Mater Vulgaris

"'Mater Vulgaris' is a series of five oil paintings depicting real mothers as they appear in family photographs: candid and unposed. I have reached out to friends and family for photos to use as references, and each individual scene has inspired my use of symbolism in the compositions. The gold leaf backgrounds are embellished with flowers that have traditionally been used to symbolize virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These backgrounds are inspired by early Christian iconography and altarpieces, but the figures have none of the traditional rigidity and idealized features. I chose instead to juxtapose informal representations of motherhood onto symbolic and 'sacred' backgrounds to create a modern icon that emphasizes the sanctity of these everyday moments. I present symbolic flowers and gold leaf in a looser and more contemporary style inspired by painters like Kehinde Wiley. My goal is to portray holiness as something relatable and attainable, and highlight motherhood as humanity’s foundation for love."

 Three paintings of mothers with children haloed by a ring of flowers

Mater Vulgaris, 2020
Oil and Gold Leaf on Canvas, 24 in x 36 in each


Two paintings. One with children blowing a candle out on a cake at a picnic, the other mom in the hospital holding new born child


Oil and Gold Leaf on Wood Panel, 4 in x 4 in


Oil and Gold Leaf on Wood Panel, 8 in x 10 in