Indulgence: a collaboration with Nathan Monk.


38 x 54 cm (15 x 22 inches)


Inks and mixed media with underprint on Fabriano Artistico 300gsm HP Watercolour paper.


Commissioned work

I had the very great pleasure of collaborating with Nathan Monk on this fun project (his explanation of an Indulgence is below). A little irreverence for a good cause. Nathan is not only a bestselling author and all-round good guy, he is a helper and healer of other humans, which puts him firmly on Santa’s Nice list, in addition to being funny, down-to-earth and a really lovely guy to work with.

When he messaged me and we chatted about the collaboration he wanted to undertake, I did what I usually do with commission work and started researching. I VERY quickly realised that Christianity and Catholicism is, in the understatement of the year, quite a big subject, and that my knowledge of it is rather stunted. I needed to make something which resembled a genuine mediaeval illuminated script. I knew a good deal about what they look like, but about the insanely complex symbolism they contained, along with snails and men with trumpets up their bottoms (no I am not making that up), I quickly felt out of my depth.

The awesome thing about having Nathan as a collaborator is that he has a very clear vision of what he wants and really engages in the project. This work is unlike anything I have ever made, it’s been a wonderful learning experience, and I’m proud of what we did.

They are available for sale on his website



By Nathan Monk (stolen from his Facebook page):

Rich people have been known to buy their way out of almost every type of consequence, but did you know that included even the afterlife? And no one was quicker to oblige than the Roman Catholic Church.

Over the centuries, the Catholic understanding of the afterlife evolved from the binary mindset of heaven and hell to the addition of a third option: purgatory. The idea is pretty simple, you weren’t good enough for heaven but not quite rotten enough for hell, and so you went to a place to refine yourself to get ready for eternity with the divine. And I don’t mean that like refining school but like a refining fire that you put metal into to remove all the impurities.

Eventually, the Catholic Church decided that there were things you could do in this life to knock a couple of years off of your sentence, like praying the rosary or walking up the steps of a cathedral on your knees until they bled. But then the church decided to go to war with the whole rest of the world, known as the Crusades. There were eight crusades in total, also making it one of the longest-running franchises until the Fast and the Furious.

War is expensive, and eventually, some financially savvy bishops started selling indulgences to fund everything from building new buildings to paying for their war chests. No more groveling or silly prayers are needed to get yourself into heaven! Just buy a piece of paper so we can buy more swords to crush the skulls of our enemies, and you can get to heaven super fast, just like Jesus always wanted.

Over time, indulgences went out of style, but occasionally a pope would pop up and still provide them from time to time. This ultimately leads to Martin Luther going bonkers over the whole thing and sending out 95 tweets about everything from the pope to purgatory and then running off to marry a nun. Basically, indulgences are also why we now have Evangelicals. 


But it makes both churches mad that I sell them so regardless of your denomination, stick it to the man and get you one.”

~Father Nathan Monk