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Art, Motherhood, and Mary

  I think when I first started to really really get Mary was Advent 2013. Because at that time, I was, as they say, "very great with child." I was so 'great' I couldn't tie my own shoes. I was exhausted. I was weary of this 9 months of this journey. And I couldn't imagine my husband saying to me "we gotta go load up for a road trip so I can go pay some taxes." However you say "Are you kidding me!?!" In ancient Aramaic, I'm sure Mary at least thought it. 

    On the Fountains of Carrots podcast last week, I was able to talk to the girls about how unique a person-- a presence-- St. Mary (Our Lady, Madonna, Mary Mother of God, Theotokos, The Virgin Mary, a woman of many endearments) is. She is vulnerable and tender, but she is fierce (in the best way) strong, protective and stoic. She has human emotion but unimaginable strength. It's a concept that was hard for me to understand (and to paint) until I went through the process of pregnancy, birth and parenthood.
   Because your little one is your heart--- before you even lay eyes on them. And its a vulnerable feeling for your heart to be out in the world, to see them cry or in pain or not feeling well-- you want to make it all better and take on their pain yourself. You want only the best and the most happiness for them, but life is often messy, bittersweet and hard.

     And so as we make our way through Lent, especially Holy Week, I can't help but think of Mary and what must have been going on in her heart. I can't imagine her great joy and terrible sorrow. And did she know from the beginning? 
   That's why in my Madonna and Child paintings, she is content and joyful, but also measured and strong. There's a whole lot of life coming. And some of it she will have to be unimaginably strong for. She has to see it through to the end.

    Mary, in my eyes, is much more than a passive supporting character on a Christmas Card. She is fascinating and dynamic. She's a strong woman, no doubt about it. Her life didnt just happen to her. She went for it with open arms and heart. I really admire that. No wonder I keep coming back to her with my paint brush, again and again. 


  1. I love Our Lady. She always has been that mother icon for me, and has always been a holy figure than has been close to my heart. And you recreate her beautifully, in every incarnation. So looking forward to Easter <3

  2. Mary has always captured my attention in Lent when we do the Stations of the Cross. How can one ever imagine her sorrow? What draws me in, however, is that she remains present to her son. No matter the pain or her sorrow, Mary sticks with Jesus in her and his greatest hours of suffering. She is the model of a Mother to me.

  3. The Holy Theotokos can really be our Holy Mother! Her prayers are so present for us and are a protection! I am glad you love her too :) Lovely paintings....

  4. I just cannot imagine the pain she must have endured! Such strength! Your art interpretation is amazing!

  5. wow beautiful pictures


  6. She is the best mother! (I still have the Madonna you painted on the wall - just didn't want to take it down quite yet.)

  7. Beautiful, Heather! I enjoyed listening to the podcast, especially the story of your conversion and the parts about Mary. I never tire of painting her either. - nancyo


Each and every comment is appreciated! Thanks for coming to visit me :) ~Heather