Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Difference Between Modeling Mary and the Mary Within

Thanks to all of you who visited here and commented on my progress with "The 'Mary' in Kimberly" while I was completing miniature paintings for several competitive shows. I do love painting large just as much as I love my work in miniature! Having given it my all during two key months when many of the miniature show deadlines overlap, it was important to rest and revitalize for a bit, but I've been looking forward to getting rolling again with my portrait series. I have two pastel portraits awaiting completion, and a new piece I'd like to begin, but first, here is an interesting comparison that I hope might stimulate some spiritual discussion:

Detail of my Madonna and Child drawing using Karen as a model

My drawing for a Madonna and Child painting using Karen as a model.

"The 'Mary' in Karen" miniature portrait in egg tempera

The first "Mary" portrait in my series---the one that I began this blog with---was "The 'Mary' in Karen" (above, the only miniature in this series). But as some of you know by now, I also love to paint Mary herself, and it was in that spirit that I used Karen as the model for Mary in the above Madonna and Child drawing, one that I did a while ago, but still plan to use as the basis for a painting.

So I've drawn Karen as Mary, and have also attempted to paint the 'Mary' within Karen, but in my mind, as well as in my creative intent, these are not the same thing. And I wonder, does it come across as I intend? Apart from the fact that in the Madonna and Child drawing I've taken some liberties with Karen's likeness and hair, and given it a Renaissance feeling, do you see and feel the difference between one effort and the other?


dominique eichi said...

Your piece Madonna and child will be breathtaking and Yes it is very renaissance including the hair flow look it has. I think it fits the perfect look they were looking for at that time in history. Personally I like the real look you gave for the Mary in Karen, it feels more real of what Mary would of looked liked especially in the hair.
I appreciate the series you have of seeking the holiness within.

Kathleen Coy said...

Yes, I can see the difference. To me, the "Mary" in the Madonna drawing shines within and without, where the "Mary in Karen" shines from within, yet she is her own person. :-)

Beautiful work, Mona!

DEB said...

How fun Mona! You've always got so many creative projects underway. I love both Mary's.

Mona said...

Thanks, Dominique for your appreciation of this series! Thanks for loving both kinds of Mary portraits Deb. And thanks Kathleen for how you are perceiving it. Maybe that means I'm on the right track!

I appreciate everyone's comments and input so much, in whatever context, and since it's about a spiritual portrait series, it's especially helpful to me whenever anyone feels like sharing feedback specific to it's spiritual aspects.

Amy Greenberg said...

It is so nice to see and read about your process as an artist. Your work is breathtaking!

artbyakiko said...

It's a little difficult to compare these two pieces because one has colors and the other in graphite. However, I see a difference between them. "The Mary in Karen" has more personal feeling to it, meaning that her lovable and innocent natures come thorough the painting, while Karen in the Madonna and Child painting has more established confidence and unshaken love that emanate from the painting.
By the way, they are both stunning!

Mona said...

Amy, thanks so much!

Akiko, thanks for how you see it. When I looked back at my Madonna drawing and compared these myself that is partly what came to me also.

Dean Grey said...


Glad you are back updating ths blog!

Kathleen Coy hit the nail on the head.

The first piece is much more elaborate especially in terms of the background while the bottom painting, though equally as lovely, has a simpler, flatter backdrop.

I'm anxious to see how the top one progresses!


Mona said...

Thanks Dean, although there are some projects in front of it, I do hope to get back to this Madonna and Child painting in 2010.