A Texas artist recently got to live out his dreams of being a renaissance painter — all while bringing joy to a family of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like many people, Randall M. Good's livelihood came to a standstill last year at the beginning of the pandemic.
"It was horrible," the 52-year-old artist tells PEOPLE (the TV Show!) on Tuesday's episode. "It was scary for myself [and] other artists. It just shut down. Exhibitions were canceled... We literally did not know what was going to happen [and] where we were going to show again."
But all that changed when the Sibley family reached out to Good with an unusual request: to paint his own mini version of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel on the ceiling of their Denton, Texas, home.
"We had been friends for a while," Good explains. "When they first brought it up, I didn't know if they were kind of joking. I think they were sort of testing the waters a little bit like, 'Would you be interested in painting a ceiling?' And I said, 'Absolutely.'"
"It's something that we had always wanted to do," notes Jim Sibley. "We just happened to be friends with an amazingly talented painter, and it just sorta went from there."
Michael Clements, University of North Texas Randall M. Good
The Sibleys, including Jim's wife Joy and their daughter Danielle, are a family comprised of healthcare workers.
Joy and Jim both work at residential healthcare and assisted living facilities, where Joy is employed as a speech pathologist and Jim as an administrator and consultant. Their daughter Danielle is a speech pathology clinical fellow, and her husband Jason works as a primary care physician and the medical director of a federally qualified health canter.
The pandemic was especially draining on the Sibleys, so they commissioned Good to create a masterpiece on the ceiling of their living room during quarantine.
"Jim and I have been lucky enough to travel some during our lives," Joy shares. "And we have been astonished by some of the incredible art that we've seen and had always fantasized wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have a touch of that in our home."
Marcus Laws The Sibley family
Danielle Sibley Joy and Jim Sibley with their grandsons
Over a course of 10 months and 1,200 hours, Good painstakingly created a work of art like no other, with the family all helping to decide the theme, symbolism and colors.
"When I first started working on it, I tried to do it standing up, but it was so brutal on my neck. I just had to come up with a way to lay down," Good explains. "So I made a bench that I attached [to the scaffold] so that I could actually lay on my back to paint up close."
"This was my first ever opportunity to do ceiling [and] it was a dream come true," adds Good.
Brian Braun Randall M. Good
Danielle got teary-eyed recalling how Good's work made her family, including her three young sons, feel at the end of each day.
"It kept us going," she says. "We would have some pretty hard days at work, and pretty hard days at school with virtual learning for my kids and trying to navigate the pandemic, but getting to come home and see what [Good] had achieved and done... it was just magical. It was really, really something."
Because he spent so much time with the Sibleys, Good became one of the family — and even included them in his creation.
"Everybody got up on the scaffold at some point and put some paint on the ceiling," Good says.
"There's like a little corner of the moon that I did," Danielle notes. "And then I think my husband did part of her ribbon."
Brian Braun Randall Good's masterpiece
When his artwork was finally complete, Good says it didn't feel real until he had taken down his elaborate setup.
"It really hit home once the scaffolding was down and the Sibley's had put the room back together," he shares. "That's when it really sunk in to me, like this is it, it's done and... it looks at like it is at home."
"We just come and sit and stare at it or better yet, lie down on the floor and look up at the ceiling, it's it is truly, truly beautiful," says Joy. "It's going to have an impact on — it already has — on multiple generations in the family. We've all decided we can't sell this house. It has to stay."
Brian Braun Randall M. Good
Good says he feels nothing but gratitude for the opportunity to create the painting.
"I am blessed. I was so blessed... they've given me this chance," he says. "There are eight stars on the ceiling, seven for the family members, and then an extra one for me, because now I am part of their family."
"And I truly feel that way," he adds. "Doing the ceiling was great, but the real bonus was becoming friends with them, with the whole family."