By REBECCA HAZEN
About 61 years ago, 17-year-old Larry Dodson, a budding young artist, painted a landscape mural for his home church, New Home Baptist Church.
Fast forward to today, and the church is in the middle of a renovation of the sanctuary. Dodson was asked if he wanted to come back and repaint a new mural, which he was more than happy to do so.
“This is the church that I grew up in for several years. I lived on Scratch Ankle [Road]. My mother, father, grandmother and grandfather were all here. Sixty-one years later, I painted over this one and I am going to do a new one,” Dodson said, as he sketched out a draft onto the blank wall.
His first mural in the church was a landscape. The mural he is getting ready to paint now is still a landscape, but with the addition of one large cross and two smaller crosses on each side. Dodson hopes to have the mural completed within two weeks.
Coming back to New Home Baptist Church, Dodson said, “I feel so much at home here.” Dodson currently lives in Bryant, Ala. with his wife.
“I’m so glad to be in this area. In a 125 mile radius from where I’m standing, there is the most beautiful areas,” Dodson said.
Almost of Dodson’s paintings originate from photographs he takes. Dodson said that he has traveled all over the United States.
Dodson specializes in paintings of landscapes, wildlife and lighthouses. He just recently finished working on a series of the lighthouses of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He paints with watercolor and acrylic paints.
Dodson has been an artist full-time for 47 years. He has 510 dealers in the United States and in five foreign countries.
He has never had any formal training as an artist, he just kept practicing.
“I was drawing on little tablet paper before I even went to school, and my mom would hang them on the wall like wallpaper. It is a God given talent,” Dodson said.