples of fashion designs from newspaper ads and creating images with pencil. After his time in the Navy, he studied at the Academy of Arts in San Francisco and later joined an informal bohemian artists’ colony.
Father Giovanni has done traditional, Orthodox iconography, and has long worked on portraits in pencil, ink, acrylic and, frequently, mixed media. He recently began painting highly colorful new works with an eye to the Impressionist style.
The Monastic Community of Our Lady and Saint Laurence
Located on nearly 600 acres of mountains, meadows and gorge, the monastic Community is presently home to two monks and one nun. The main campus, located in a pristine valley created by Tallahassee Creek, comprises a large church with guest quarters, a two-story log building (a former hunting lodge), and a small hermitage. It is an ideal environment for quiet prayer and reflection.
The property includes cemeteries for humans and for pets. The picturesque variety of terrain and scenery provides opportunities for a host of outdoor activities, including magnificent vistas for an artist to paint. The facility hosts individual and group retreats and events, including an Annual Pilgrimage for the August 10th Feast of Saint Laurence. They are online at www.saintlaurenceosb.org. Examples of Father Giovanni’s work can be seen at Retrospective Gallery, 219 F Street in Salida.