FROM THE ARTIST
Passed down from generation to generation, my grandmother’s painting palette still had watercolors on it when I opened it the other day. She placed them there so long ago. I think that the last painting classes she took were in 2005. Like her mother before her, she was a painter. Nana loved watercolor. She and I traveled to France during my gap year between high school and college. Despite her hip that needed replacing, we walked to the Mediterranean water’s edge every day. I carried many of her things and would get her set up to paint. She painted en plein air on the banks while I swam, or drew, or took photographs, or watched her paint. It sounds like a poem as I write these words. What a gift; I can’t believe it, really.
The brushes we used for this Magnificat painting were one of the few gifts I received from her over the years, and certainly the most personal and precious. She gifted me two watercolor brushes; she saw the artist in me. My mother, my daughter, and I added water to the paint that Nana had placed on her palette so many years ago. We took turns with the brushes. Adding water, letting generations flow into one another, we painted.
As I studied the text, I was drawn into the energy of praise. “My spirit rejoices…” (Luke 1:47) Drawing inspiration from long exposure images of dancers, I overlaid three poses, which made the flow of light become abstract. The front foot steps forward while the figure leans back. The dancer leaps, one knee pulled up toward the chest, head and hands forward. The head almost touches the toes in a ‘c’ shape while the arms spin outstretched.The energy of Mary’s soul creates a trinitarian flow as she rejoices in the hope, the healing, and the freedom from oppression that her son will provide as a precedent for generations to come.
Breathe deeply as you gaze upon the image on the left. Imagine placing yourself in this scene. What do you see? How do you feel? Get quiet and still, offering a silent or spoken prayer to God.