The series of special Sunday school classes for Advent continued with a presentation by Father Kevin’s wife, Caroline, who is an artist and has done a series of paintings inspired by the Magnificat and by the Annunciation. At left is one among the Magnificat series. I really like the patches of color, the shapes of the lilies and the writing that holds it all together.
Last Sunday she taught on Annunciation paintings through the ages, dwelling on the symbolism that the artists used to convey underlying elements of the story and the way the artists transferred the scene between Mary and the angel to other times and places. The elementary school aged children were in on this and it was perfectly suited for them as well as for the adults.
I liked what she had to say about the encouragement she found to pursue art in Mary’s response to the angel . She quoted from a book by Madeleine L’engle called Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art
Obedience is an unpopular word nowadays, but the artist must be obedient to the work, whether it be a symphony, a painting, or a story for a small child. I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says, “Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.” And the artist either becomes the bearer of the work, or refuses; but the obedient response is not necessarily a conscious one, and not everyone has the humble, courageous obedience of Mary.