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Artist's Inspiration

I enjoy the creative process. From sketching, or feeling inspired, or challenged to create, then layering, reworking, and then finally having that moment of synergy when everything snaps together. It’s the conversation, argument, and resolution with the materials, but ultimately with yourself, that keeps me interested. For this project, I sat in the empty church and allowed the smells, sounds, and thoughts to flow in and around me. I sketched two concepts related to ideas of shame and acceptance really quickly and that’s how I began my drawings/paintings.
  Being raised Catholic and being a gay man, I have a rather difficult relationship with religion and the church. However, my good friend and coworker asked if I would consider participating in Remade in Hope. I was hesitant but she reminded me that South Congregational Church has hosted our Kennebunk High School Pride event the past few years - so I decided to say yes. This project gave me the chance to process experiences and memories through a way that I understand. I am happy to have taken the time to create these two pieces of artwork. They have helped me resolve feelings of shame and ostracization and replace them with self acceptance and hope. 
For my two works, I used the underlying ideas of shame and self acceptance as inspiration. My sketches were impulsive and reactive to the quiet church space one afternoon. My finished pieces ended up looking incredibly close to my initial sketches and I am incredibly proud of that. I trusted in my idea and loved the final result. There was a line in my sketchbook - which is a discarded book from our school library - on the page where I refined my ideas that said, “Listened in rapture and in tears.” And I thought, these works need to be about my relationship with the church and where I am now. So that’s where the titles came from and the ideas of shame and self acceptance developed from.

Artwork of Light & Dark

Roddy Brendan Dark.jpg


“And in Tears”, Shame: Darker, colder, purple, blue, brown, black. Pebbles collecting tightly and looming overhead - Enveloping, entrapping, suffocating, and about to collapse. Free response writing about shame, hate, being left behind, being pushed out.

Roddy Brendan light.jpg


“Listened in Rapture”, Self Acceptance: Lighter, upward moving, blues, greens, yellow ochre, gray. Pebbles calmly existing in space and being lifted upward - freeing, floating, space to move. Free response writing about self love, self acceptance, resilience, and pride.

About the Artist

I have been creating art for about 40 years at this point but have been working as an artist and teacher in Maine for the past 6.5 years. I am an artist, husband, teacher, learner, traveler, and dog-dad. I am fascinated with the combination of ceramics and drawing and how those two different mediums can be used together. I am inspired by our coast line here in southern Maine and love how pebbles and stones collect and stack together in interesting ways.

Roddy Brendan Dark.jpg


Roddy Brendan light.jpg


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