This summer I have been participating in a series of conversations about Art and Synodality. Sponsored by the Catholic Artist Connection, the conversations are in conjunction with the Catholic Church’s three year conversation on listening and walking together in its Synod on Synodality.
To me, Mary dances the Magnificat. The Magnificat is Mary’s song of Thanksgiving after the angel Gabriel comes to tell her she will become the mother of the Messiah (the Annunciation). When I read Mary’s Magnificat song in Luke 1:46-55, the language is so exuberant that I can’t imagine her standing still.
The Annunciation has been one of my favorite images for many years. My paintings seek to create modern interpretations of Mary. In preparation for this endeavor I took on a studio exercise creating small studies of famous Annunciation images. These Annunciation master studies are a study of art history as well as a meditation.
“Mary the Dawn” represents the the Annunciation, the moment of the Incarnation when Mary welcomed Christ into our world. The title references the first line of a medieval hymn “Mary the Dawn, Christ the perfect day”. The “dawn” spoken of in the poem signals that Mary was sign pointing the way to Christ.
My newest series of Gold Silhouette paintings are meant to be contemporary icons, modern interpretations of traditional icons. Whether architecture or figure, even landscape, my work has always centered on a theme of convergence between heaven and earth. Similarly, these new mixed media pieces juxtapose the expressive minimalist quality of my figure drawings with the other-worldly materials of metal leaf and paint inspired by iconography.
The figure in the mirror is attentive, ready, waiting, poised in the act of creating. Her world is not limited to the objects before her – the mirror, the window, the branch. Within them, through them, she sees more: she sees deeper into a physical world than would be considered possible at first glance