Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Greeting for a Visitor

 Saint Mary at Ephesus (detail). Mixed Media on 6" x 18" canvas, private collection.
A traveler, recently home from an overseas vacation, told us about St. Mary's house in Ephesus, Turkey. Thinking about St. Mary as an older person, years after the death of her son, waiting for and welcoming a visitor, inspired this portrayal.
 The house in which St. Mary spent her final years. This photo provided a bit of detail for the work.

 Before I attempt any painting of a holy person, I like to do a session of Centering Prayer, learned from Father Thomas Keating and his amazing book, Open Mind, Open Heart 

Emptying my brain of its clamor and distractions and being open to receiving guidance is my goal with Centering Prayer (even when I'm not beginning a painting).
After that period of prayer, I sketch the face or the composition of the new idea--
usually with a new sense of calm and assurance.

Sketch of the face of St. Mary, graphite.

Saint Mary at Ephesus. Mixed media on canvas, 6" x 18", private collection.

Legend has it that St. Luke, the patron saint of artists, painted several portraits of the Mother of Jesus. I imagined him arriving for a visit and receiving this warm welcome from her; a greeting I long for as well.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tom,
    I identify with your creative process ... the soul must be well. And the true atmosphere, I love your studio!


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