Michelle Abernathy is an artist at our church and a regular contributor to the Homely Hours. Last year, her series of “Life of Mary” paintings was a blessing for our whole church, displayed on our “Celebration Wall,” a place for featuring art that accords with the church seasons. This year, Michelle made coloring pages out of her Mary series to share with the children of our church and with The Homely Hours. The following is a reflection on her motivations for painting the “Life of Mary.”
Advent is my favorite season in the Church year. The intentional slowing down, the dimmed lights, the waiting…waiting for our Immanuel to come! Few things help me realize the closeness of God more than thinking on Mama Mary, as we like to call her in our home. The woman that God chose to give humanity to His only Son. Mary, the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church.
I lost my own mother when I was 12 years old. During a time in my life when I desperately needed a mother I found peace in the motherhood of Mary. Now as I’ve embarked upon the road of motherhood myself, I continue to find peace and consolation in Mary’s journey of motherhood and the love she had for the God-child she carried in her womb, fed with her body, and loved with all her heart and soul.
My goal in this series is to capture the humanity found through Mary’s journey. The joy, pain, and celebration – small glimpses into the biblical account. There’s even a hidden homage to the Legend of St. Brigid’s Cloak (if you can find it). This series is not finished, and I hope to continue working on it in Advents to come.
My girls frequently request that I draw them a Mary and Baby Jesus to color, so rendering the originals as coloring pages was a natural next step.
We hope you enjoy them too!
And for your Christmas wrapping pleasure, here are some Mary gift tags: