Known to his friends as 'Reverend Doss', Alphonso Doss has throughout his life demonstrated a great interest in spirituality and the different world religions. This interest transpires through his paintings subject matters that represent at times Christ, at others Buddha, and different Indian divinities such as Shive Nataraja, the Hindu Lord of the Dance.
Doss draws inspiration not only from religious imagery found in temples and churches but also from the Western worlds great medieval and Renaissance masters including Grunewald, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo as well as from India's greatest treasures including the ancient wall paintings of the Ellora caves and the stone carvings of Tamil Nadu giving his works an incredible richness in style and form.
His canvases are loosely painted: oil paint is applied wet so the colour is as transparent as possible. Large areas of canvas are often left untouched whilst outlines of subject matter are done quickly, often in one colour, and rarely corrected so the majority of the finished product is arrived at rapidly. Doss explains that this effect was arrived at by close inspection of gems and precious stones and the manner in which light is refracted through them. His palette is restricted to olive greens, browns, yellow, sky blue and fiery red. These have special meanings: yellow is symbolic of intelligence, red denotes strength and blue means space and calm. The final painterly effect is described poetically as the cosmic energy that umbrellas us and that houses all religions beneath it.