Monday, August 25, 2008

Father Sebastian 18" x 24"

I have portrayed Father Sebastian of St Rose de Lima Church in Bay St Louis in front of a stained glass window which features a medieval symbol of the Holy Trinity. The lines of the design were allowed to run into his vestments, becoming a part of his portrait. I incorporated three St Thomas crosses in the design to honor his birthplace and childhood influences in southern India. The richly textured chasuble he wears was styled after one which his parishioners have seen him wear. Both chasuble and the background point to the opulent fabrics of priestly vestments. The colors of the painting are those which have symbolic meaning for the church; red is symbolic of the holy blood of Jesus; green denotes the hope of eternal life; violet symbolizes sorrow and penance; gold denotes majesty and splendor; rose indicates joy.

The Father has an intense gaze which indicates the depth of his faith. The strong directional light illuminates the man of God known and loved by so many people in his community; the side of his face that is in deep shadow hints at the man from a different culture, a mystery whom we will never really know.

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