In June of 2011, our parishioner Patrick Lundeen donated his painting of the cross called “Happy Cross” which we hanged on the front wall in the lower church. He says that he “tried to do a painting of a cross that was celebratory and mysterious. I sincerely think that it may be the best painting that I have ever done… “. We are very grateful to Patrick for his meaningful work and his generous donation to our parish.
This is what Patrick said about his painting:
I painted the painting “Happy Cross” in the spring of 2008. It is one of six large paintings of crosses that
I did between 2008 and 2009. I wanted to make a series of paintings of the cross that were both reverent, beautiful and somehow conveyed a sense of mystery. This particular painting was my first attempt – and I think the most successful.
I don’t recall if it took me a month or a month and a half to finish the painting but I do remember that I worked on it everyday (6 days a week) for 6 to 7 hours per day. I painted this painting – as I usually do – on a custom sewn canvas tarp that has had rivets put into it so it can be hung on the wall without stretcher bars (the wooden frame that a painted canvas is usually stretched on). I always paint with one of the smallest sized brushes available because this allows me to make the painting extremely detailed.
“Happy Cross” was painted with acrylic paint and I intentionally used my brightest and most vibrant colors. I started by painting the cross red and orange and then I painted a highly detailed copper wood grain pattern overtop of that. Using my dot and line technique I tried to make as many rays come out of the cross as I could while still maintaining the green color in background. To me it is the green that really makes the red cross stand out. For the white part that encompasses the green I used pearlescent white paint because I like the way it has a slight shimmer to it. On top of that I painted slightly off-white lines that I then dotted over with spots that look a little like confetti.
I don’t want to go too deeply into what the painting means to me as I feel that it is better for each person to look at it and interpret it for themselves. All I can say is that I tried to do a painting of a cross that was celebratory and mysterious. I sincerely think that it may be the best painting that I have ever done and I feel most honored and proud that you have chosen to hang it in the lower church at St. Stanislaus.