This is the fifth print in the Appalachian Heritage Series. This painting is based on a number of very old photographs that several people have given me over the past 30 years of my career. I choose a series from the early 1920’s as these are very close to post Civil War period and at the time when a series of revivals in the mountains led to a number of conversions and baptisms.
The plain, simple people of the hills united in their Christian beliefs and unified with the ritual of baptism. I chose to illustrate the Holy Spirit as a Dove descending upon the woman being baptized. This was based on a memory I had of a picture in my grandmothers old Bible.
Another childhood memory and one of my earliest recollections of stories told to me by my grandfather was of his late wife who, near death, was baptized in the winter. He said that they had to break the ice in the creek in order to have a place in the deepest part of the stream for the ministers to stand and lower her on a blanket into water. I therefore chose to use the season of late fall and early winter to remind me of that story. Also it represents the death of all things caused by sin and the promise of a new reborn life in Christ.