St. Dominic’s Mural – Painting Process (Part 2)

St. Dominic’s Mural – Painting Process (Part 2)


Hi everyone. I’m Catholic Artist John
McCoy, working for the New Evangelization on a 6 by 15 ft mural depicting
seven Saints for Saint Dominic Parish, which is now part of Shrine of St.
Francis Xavier and Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
This is Part 2 of the painting process videos for the St. Dominic’s Mural and
in Part 2 I am really just refining the mural.. in every sense of that, working
on different areas, going around working on faces, working on feet, working on the
clouds.. I implemented a lot of different painting techniques. My painting
techniques are very diverse.. using a sponge at one point, using brushes
predominantly for the rest of the painting process..
I do use brushes most of the time, but sponges are very nice for the clouds and
the subtle touch.. you can kind of see that come together. I thought
I would talk a little bit about symbolism for the painting, which is
something I’ve not talked about yet but the clouds you’re beginning to see
take the shape of an ‘M’, which is for Mary. Mary is the cornerstone of the painting.. the Queen of Heaven is kind of the the caretaker and you know.. source of
inspiration and in guiding these Saints to Jesus, and of course I’ve not
worked on it just yet, but the womb of Mary is going to have a lot of luminous qualities to it.. that she is pregnant with the Child Jesus in the
appearing to St. Juan Diego. The other Saints.. I’m beginning to work on the
faces, I am refining. You can see that St. Dominic’s face is completely finished,
and some of the other parts of the mural are completely finished, but there are parts in between that are not finished, and it’s just sort of bouncing around..
keeping the whole thing coming together, and it’s important for me to see
the overall painting coming together, and not just staying in one area but
moving around.. and you know, I’ve mentioned this before in other painting
process videos: it’s important for me to be led by the Holy Spirit.. and
prayerfully considering what parts of the painting to paint on certain days
does tie in with my prayer life and what I’m going through. Just an example would
be that my Mom sent me a text of some clouds that had my name in it she saw
those, if anyone else saw those they would have to be really looking into the photo for my name in those clouds because they were
difficult to see.. but once you knew that she had pointed.. you know, when she
pointed those out it was familiar.. but anyways I took that as a sign to begin
working on the clouds, and I did work on the clouds, and it was a very productive
day.. so just little things like that, following in prayer, trying to talk to
God and listen to God, and that’s what prayer, praying to see
what I should be working on next.. as this is a very holy process. And,
I’m not saying I’m holy, or you know.. any of that stuff.. I’m saying that this is a
sacred process in the sense that God is working through me, if I am humble enough
to be receptive to what He wants to say through this painting.. which I intend to
be and I hope to be. An interesting thing about the ‘M’..this is something that can maybe be seen later, but there is actually an ‘M’ of
light.. maybe I’ll attach a picture or something here.. but there’s actually an ‘M’
of light in the place where the painting will be installed. Now the lighting may
change when the painting is there but a parishioner told me that she saw
this ‘M’ as Mary watching over and leading us to Jesus, which is interesting
because.. unbeknownst to me, I had not known about
that, and I decided to put this ‘M’ in there. If you’d lined up the painting
with the wall it does match that ‘M’ almost perfectly.. so it was just another
little interesting thing and God’s always working through interactions with
people and prayer and just the painting process itself as a vessel for the Holy
Spirit to speak to me. I was inspired to create that ‘M’ that it arches over the
Saints and embraces them. Now another example that I’d like to share is: I was
praying the Divine Mercy chaplet and I have direct access to
the Eucharist here, so I can pray in front of the tabernacle, and I went to
pray and I thought ‘I’ll get my cell phone’ because I don’t know the start of
the prayer.. and as soon as I got up from the kneeler, a prayer book popped out and
I was like ‘oh I think I know what this means’.
I opened it up and I found the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and just little ways God
has been working through my prayer, my attempts to pray, because it’s very
difficult to pray, and always as I’m rendering this it’s a very quiet
process.. I’m speaking to God, God’s speaking to me and that is what prayer is. I’m not
saying I actually hear God’s voice outside my body or like through my ears,
but I am hearing gentle whisperings of my conscience telling me what to do,
inspiration itself.. what I want to paint, what strikes me as beautiful, and the little things I see each day that influence the painting.. and you know,
for instance: I’m up here in Grand Rapids Michigan. I took a trip to the Saugatuck
Dunes which were only a 40-minute or 45 minute drive from downtown Grand Rapids,
and it influenced.. I saw the dunes and Lake Michigan and it influenced
my visual perception of bodies of water and shorelines, and for St.
Francis Xavier on the the right of the composition, you know of course St.
Francis Xavier did a lot of missionary work.. he traveled all over the world more or less.. and so there’s a boat and there are figures representing people he
converted to Christianity. He was a missionary. There’s so many little things
and ..a fun little thing, we start this video with the lamb, painting the lamb..
Father Jose, the Pastor of these Parishes asked me to add the lamb
in there as a reference to the martyrdom of Saint Jose Sanchez del Rio, which I
worked on his face a little bit too. So, thank you for watching. This is an
incredible experience, as most of my projects are, but always in unique ways..
God is always speaking to me in new ways and in a new sort of vision of what
He wants me to see in the particular moments of each day.. and in the painting
process, and no painting I’ve ever worked on is actually the same as far as my
particular life point ..in that particular aesthetic that is coming through life’s
experiences and through prayer, and is working its way into the painting. A lot
of art is like that, where the artist takes inspiration from the world
around them.. and I’m no different. I am an artist and I am inspired by my
interactions with people through prayer, through just little things I see in the
interactions of sunlight on buildings, on people’s faces, the joy I see in people’s
faces, the troubles I see people go through… all of these things work their
way into the painting and I do believe that everything I experience in Grand
Rapids here as I’m working on this painting is placed before me and I am
meant to experience it and to be a part of the life of these people that I’m
encountering particularly at particular times, that it
would be a a source or way that the Holy Spirit can speak to me as I paint this
painting. Thank you for watching this video. It’s always a joy to share my
talents with other people and I’m so blessed to be up here in Grand Rapids,
Michigan working on this very large mural painting.
Thank you for watching. Be sure to subscribe to the channel if you have not
already. I am always releasing new content,
similar to this project, but there’s going to be new projects as well. So, God
bless you guys. Have a wonderful day, and I forgot.. I almost forgot to mention
happy All Hallows Eve. That’s right, it’s Halloween today, and it is the eve of All
Saints Day, so God bless you guys.

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

  1. Wow! Your work is so beautiful! It is so clear that you are using a God given gift in such an extraordinary way! Thank you for sharing the process and keep up the great work!

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