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My liturgical work explores the divinity in each one of us. I use images that echo the world in which I live. My Christ is a young Christ; my Mary reflects many cultures. I believe that we express God and the god in us through the portraits we paint of what is part of our identity. My Mary, my Christ do not fall within the rubric of traditional iconography; they are mirrors of the people of my own world.
I use images of Mary, the Mother, the Madonna, the teacher, the mourner; Magdalene, the redeemed apostle, the lover, the mourner; and Christ, the teacher, the Son, the Symbol. The Marys – Mary the Mother and Magdalene the Apostle both have stories to tell as the women in Christ’s life. The Son who bears the burden of the Cross is reflected in their eyes and in their lives. These are the lives I illustrate with my work. Through these images I seek the divinity in all of us, by investigating the differing roles each figure assumes – much as we assume different roles in our own lives. The ability to shift from one role to another role, is a tension that exists, not only for the disciple of Christ but for the carpenter himself.
My portrait work is watercolor on wood or on paper. I have used boxes constructed to enhance these images. These boxes layer images and textures and colors to define the whole. I also work in watercolor on wood with collage. These pieces employ several pieces of wood, usually in a cruciform shape, to create the base for the works. The collage elements come from several sources – Japanese rice papers, papers I have dyed, found objects, metal leaf. While my portraits are not Christs or Madonnas, they represent what is divine in all of us, our ineffable and varied humanity.
My more abstract work is done with acrylics, often in triptych form as well as on dimensional constructions of canvas. In these works, I employ paint, rice papers, photographs, acrylic textures, found objects such as pebbles, shells and sticks. A construct is created by bonding different sizes of stretched canvas together. A layer of paint is applied and when dry, collage begins. I use my own photographs as a starting point and add papers and found objects to create the final image. In these images, as with my portraits and liturgical work, I seek the divine in our world and look for the peace which nature can bring to us.
•Artist-in-Residence, Wesley Theological Seminary
•CIVA, Christians in the Visual Arts
•NAWA, National Association of Women Artists
•Washington Arts Consortium
•St. Monica’s Church, DC; stained glass windows
•Cover and illustrations for From Genesis to Revelation by Christine Haapala
•The Caring Institute, Washington, DC; ten portraits of award recipients
•DC Commission on Arts and Humanities
My work is in collections worldwide