Sometimes art is born of inspiration and sometimes of destiny. In the case of my epic painting The Cross I felt both.
As part of the redesign of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, I was asked to provide an image for use on a large wall. A very large wall. In fact as I examined the project, I discovered the surface in question was nearly 40 feet wide and almost 20 feet high – truly a moment of destiny for any artist.
To create the oil painting that would be the basis for the final mural, I utilized one of the largest canvases I have ever attempted in my studio. A full 6 feet wide, this canvas would be enlarged to create the final epic sized mural. I conceived the work as an extension of an earlier piece I had created entitled Sunrise. This painting would take that same vision of a rugged cross upon a mountaintop to new levels. The process was thrilling! As I worked it was as if heavenly light began to pour upon the canvas. It seemed that God’s inspiration kept renewing me to the task at hand.
A final aspect of the creative process came when Franklin Graham himself suggested a fitting title for the work: The Cross. This simple title reflects the lifelong calling and legacy of his father, the evangelist Billy Graham.
My prayer is that this painting will bring hope to many just as Billy Graham has brought hope to millions through the gospel message.