Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beltane and Mary Magdalene

Mary's Altar
Bright Blessings of Beltane (early May)

One of my dad's favorite Easter song was 'In the Garden.'

Composer C. Austin Miles writes: "I seemed to be standing at the entrance to a garden, looking down a gently winding path shaded by olive branches. A woman in white walked slowly into the shadows. It was Mary. As she came to the tomb, she bent over to look in, & leaning her head upon her arm, she wept. Turning herself, she saw Jesus standing beside her: so did I. I knew it was he."

Awakening from his vision that March day in 1912, Miles wrote 'as quickly as the words could be formed the poem exactly as it has come down to us.'

Mary's Portal
My dad & I often sang it at Easter, & I've always loved it. This Easter artist Shiloh Sophia McCloud offered her video painting series on Mary Magdalene for 40 days, at no charge (!) & I signed up!

Mary, Mary!
April 28
I've been working on my painting since Saturday the 26th, and love the process, the painting, all of it!

The "Tea with your Muse' class I took in February was inspired by Shiloh's work, & it's nice to have some experience with her methods. We are part of the 'intentional creativity' movement, taking time to set up an altar, vision, 'listen' to what the painting/subject wants, and say little prayers along the way.

One of the first steps, after writing words of intention on the canvas, is to paint a first layer with 3 colours. Shiloh suggested seven strokes or 7 layers,  the last being the 'portal' for Mary to come through. She bespoke 7 being for 7 veils, or 7 things you want to overcome.
After writing my intention, & painting my layers, I scribed my 6 grandchildren's first initials onto the canvas, (A, E, G, K, K, & Z), plus two Ms for my grandmothers Mary & Minnie!

Over the last 20 years I've read several novels featuring Mary Magdalene, and a few years ago, I discovered Karen King's Gospel of Mary Magdalene at our Public Library. I was fascinated to read the fragments that have come down to us (from 3 different source scrolls, found with some of the other scrolls in Egypt) Mary's gospel appears to have been "well distributed in early Christian times and existed in both an original Greek and a Coptic language translation." The first & second World Wars in the last century interfered with publication until 1955.

work on eyes
The message  Mary of Magdala passed on is simple (& of course the other disciples argued with her, & grumped about HER receiving the message, not them!)

"Peace be with you. Receive my peace unto yourselves.
* Beware that no one lead you astray saying Lo here or lo there! For the Son of Man is within you.
* Follow after Him!  Those who seek Him will find Him.
* Go then and preach the gospel of the Kingdom.
* Do not lay down any rules beyond what I appointed you, and do not give a law like the lawgiver lest you be constrained by it."

 I'm using a bigger canvas, 18 X 24", & Shiloh's suggested pallet of colours, mostly Golden brand (some fluid, some in tubes). I've been paying visits to the local art shop, & the first round were on sale!

More layers on the face 4-30
Last weekend was also a parting, as our sweet inclusive 'peace & justice' church's Senior Pastor & his wife
are moving across the country to Beverly Mass, where he will minister to a different congregation. Many emotions are flowing, so it seems timely to be working on Mary!

There are several video segments left to watch, & am intrigued that in this class (the first directly from Shiloh that I've followed) we haven't added hair yet! (that's next! It's fun to just try things, & see how they turn out! I'm looking forward to my friend Elisabeth's return from Kansas, & painting together again.

I am working on doing whatever Shiloh suggests, adding layers of colour and reworking lines, glazing both the whole canvas & in certain areas, colour suggestions; AND getting lost in the process & in Mary!

So she's still a Work in Process, but getting close to completion!

I'm posting in Paint Party Friday & to the Red Thread Cafe.


Clare Lloyd said...

She is wonderful.

Netty said...

Beautiful work. Happy PPF, Annette x

froebelsternchen said...


Faye said...

Fascinating, the gospel of Mary! I enjoyed reading your post as well as viewing your gorgeous WIP.

SLScheibe said...

Your Mary is beautiful! Very lovely artwork :)

bellefrogworks said...

Your Mary has a gorgeous face and I love the mystical feeling of the painting - the color palette is gorgeous

Anonymous said...

oh this is lovely, such a calm serene feeling I get from this, its beautiful

Anonymous said...

Lovely picture and interesting how through history so many have conveniently forgotten that the risen Jesus appeared first to the women!

Joy Murray said...

Beautiful and serene. I love here bearing and the radiant colors.

Nadya said...

Thank you all for your kind words! I hope to play more tomorrow!

My name is Erika. said...

Your face is beautiful. And I love the garden story.

Marianne said...

Lovely piece! Love all the little details.

DVArtist said...

Wow she is so lovely.