I’ve always loved sacred art and icons. My earliest exposure to art was through the Catholic Church — St. Micheal’s Church in Memphis had beautiful stained glass windows and statuary. When I first started attending mass the service was still done in Latin so there wasn’t much I could understand, but I could enjoy the beautiful, eerie and sometimes frightening art that graced the church. Catholicism didn’t stick with me, but a love of sacred art did.
As I aged, I began to see a lot more of the sacred in common things. In the way I interpret things and the way I tell stories, I always hope to find that moment where the everyday is elevated into that sweet evasive sacred place. It’s only ever a minute, but when it happens, it’s divine. My theology is very loose and I think one of the great blessings of life is a sense of humor.
After illustrating my story The Little Madonnas I got the idea that I may have developed enough skill to start making my own every day icons. Religious Icons are elaborate, layered, detailed work done by people who train for years. They call it writing an icon, which I like, because it makes it seem the art is part of a story. My own art will never reach that level — and I don’t want it to, really. I just want to create some pieces that honor the ordinary and the blessed humans who have given me grace.
So for my daughter’s 29th birthday, I painted this. A little tongue in cheek icon to My Caledonia, who has the spirit of sunflowers, sabertooth tigers, storms and wildflowers in her soul.
|My Caledonia, mixed media, 7×10″|