I've been developing an interest in the role of Mary within the Catholic faith.
As a Protestant, I do not see any emphasis placed on Mary in worship--not prayer, not sermons, not songs. And yet she is so central to Catholic worhip that it has made me curious about her. Especially when she is so honored and revered within a system that does not seem to accord much power to women in general.
While reading more about Mary and Catholicism in general, I have also been interested in the imagery of Mary that I've encountered.
While my girls were in a library storytime recently, I picked up a few books from the kids' section, including The Lady of Guadalupe and Mary the Mother of Jesus, both written and illustrated by Tomie de Paola. The pictures have bold lines and colors that I find immensely appealing. Some of them have found their way into my sketchbook with greater and lesser results.
I am actually very pleased with how they came out, even though I see every fault loud and clear. I think the colors are lovely and bright, and I love the boldness of the lines, mimicking de Paola's beautiful style. I obviously can't draw a face to save my soul, and I labored over the hands until I just had to accept the results.
There is some advantage to drawing with the audience that I do. I drew the first picture with Bayla at my left elbow and Katy at my right. At one point, Katy pressed, "Mommy, you sure are taking a long time to draw those hands!" But I think it was good for her to see me draw, erase, draw, erase, and continue to draw again until I could accept the results.
Having the girls there, though, forced me to accept the results sooner than I probably would have if I were on my own, so I could get the page done and move on. It's a sketchbook, after all! I have lots more chances to master eyes, mouths, noses, and hands. I'll get there!