I am honored that my painting “The Divine Mother” (4' x 8', acrylics) has caused such controversy. The theme of the 2007 Artery Exhibit in Eureka Springs, AR was Icons, and I chose to paint what I believe to be one of the most beautiful and inspirational iconographic themes that transcends the world of art to include the history of mankind— the simple and beautiful image of a woman breastfeeding her child. The judges at the Portfolios.com Creative Awards, an international competition, also found this to be beautiful and gave me an award for this painting (Illustration '08).
Since ancient times, people have been so inspired by the beauty of this image that incredible myths and religious stories and artwork have been created, even worshipped. This includes depictions of the Egyptian Goddess Isis breastfeeding baby Horus, an ancient myth which bears striking similarity to and which many scholars say inspired the Madonna del Latte or Maria Lactans imagery of Europe, which reached the height of its popularity in the middle ages.
I titled my painting “The Divine Mother,” though it is not a depiction of the Virgin Mary, as many people erroneously believe. The Virgin Mary is just one divine mother icon of many; my divine mother is one of unity, love, gentleness, compassion —and so she combines world traditions and religions, transcending time and space, melding pre-Christian religions with Christianity to be an icon we can all identify with and find peace and beauty with.