With the sweetest intention and her spirit like a fog comprised of holy water, she gently parrots to me, with an eager helpfulness, the same sentence she said numerous times before, “If you paint the Blessed Mary, things will turn around like you can’t believe, Jenny.”
An uncontrollable slight eye roll glazed over me coupled with a heavy sigh in response, which was not intended to be disrespectful, but rather was a reaction toward overwhelming situations personally and artistically. Do I believe in the Roman Catholicism I grew up with? I do, but I believe in my own way, and my thoughts about this holy themed proposed art piece are mixed.
The Blessed Mother I feel is currently working overtime, like an ethereal worldly girl Friday distributing blessings, messages, and miracles more than ever due to these troubled times. In my imagination, given where our world is at, I imagine that if I created such an art piece, (which would hopefully aide in an innovative artistic break through), she would, rightly so, turn on her heavenly auto responder which would read, “Away from my desk bringing light to the world. I’ll listen to and respond to your prayers when I can. Ookkaaayyy peace be with you!”
Peace be with me indeed, but I can’t say I would be too peaceful during the creation of such a piece for numerous reasons, but primarily because of the subject matter. If I painted something like a dog atrociously like a long legged horse with vampire teeth I wouldn’t think twice about it. However, if I did a painting of the Blessed Mother that did not turn out well, I would be concerned that my depiction would be viewed as (unintentionally) sacrilegious.
If the painting came out terribly, I would also, in a cartoon world mindset, wait for lightening to strike me, for me to accidentally run over a cliff like the unsuccessful cartoon character Wile E. Coyote, or for a baby grand piano to crash down on me from a faulty pulley system.
If I do ever decide to scale the artistic Mount Kilimanjaro that is The Madonna, I at least can refer to this painting. This interpretation of Jesus embodies a hamster in combination with the Edvard Munch painting The Scream. Not only that, the artist painted over a masterpiece created by Spanish artist Elias Garcia Martinez.
I know it’s frowned upon to laugh in church (I have a history of unwanted inappropriate church giggles) but I would love to see this in person someday. Beyond my best efforts, I would probably end up laughing like Snoopy did when he went to the library like this:
The 81-year-old artist who painted over the centuries old fresco has been greatly criticized for her work, but she also inadvertently brought more business to the Spanish town and more visitors to the church. As overused and dusty as this platitude is, “everything happens for a reason” could not apply more sweetly than to that story, and perhaps, I’m brought to this point in my life for a reason. Or perhaps the saying applies that, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” Nah, all right, all right. I think I’ll stop myself short for now…