Oh, Jesus! I Met A Saint: Adventures in Live Painting, Mardi Gras Edition.

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I saw The Passion of the Christ in a sold-out movie theatre in Mobile, Alabama my last year of college. I have not watched the movie since mostly because I remember how terrifying it was, how human Jesus seemed, how Mary, powerless, watched as her son was tortured and ridiculed. The actor who played Jesus, Jim Caviezel, brought tears to my eyes with his depiction.

Let me tell you about another, seemingly unrelated memory past.

It was the early 90s, and I wanted nothing more than to call the Buddy D show and talk about my beloved Saints and how they’d won on my birthday– I think I’d turned ten. I also wanted to ask Buddy what he thought about their classic lackluster performance in the fourth quarter which nearly allowed them to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as the other team, I want to say the 49ers, made an almost-miraculous comeback.

I got on the postgame show and was able to nervously ask my question, which Buddy misheard. I asked him what his analysis of the last ten minutes was; he thought I’d said the last “two”. My dad, who’d helped me make the call from his then new-age, fancy car phone, assured me that despite the misunderstanding, it was still a solid question.

My love affair with the Saints has been a long one. Even before I’d had the presence of mind to want to call the WWL postgame show, when my parents would turn off the TV in frustration on those Sunday afternoons, I, in my wigwams and keds, would go to another room to see my team finish it out, always believing they could pull out a victory even when the score was lopsided and the time was running out.

And then there’s February 7, 2010. I was an adult and felt like all the childhood and teen years I’d spent loving my underperforming team, were finally vindicated. I felt like I was somehow part of it. I shed real tears.

I had pre-gamed in the quarter. One of my proudest moments is that, along with my friend Sidney, I created a dance party on Royal St. chanting “Peyton on the ground” in anticipation of the Saints’ opportunistic defense coming away from Super Bowl XILV with many sacks on the New Orleans native Peyton Manning. (That’s me in the Drew Brees Jersey).


These aren’t just trips down memory lane. Last Saturday, I had the privilege of doing a live painting at the Bacchus king’s party. The theme was “Bacchus Salutes the Saints 50th” and the King was none other than Jim Caviezel.

These aren’t just trips down memory lane. Last Saturday, I had the privilege of doing a live painting at the Bacchus king’s party. The theme was “Bacchus Salutes the Saints 50th” and the King was none other than Jim Caviezel.


You can imagine my great joy when I got to meet Jim Caviezel and then Saints player and Super Bowl champion Roman Harper. Honestly, they could not have been nicer. Because I didn’t want to annoy him at his own party, I shied away from asking Jim to take a photo with me, which I now regret, but I kept my eye on Roman Harper and his beautiful wife throughout the evening and when they made it over to my easel I threw caution to the wind and asked for the pic. They were incredibly gracious. Roman commented on how I’d even made his pants get skinnier at the bottoms and complimented my work, claiming he could never do something like that. I told him I could always explain to him later what it’s like to be talented. LOL.

The whole night might be my favorite live painting experience to date. From Virtuosa, an all female electric string quartet, to the gracious hosts, James and Heidi, and of course, getting to meet a couple people I have long admired, I’d say it was a Mardi Gras for the record books.

New Orleans Live Painting at Bacchus King's Party

King of Bacchus, Jim Caviezel with his family
Version 2
The Lovely Harpers










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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

February 27, 2017

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