St. Dominic’s Mural – Painting Process (Part 1)

St. Dominic’s Mural – Painting Process (Part 1)

Hello. I am Catholic Artist John McCoy. I
am Catholic. I have not said that in other videos but I have been a Catholic my whole life and it’s important for you to know that
this work that I’m doing is not just another job. I am called by God to be a
Catholic Artist and I do believe that the reason I am up here in Grand Rapids,
Michigan is a part of God’s plan. My works are completely original and I
believe they are inspired by the Holy Spirit. I say that with all humility, but
I need to stay true to what I believe and what the Church teaches about
inspired art, Catholic art, and Catholic artists. This is a 15 foot by 6 foot.. to
be exact 6’2″ by 15’10”.. so almost 16 foot mural depicting seven
Saints chosen by Shrine of St. Francis Xavier & Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
which is combined with St. Dominic where this mural will be installed. The
painting has Our Lady of Guadalupe, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spanish. This Parish is Hispanic predominantly. There’s a
lot of different ethnicities a part of this Parish and a lot of the Saints
chosen were to express the ethnic diversity of our Catholic faith, but of
course all of the Saints in the mural tie back to Mary who is the Queen of
Saints, the Queen of Heaven, The Mother of God.. and humbly I am so excited to be
painting this depiction of her. Juan Diego is not one of the seven Saints
depicted, in the sense of like.. we’re telling a story through them.. but he is
obviously part of the mural telling the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and being
a sort of figurative symbol for the lives of these Saints in
their relationship to the Queen of Heaven, Our Mother. So the light is a big
part of this piece shining through the painting in different scenarios. Saints
are either surrounded by dark or light, but they have light within them and
light on their faces, and Saint Dominic is front and center. The design as I said
before is completely original, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
I hold true to the belief that I have, and the relationship I have with God, and
as a Catholic being up here in Grand Rapids, Michigan working on this mural is
an immense blessing. It just goes to show that you can take a career path such as
Catholic art, which is virtually unknown in today’s particular culture, and by the
Holy Spirit’s will that artist can grow to have a vocation as a Catholic Artist.
The fact that that is possible is a miracle and is a blessing.
Now the painting depicts seven Saints and those Saints.. Our Lady of Guadalupe,
Saint Mother Teresa, Saint Jose Sanchez Del Rio, Saint Dominic, Saint Andrew Dung
Lac and companions, Saint Martin de Porres, and Saint Francis Xavier.. St.
Francis Xavier, St. Dominic and Our Lady of Guadalupe are the Patrons of these
combined Parishes and the other Saints, as I said before, tell the story of the
diversity of our Catholic faith, that we are all members of the Body of Christ
serving the world in different ways as Saints. Right now I have completed the
under painting. This is not the finished piece, and this is the first painting
process video that you’re watching, and what that is, is the under painting is a guideline for me as the Artist to be
able to see what I’ve laid down so far, with the information of colors, values,
placements of figures, and the general overall form of the composition.
Composition is obviously one of the most important parts.. it’s the language
of the Holy Spirit speaking through me; the composition ties these Saints in
with Mary with the symbolism of light being God the Father, and lots of other
symbols that I am going to be painting into this mural. The faces and the
figures and the composition are all going to be refined quite a bit.. as if as
if you didn’t know me (laughter)..I am a detail-oriented person. I love realism,
and I love it not only arbitrarily.. it’s not arbitrary that I love realism.
It’s actually the communicative power of realism to take you to a place
where you can see a figure interacting with the environment and what that tells
about that figure in the story, but also like the surrounding symbolism of the
light and how that speaks to our human condition, and how we tie in with those
Saints, and how we are alike and how we’re different, how we can relate to
them and how we can be drawn towards Sainthood through these Saints. So
telling their little stories and telling the overall story of what it is to be a
Saint, Mary being the best Saint.. that is not.. that does not take anything away
from any other Saint that Mary is the best Saint. She is the Mother of God. She’s the Queen of the Saints and she most intimately lived out in her life having
the Body of Christ dwell in her, literally, but that’s the lives of all
the Saints.. as having Christ in them, being Christ’s hands and feet.. so that is
our Catholic faith. I am very proud to be a Catholic, and not in a prideful way in
a bad way, but taking, considering the immense blessing to be Catholic, to be part of the one true Church, to be following the Church that
Jesus Christ Himself instituted.. over two thousand years ago, and here we are today..
I’m an Artist painting this mural and humbly striving to reveal what the
Holy Spirit has told me to reveal through this mural.. over time, through my
talents, through the digital painting process, through the sketches.. the rough
sketches that this all started with, and bringing it to life and how that life of
the painting unfolds in new ways that I do not foresee even now.. even though the
composition is designed, a lot of the faces and a lot of the details, and the
overall final piece is a mystery to me.. in the sense that God will continue to
reveal things to me and as an Artist I will continue to work at refining the
painting.. and so in this video you are watching the under painting. This is Part
1, so look forward to more Parts, more parts to this painting process,
until this painting is completed, and I am looking forward to seeing it
installed as it should be according to God’s will in this church, serving as a
means for parishioners and for people, and for all who witness it to enter into
a deeper relationship with the Saints, and with the Mother of God, and with
Jesus.. not that those are the paintings themselves, but through the painting, led
to a connection with the living Communion of Saints, the Living Mother of God, and Jesus. Thank you so much for watching.
It is an honor to serve you, to serve this church, to be in Grand Rapids
experiencing the call of God daily to be a better person, to
strive to be a Saint myself, as I paint these Saints. So God bless you, be with
you, and may He lead you gently and through love to a deeper faith in Him, in
His Providence, and what He is doing in His church today.

2 thoughts on “St. Dominic’s Mural – Painting Process (Part 1)

  1. It's always fascinating to watch the painting process, and hearing the background of the symbolism and composition. Thank you for sharing and explaining it all.

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