“Howard Finster was fixing a bicycle in his Summerville, Ga., workshop one day when a smudge of paint on his index finger took the shape of a face, a face that spoke to him and told him, ‘Paint sacred art.’ Finster, then in his sixties, had been many things in his life—a teenaged tent-revival preacher, a pastor, a mill worker. He had never been an artist, but he had also never been a man to shirk the word of God.
“That was in 1976. The Lord told him to make 5,000 works, a quota he reached just before Christmas 1985. By the time he died in 2001, his catalog had swelled to more than 46,000 pieces. He devised an intricate numbering system and timestamped many of his works upon completion; he often painted through the night, sleeping only intermittently. Sometimes he signed his paintings, ‘BY HOWARD FINSTER, OF GOD. MAN OF VISIONS.’”
—Rachel Maddux, “This Side of Paradise”