Mother Emanuel Church
24″ x 30″ oil on linen, framed by the artist
Painting Mother Emanuel is my way of coming home as an artist, after an exhausting and emotional artistic and spiritual journey as the courtroom sketch artist for the Dylann Roof Trial. In a time when our spiritual underpinnings are being challenged and attacked, Mother Emanuel stands as a symbol of our enduring faith.
I was emulating (channeling) the style of Van Gogh, part of my spiritual and emotional preparations for the 2019 Piccolo Spoleto performances of Vincent John Doe, my play about the great artist.
My goal was to capture the ethereal nature of the building itself. The Holy Spirit is poured out, mingling with the clouds and atmosphere. The stars are just beginning to glimmer in the late afternoon. The air is thin, when it seems to pull us out of ourselves.
The painting is of course dedicated to the victims and survivors of one of the most tragic and defining events in Charleston’s long history.