Houston, Texas (PressExposure) August 06, 2009 -- Whether you are a religious person, an art lover or neither, it might be a mystery to you why Mary is a necessary component in traditional Christian religion. Not specifically wanting to get into a religious argument, historically Mary is depicted in art portraying a significant role. Whether you believe Mary signifies the church, our love for God, wisdom, love, purity, knowledge, or none of these, it is important for us to learn, grow as human beings, and expand our knowledge. One of my reactions to viewing icons is to question myself: Why? Who?
Mary Jane Miller, an American artist residing in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is exhibiting âThe Mary Series,â icon paintings. Opening Friday, August 7th. http://www.wadewilsonart.com from 6 to 8 PM at Wade Wilson Fine Art, 4411 Montrose Blvd. The Mary Series exhibition will be up through August 29th, 2009.
Icon painting is an art form using two dimensional painting with egg tempera, gold, pewter, silver and more, usually on wood panels. It is a tradition coming from the Russian Orthodox, Byzantium and Eastern Europe.
The word âiconâ derives from the Greek âeikonâ and means an image, any image or representation, but âin the more restricted sense in which it is generally understood, it means a holy image to which special veneration is givenâ (Weitzmann, 1978, 7) [http://tars.rollins.edu/Foreign_Lang/Russian].
Viewing several variations of Mary of Tenderness, I cannot help the overwhelming mixed feelings of joy, sadness and tenderness portrayed by Millerâs paintings. Mary is timeless and as such, not an easy portrayal for an artist to represent. Mary Jane Miller successfully keeps to icon traditions, magically portrays, suggests and reveals Maryâs window to the viewer. A few of the works are not traditional. In these, Miller takes artistic liberties, but as a whole, the exhibition is an exciting experience into an old art form. The two images I have chosen to show here are traditional and of the same Mary of Tenderness, both showing a tender Mary, but at the same time showing her sadness. Once again, making us wonder, why?