Saints and, By the Way, What do You Believe In?

I am starting a new series of paintings. I keep finding myself going back to the flying people and horses. Several years ago I had a desire to start a series on Saints. How to coordinate all of these topics has been befuddling.

So I decided one night that I would combine the saints with the flying people. The Book of Saints does a beautiful job with the documentation on each saint, the stories and the symbols. Everything one would need to illustrate the men and women in question.

I chose Saint Dorothy for the first. She is the patron saint of florists. As she was being walked to her beheading a young lawyer called after her,”when you get to paradise send me some flowers.” The next day a child showed up with a basket of roses and apples. On this cold day the young lawyer became a believer.

Saint Dorothy oil and collage on canvas, 18" x 24" copyright ECR 2013
Saint Dorothy
oil and collage on canvas, 18″ x 24″
copyright ECR 2013

I have portrayed Dorothy with her roses and apples, the other flowers and bird are painted on handmade paper affixed to the stretched canvas with clear gesso. This gesso has a fine tooth that easily grabs the paint.

Detail of Saint Dorothy oil on canvas copyright ECR 2013
Detail of Saint Dorothy
oil on canvas
copyright ECR 2013

This detail shows the red under painting, more of her expression and the tranquility she retained with the knowledge that she was going to be put to death for her beliefs.

Saint Stephen will be on the easel very soon. Stoned to death for his beliefs.

Think for a minute about what beliefs you would risk death for.

As some wise person said, “If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.”

6 thoughts on “Saints and, By the Way, What do You Believe In?

  1. This one feels both serene and slightly mournful to me, possibly depending on where I focus. I love the red under-painting and the layering too. An auspicious start for your series.

    1. Thank you Katherine. I hope you are on the mend and feeling ready to tackle a new season of artwork. I have just spent two weeks with a loved one in the hospital so have a renewed appreciation for good health.

  2. I love the texture of Dorothy’s face and her expression–very eloquent. And I love how you came up with the idea of combining the saints and the flying people. One of those inspirations that will yield great work.

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