Madonna in the Snow

Last weekend when I took a walk in the snowy Sandia Mountains, I had had a powerful encounter with the Great Mother, the Virgin Mary,. I was walking, meditating on a Heart’s Question which may have invited an unexpected felt-imagery and reverie about my first encounter with the Mother Goddess as a child; I was brought up Catholic. Before the felt-imagery and answers to my Question faded, as soon as I came home, I retrieved an antique wooden ironing board from the garage, lit candles, played Gregorian Chants and painted with oils for hours into the night. I painted with a kind of almost breathless intensity that is not usually my style (my paintings are layered and layered over four or more months). At five the following morning I returned to my studio, lit the candles and touched up the roses on her rosary and enjoyed the personal, spiritual experience that followed.

The pattern on the right side of her gown is the memory of an alligator barked tree covered with orange-gold lichen; it was stunning in the snow. When I was attending St. Mary’s School (primary), there was a towering statue of the Virgin Mary facing the door where we entered; she was standing on the Earth, and a snake circled the Earth.

The ironing board is 52″ x 14″; over the years I thought I had to repair the warps and cracks and sand it down before painting on it. But when the time came, all that mattered was the image which filled me with love and ecstasy. To have this image fill me surprised me after years of having no affiliation with the Church. But then, the Great Mother was before the Church, She is omniscient, omnipresent …

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