the art of mary
The Art of Mary in Creation, History and Spirituality
The twenty-four oil paintings of this exhibit are an attempt to bring together, in a harmonious way, three facets of Marian art: nature, history, and spirituality. The exhibit is an invitation to visio divina, a meditation about Our Lady, and her meaning for us, as tradition and new insights suggest.
In her faith, Miriam of Nazareth was a grace-filled woman to whom God has done great things. She received an extraordinary message early in her years, “Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God.” That favor meant a complete change. The Jewish girl of Nazareth experienced an extraordinary life, and was eventually gifted with God-given power as our intescessor and mediatrix on earth and in heaven. When we honor Mary, we are celebrating the mystery of the living God and the perfect disciple. It also reminds us that God wants a similar graced relationship with us.
When Jesus on the cross entrusted his mother to the care of John, the “disciple whom he loved,” and him to her, she became the spiritual mother to us all. This fact has allowed all of us, including artists throughout art history, to claim her as our own with the freedom to express our devotion to her in our various interpretations and greatest accomplishments. Christianity is challenged by the fact that we are all so familiar with the Bible stories, and we forget the life they bring to our daily lives. Art helps us to see these stories in a new and fresh way which opens our hearts to receive God’s loving Word.
Many of my works pay homage to the masterpieces of great painters of their time. It is my desire to honor these artists for their work, and to continue their efforts of celebrating creation with my own contributions. I like to think that I am contributing to the ongoing conversation among artists across time and space with my imperfect and yet God given talents. My paintings in this collection portray Mary in a multitude of times, cultures, styles, and ethnic characters to show her ‘omnipresence’ through the Holy Spirit.
My approach has been to trust the creative process and allow the brush to guide my hand. The time in front of the canvas usually follows a period of Centering Prayer or Lectio Divina. I often listen to the rosary and contemplate the mysteries in the studio. At times, I feel more like a grateful witness to the creation of my work rather than the creator.
Flowers are a beautiful symbol of the ‘divine feminine,’ and there are numerous kinds that have generated delightful legends throughout the centuries regarding Mary’s life story and mysteries. Each of my paintings pertain to one or more flowers which give reference to a particular moment in Mary’s life. They all provide an opportunity for us to use our own imagination, and to contemplate Mary’s experience here on earth. Research for this body of work included reading and studying the book, Mary’s Flowers: Gardens, Legends, and Meditations by Vincenzina Krymow.
In the end, my study of Mary has further reshaped my image of our Creator from one of dominance to a God of overflowing goodness, loving kindness, and unending mercy. I hope each viewer experiences this same devotional joy in recognizing the good news.
The psalm verse at the end of each description is an invitation to share the prayer and spiritual mentality of Jesus and Mary.
All paintings are 24" x 30" oil on canvas.
Click on any image to view larger.
Mary Went Berry Hunting with the Children - Strawberry
Our Lady's Pure Eyes-Forget me not
He Hung Flower Jewels of Ruby and Amethyst on His Mother's Ears -Fuschia
The Holy Family on the Road to Jerusalem - Jerusalem Cowslip and Thistle
All He Could Remember of the Lady with the Golden Flowers was Ave Maria - Marigold and Fleur-de-Lis
And the Violet Dropped Its Head
The Star that Became a Flower - Oxeye Daisy
Madelon's Gift to the Christchild - Christmas Rose
Wild Clematis Sheltered Mary and Jesus on Their Flight
The Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth - Columbine
Jesus' Gift to His Mother - Juniper and Cuckoo Flower
The Tiny Thimbles of the Harbell Honor Our Lady's Working Hands
The Annunciation to Mary - Lily and Violet
Our Lady's Rose Shone so Bright
A Son's Love for his Mother - Yellow Lady Slipper
As Mary Rose to Heaven She Was Surrounded by Roses and Lilies
Cruel Foreboding on the Rest of the Flight - Rose of Jericho
A Cushion for the Baby and a Lavender Bush for the Mother - Sea Pink and Lavender
The Poverty of Christ's Birth - Our Lady's Bedstraw and Carnation
Mary Is Called a Rose Without Thorns - Scotch Rose
Mary Took Jesus to the Temple - Snowdrop
Blossoms Marked the Road They Trod - Rosemary and Germander Speedwell
Her Tears Fell to the Ground and Turned into Lilies of the Valley
White Blossoms Covered Mary - Star of Bethlehem