Mary Ann Maruska
"Mother and Child"
Egg tempera and gold leaf on board, 8x10"
From the artist: "To me the mother and child relationship is the most fundamental of family connections. This close bond is portrayed here - the child seeks his mother's attention, tugging at her collar, and she leans towards him to listen. But while she listens to him, she's looking at us, suggesting that the message he whispers is meant for our ears.
With its formality and stylization, the painting utilizes the principles of iconography, a centuries-old artistic and spiritual tradition. The image is based on a stained glass window in St. John's Catholic Church in Gananoque entitled Mary, Mother of Good Counsel. In this depiction however, the figures are wrapped in a shawl of sky blue with golden tulips - a heavenly garden that also seems to be a nest, or possibly an egg from which they are hatching together. The graphic symbols in the upper right symbolize her attributes as loving helper, listener, miracle worker, and provider of earthly and spiritual sustenance. Notice how the mother's ear invites our questions.