This series of painting arise from my uneasy dreams during the pandemic shutdown.
"St. Roch Offers Counseling and Sandwiches for All in Need" is a world-gone-wrong pandemic painting. St Roch is from the top tier of the celestial service hierarchy and at the bottom, one finds Maybe the Dog. They work together to help Joseph and Mary slumped in grime on the street.
As a child, I was told by Father Cole, our parish priest, that dogs are NOT allowed into heaven. This proved an insurmountable block in my spiritual development but reinforced my abiding love of dogs.
Here I suggest that Father Cole was wrong. The most lowly also can serve at the highest level.
St. Roch, I have since learned, was saved by a dog bringing him bread as he lay dying of plague. He therefore became the patron saint of dogs, and is THE ONE to go to in times of plague. The crown of this story for me was when I learned that St. Roch was from Montpellier, France while his modern day saintly dog Maybe spends her life in Montpelier, Vermont. A world of wonders.
To capture my feelings at this time, I put colors side by side that awaken discomfort in me... that red and that green. And I made the world all wrong and diminished... the glimpses of an eerie sky, the overwhelming roof on the rudimentary shops, all with newspaper over the windows as they go out of business. In this case the newspapers are the bankruptcy and foreclosure announcements from my small town's struggling paper.
To balance it all and create happiness I put lightening bugs in the angel's hair. And let Maybe the Dog shine with pure light, which she does.