Q: For The Hope We Seek, you chose to use crops of artwork by the Visionary painter Donald Pass.
RS: I first became familiar with Donald’s work about eight years ago. I heard about his vision in the churchyard, and I found it easy to believe that the scenes depicted in his paintings came from a real experience. They are that vivid. That impactful.
His images of the resurrection of souls were close, in substance and feeling, with the mental pictures I had formed of Hope and the crowds of souls struggling to deliver themselves to her. He seemed like the ideal artist for the project. I had some trepidations, however. I wasn’t sure if he would embrace my fiction as something that could exist alongside his vision. And there was the question of personal chemistry.
Meeting him, crossing the bridge we had to cross, being understood and accepted by him—that ended up meaning a lot more to me than the work we did to produce the Hope paintings.
He left us in 2010. I wish our friendship could have lasted longer. I’m thankful that he was able to be a part of The Hope We Seek.