A Relationship

As David Higgins paints houses, so do I paint Madonnas. Well maybe not to that extent. ;- } My relationship with Mary dates back to the Cuban Missile Crisis where for 14 days in October 1962 the world stood paralyzed with fear. I experienced it as a quiet and intense fear with sure understanding that at any moment the sirens would wail out and within 25 minutes all would be incinerated. Each of those days I visited St. Mary’s church after school. I prayed for about an hour, asking Mary to intercede for mankind in its hour of greatest peril. At the successful resolution of the crisis I had a certain feeling that my prayers had been part of it. A bond with Mary was established that has lasted a lifetime, though I left the church for over 35 years. When I started my art some 1o years ago, the first subject that commanded my attention was Mary. I painted a series of 6 paintings, one painting for each clause in Mary’s Prayer. Since coming back to Corning in June I have done three Marys. The latest is called ‘Pray for Us.’

I have recently returned to the Catholic church so my mind is on faith and the sacraments. Just by chance (?) last week I ran across a photo of Christina at her First Holy Communion. I was struck by its purity.

I painted that.

I am hoping these paintings follow a rich tradition of spiritual art.

–Bill Boland

——-Posted by Bill Boland


7 Responses to A Relationship

  1. Parnilla Carpenter says:

    Bill, It’s always a very cool thing to read about inspiration… I am so glad that the peace you felt all those years ago is again renewed in your art and in your life… (c; Nice work!

  2. redtreetimes says:

    Bill– Thanks for talking a bit about your influences for this work. It puts it in a new light. I really like both of these pieces, particularly the First Communion piece. It has a sense of spitiual joy, the same that is evident in Christina’s photo.

    Nice work, Bill.

  3. CJ Morton says:

    How do you do these and when did you start?

  4. Mark Reep says:

    Good stuff, Bill, both the work & the post. The rick contrast of the black backgrounds complements your colors and designs so well. Makes everything pop.
    Thanks for sharing more about your faith and how it informs your work. Good to hear. The First Communion piece is exceptional. Been meaning to mention the Christmas wreath was standout too. All best.

  5. westendtalk says:


    I have a very simple process. In this representational work I work from a photo. I paint black paper with paint pens. I cannot explain the transition from the photo to the painting. I have very little intent. It just emerges, and almost always it goes from idea to painting quickly. Usually a day. T

    Almost always I work on 8.5 x 11.

    I started around 1999, shortly after I had sold a business in New York City, and moved to Scottsdale, AZ. I stopped working and took time out. When I did art began coming out almost immediately. It’s been spotty but productive and diverse since. Please visit my web site at http://www.bolandarts.com. It has my entire body of work (save a few) . Thanks for your interest. Bill

    • redtreetimes says:

      Very interesting, Bill. How do you normally start a piece? On a piece like the Communion piece, would you start with the face or does this vary? You say you have very little intent so I take it that you rely on intuition after you plunge in.

      Also, how did this style of working come to you? Was there an influence from another artist, say, one of the pointillists?

  6. westendtalk says:

    I don’t remember where it started but I think it was the multi colored braid bordering the cloak.

    After the sketch it is intuitive.

    I don’t know where this style comes from. I don’t having any specific influences. Serat’s work has helped me define mine. We both love color but we also have different views. With Serat’s work it’s when you move back that the richness unfolds. With mine I think it becomes more expressive as the viewer looks closer.

    Serat and Mark Reep inspired me to be a pointllist.

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