"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Madonna Restoration - From Shabby to Chic!

I loved the look of this time-worn statue of the Virgin Mary.  The paint was a perfectly aged creamy white. Little chips of chalkware represented its aging beauty. 

Then why did I restore her? 

What inspires you as an artist?   Are you a visualist who needs to see things to be truly inspired?  Or do you prefer the way something feels in your hands?  Maybe you're inspired by sweet music, words, or memories?

Inspiration comes from all around me, but what makes me truly discern what to do with a piece is how it makes me feel way deep down in my soul.

That's why I restored this statue.  Despite its beauty, whenever I looked at it, or touched it, an overwhelming sense of sadness came over me.  It didn't make sense, but when it comes to art, sometimes sense is thrown out the window.

Using paper clay, I reattached Mary's nose and filled in some of the deeper chips, leaving just a shadow of them to still show its age.  The part I was most nervous about came next - choosing the paint palette.

I knew I was going to miss her, but also knew it was time to co-create with the Holy Spirit and bring new life to her! 

I must have repainted her clothing three times before I finally got the right color combination.  The other colors looked good.  They were fine.  But then, in an instant, it all came together.

And what once was old....

Is young again.


  1. Just breathtaking. You've done a fabulous job restoring her beauty.

  2. Oh, I like what you did!!! She was sad looking before, and now with her eyes closed she is meditating or praying.....much more comfortable I think!!! And the colors are wonderful, nice job kiddo!!! hugs...cleo

  3. Hi Jill another beauty! What inspires me is usually my mind seeing it and alot of nature inspires me, history, and what the material is does too. Hope you're doing good! XOXO Love ya bunches, Aunt Frannie

  4. Oh, this is the one I saw before. Just lovely!