I was asked when was the first time I knew I wanted to paint political paintings. I had to sigh as I remembered the single event that started it all.
It was a sunny afternoon in the summer of 2008 as I came into my studio with a heavy feeling of depression and helplessness having just heard that John McCain would be the Republican nominee for the Republican party. I knew in my heart that it would be a difficult race, but McCain was far from a conservative and our country needed someone who believed in the principles of the Constitution.
As I sat in my chair alone in the gallery I bowed my head and felt the urge to pray. I remember saying, “Lord, I’m just an artist. What can I do?” At that moment I had a singular experience that I will always remember. I turned my head in the direction of my easel and saw a large painting, completed in full detail. I looked at it for about ten seconds and just as it was about to fade from my mind the words “One Nation Under God” were audible in my head. I grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil and as rapidly as I could I drew the placement of the figures as I had seen them.
At that time I didn’t tell anyone but my wife about the experience. For me it was profound. I felt God had given me a gift, but it scared me to even think about it. I had never painted anything like it before. It was the most politically incorrect image I had ever seen. I knew people would be angry that did not agree, but I was determined to proceed and do the painting.
Now that it has been almost three years since I released this image I am humbled and amazed at the reaction the painting has received. Many have been strengthened by its message and many have been critical of the work. I simply feel that I did what I was supposed to do.
You could call it a vision, an epiphany, a moment of inspiration, whatever it was, I know that it was inspired and whether the world finds it acceptable is unimportant. I believe that the Constitution was inspired and that by abiding by its principles of limited government and by remembering our Lord we will be blessed as a people.
Perhaps in your own life you have felt similar to me. "I'm just one person. What can I do?" The reason I have shared this personal story is not to bring attention to me, but to suggest that you do the same. When we ask God how we can make a difference He will always answer. Sometimes the answer is not what we want to hear, but it will change the world if you comply. As our country struggles to decide which path it will take, we need to use our individual gifts and circles of influence to help as many people as possible to understand what is happening.
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