So far 2018 has seen me with two finished paintings! By the end of January I had put the finishing touches on “Candlemas Day” (above) and “Our Lady, Undoer of Knots” (below).
Each one was a challenge and such a fun project to work on….and I now have 8×10″ and 11×14″ prints in my etsy shop!
The stories behind the paintings….
Candlemas Day: I have always been intrigued by the sort of obscure holiday of Candlemas. Its official name is The Presentation of Our Lord and Purification of the Virgin Mary, but thanks to the old custom of blessing the parish and home candles for the year on this day, it became known among the people as Candlemas.
This idea, of bringing the light your family will be using throughout the year to be blessed, captured my heart and imagination. That concept set the scene for this mother and her girls to be trudging happily through the snow with big bundles of candles.
Candlemas takes place on February 2, so I took pleasure in creating a mid-winter scene, with birds and bramble and a fresh blanket of snow. It was so fun to paint all the tiny details, and it printed up really well too. Check my etsy shop for prints and cards!
Our Lady, Undoer of Knots: The concept for this painting is one I’ve been thinking over in my mind a lot and have also had several requests for. This particular Marian devotion is relatively modern, and there is a particular, pretty traditional and Italianate painting of the Virgin Mary undoing a rope of knots. The basic concept of the devotion is that you seek Mary’s aid in undoing the ‘knots’ of your life. Sometimes life can seem hopelessly tangled, but this devotion creates a prayer life (and there’s even a novena) devoted to untangling those things causing unhappiness and strife.
With that idea in mind, I saw my Mary as, of course, a fiber artist…and her knots are in yarn! As I painted the concept of overlaying this theme with the Annunciation occurred to me— because her “yes” to being the mother of God was perhaps the biggest knot coming undone!
I’ve places little hints of her story in this little homespun scene….the three lilies, the dove of the Holy Spirit, even a little apple on the window ledge throwing it back to The Garden of Eden. Mary, however, is steadily focused on the task at hand, and very soon that tangled string will be smoothed and as it should be, placed on her drop spindle, wound into a ball, then used to create a beautiful tapestry like the one behind her on the wall.
This piece is also available in my etsy shop in prints and as a card!
Well, these are my pieces for now! I think 2018 is off to a good start! More work and pieces to bring to life, and time in the studio needed!
Thanks for your visit today, and see you again soon!~