Doylestown artist Denise Callanan-Kline, a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, is known for her landscapes of Bucks County, river scenes and the polo matches in Tinicum Park.
She has now completed a painting of the Buckingham church building in its natural surroundings, as part of an effort to fund another work of art that the church has commissioned. The commissioned work is a sculpture of the Madonna and Child by sculptor Joe DeVito, which honors Mary as a mother, and Callanan-Kline is donating her framed oil on panel painting to help raise its funding.
“Rather than create an architectural illustration, I chose to set the church in its Bucks County surroundings, which required a little tromping down the field across the road from the church to take some photos,” explained Callanan-Kline.
“When designing the painting, I was thinking of the Hudson River painters, whose goal was to represent sublime beauty in their landscapes. They would often paint a building as an integral part of the overall landscape. These artists sought to not merely to reach the intellect and emotions, but to touch the soul. When painting the sky I decided to use cerulean blue which is the color blue more closely associated with Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
The artist believes it is important to support the creation of true art in churches, work that encompasses original thought and dedicated craftsmanship. She has found motivation in St. John Paul the Great’s 1999 Letter to Artists, in which he describes the artist’s unique gift:
“Genuine artistic intuition goes beyond what the senses perceive and, reaching beneath reality’s surface, strives to interpret its hidden mystery. The intuition itself springs from the depths of the human soul, where the desire to give meaning to one’s own life is joined by the fleeting vision of beauty and of the mysterious unity of things ... true art has a close affinity with the world of faith, so that, even in situations where culture and the Church are far apart, art remains a kind of bridge to religious experience.”