To me, Mary is the mother not just of Jesus, but of us all. She is the epitome of selfless love. By agreeing to carry a child out of wedlock, out of sheer faith, she risked being cast out by the community, a single mother alone. Soon after Jesus was born, she became a unique kind of refugee, targeted by Herod’s wrath and forced to seek sanctuary in a hostile foreign land.
As Jesus grew, Mary experienced more than the usual heartaches that plague mothers, because her Son truly had a mind of his own, and gifts that ended up igniting the ire and jealousy of those around her.
Of the tragedies that can befall a parent, losing a child to a violent death is by far the greatest. Mary watched her own son be crucified in front of jeering crowds, dying in the most excruciating and ignominious way that someone could at the time.
Surely, when she agreed to carry this child of God, she had no idea what would lay ahead of her. But her love saw her through the hardships that would follow.
In this painting, I portray Mary as a cosmic madonna with child, the universal mother, not just of Jesus, but to the whole world. Against the frozen and lonely backdrop of a clear winter’s night, the warmth of her motherly love encircles us all, leaving no one out in the cold.