When I began to paint and create my art, I did not know where I was headed as an artist. Yet what remained important to me was that I was beginning my calling as a painter. After I began painting and working as a priest, the idea came to me to create works that could benefit the members of my community.
It always seemed to me that the public was constantly being asked to support either museums, or other cultural institutions. So I decided to take that theory and turn it on its head and use my art to support my community. I do not receive payments for my art, all the monies go directly to my congregation to help others in need.
– Father Bill Moore
I so appreciate Bill Moore – the Bill bloke, without the Fr., or the Dr., or even the Mr. He knew his calling, even though it was a double-header. He was able to acknowledge that his purpose lay in two directions: he was both a painter, an artist, and he was a priest, a mouthpiece that could inspire and point his congregation towards a sensitive, refined experience of life.
Which came first or was more significant? Why would it matter? What mattered was that he honoured his two-headed calling.
But there was more. He surrendered his calling to his flock. He uses his art “to support” his community. This is an uncommon altruism. My heart thrills to this.
Then there are the paintings with their invitation to touch, to gaze and graze. These are works that I find soul-satisfying on so many levels.
I always want to have a peaceful resolution, even if the painting is full of energy, life and movement, I always want to evoke peace, tranquility and calm. I always want to organize this energy.
“Father Bill imbues his art with a deep spirituality based on who he is,” says Mary Felton, who represents Moore’s work at Galerie Züger in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “His process is to walk up to a blank canvas and see what [the] Spirit wants him to paint on that canvas.”
I think in many ways, people are hungry for poetry and music and art. I think we have a deficiency in our spiritual diet.
My art has made me a better priest, and my faith has made me a better artist. We live in hurried times and are inundated with countless images. We have the capacity to immediately access a staggering wealth of information.
Through my art, I’m asking myself and those that would explore it to slow down. To look, touch and consider the essential colors, shapes and textures that can feed our souls.
I hope my paintings serve as an invitation to enter into the mystery of being fully human, and to face our fears and the challenges of life with dignity and grace.
– Father Bill Moore
Image titles from top:
A Gathering of Gentle Forces
Staying in The Present series, 1-4
The Reality of Spirit and Matter
Sizes vary; all are acrylic paint and mixed media on canvas.