"Immanuel, God with us: The Life of Christ in Art" by Robert Doares
A native of Maxton, NC, Robert Doares and his wife Kay lived in Salisbury, NC. After graduating from high school in 1929, Robert moved to New York City to begin his art career. While working in a department store, he asked if he could cover a blank wall with a mural. That opportunity helped launch his career. He enrolled in the Grand Central School of Illustration to study under Harvey Dunn, the "dean" of American illustrators and quickly found ways to develop his talent through drawing covers and illustrations for major publications such as Doubleday's and Harper's. As an artist for the Medical Department of the Armed Forces, he drew illustrations for training materials and other assignments for the Army Hospital. After the war, he became a freelance illustrator, drawing covers for Outdoor Life, Redbook, Doubleday, and Harper's. He also drew the illustrations for Phillip W. Keller's book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, which is still in print. In 1952, Bob had a life-changing experience with the Lord. In response, his art became his offering of worship and praise to the Lord. He began to paint the life of Christ in a series titled, "Immanuel, God with Us: The Life of Christ in Art." This 54 piece series represents 30 years of his life. Reverend Dale Steele of LightShine Ministries arranged to bring these paintings to North Carolina from Illinois to share Robert's story and artwork.
Robert began the series when he was 42 years old. He states, "It came out of the blue. It wasn't something that I thought up. It was something that was revealed to me; that God was so gracious and so good and so wonderful. It just came over me that there was a higher calling if I was willing to take it."
Each piece is created on masonite. The graphite drawings took an average of 300 hours to complete and the oils took over 600 hours to complete. He had originally planned for them all to be in color, but he didn't think he would live long enough to complete them all. To do the oils, he first completed the work in graphite and then started over to add the oils. The series was completed in the early 1990s. You will notice that none of the paintings are signed. Robert believed that they were not his drawings, that they belonged to the Lord.
LightShine Ministries arranged to bring these paintings to North Carolina from a warehouse in Illinois where they were stored. They arrived for their first showing just days after Robert's death on Easter weekend, 2005. Both Robert and his wife Kay are buried in Salisbury.
Waterworks has copies of the book of his paintings for purchase in the museum store. The price is $59.95.