After struggling with how to come up with a nativity-themed painting this Christmas and “make it my own style,” I went through several sketchbook pages until this idea evolved.
While many nativities emphasize the faces of the Holy Family, the beautiful colors of their clothes, and the cute barn animals surrounding them, I wondered, “What would Mary’s perspective be?”
So I imagined them from the backside of a donkey… And I thought about how very uncomfortable the mother of Jesus had to have been… how rough the trip would have been for a pregnant woman…how long the road seemed for both of them…
Imagine Joseph comes in one day and says, “Mary, you won’t believe what the government has come up with now! We have to travel to my hometown this week to be registered and taxed!” And the trip he referenced was going to be about 90 miles. They couldn’t even make the journey in one day! There is no mention of a donkey in the Bible, but we can only HOPE that Mary had one in her advanced stage of pregnancy.
As I painted on multiple canvases, I realized that once again I had ROADS in my compositions. Back roads, curving roads, leading roads, roads that aren’t always comfortable, roads that take one on new adventures…The theme of Roads seems to show up without me planning it.
I can only imagine the fear, anxiety, hopeful trust, boiling in Mary’s heart. It was a rough road she was on. It was going to get even rougher as she watched her son live and die. But with God’s help, she is a model for humble servitude, and such an important piece in the bigger picture for us all. She followed the road to Bethlehem that night in obedience, in trust, in anticipation.
May the roads ahead lead us on our journey in the bigger picture! May we take the time to feel the bumps, smell the scents, look beyond, and listen to the quietness of our souls.
These 6×6 and 12×12 original paintings will be available during the 2017 Christmas season. You may order them from me and find them at Sacred Heart Cultural Center Gift Shop in Augusta, GA or MAC on Main Art Gallery in Thomson.