The Exhibition

Since the History of Art and my strong interest in theology, I have been working on a series of paintings on Christianity for the last few years, in which I express my views and reflections. The first painting from this series, ‘Risen Christ’, grew out during a grieving time in the family. It was more than a painting: it was also a meditation, a prayer, and a healing process.

I still work on this series and find it a special experience. It’s difficult to describe, but this is possibly how icon painters felt throughout history. I admire and find lots of inspiration in early Christianity art, especially Byzantine icons and early Renaissance frescoes, with their simplified forms and clear colours.

For me, Christianity and the Bible, with its intricate values and magnificent beauty, are endless sources of inspiration.

Here, you see a selection of artworks curated over a number of years, most of them devoted to St Mary. Being a mum of three children, the theme of Saint Mary is very dear to me and an often inspiration for my paintings and drawings.

St Mary's Anglican Church

St Mary’s Anglican Church is a heritage-listed churchyard in Kangaroo Point, Queensland, Australia. It was designed by Richard George Suter and built in 1873 by Alfred Grant. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992. 

Address: 455 Main St, Kangaroo Point QLD 4169

The Works on Display

Adoration of the Magi

2022, Oil on Canvas, 90cm x 90cm, $1800

This painting depicts the Holy Family and three Magi, represented as kings. The Magi having found Jesus by following a star are worshipping Him and presenting gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

This is one of my favourite scenes in the Nativity of Jesus series and I tried to express the joyfulness of the moment through colour and tenderness through the placidity of my lines.

One of the viewers of this painting mentioned that the stance of the cow reflected an expression of humility. I thought it was a very touching and beautiful observation as this was an unconscious artistic choice as I worked to create compositional harmony. It’s always very touching when an attentive and thoughtful viewer discovers elements of a painting that the artist didn’t initially see.

This painting depicts the Holy Family and three Magi, represented as kings.

Blue Concert

2022, Oil on Canvas, 90cm x 90cm, $1800

The painting is inspired by ‘The song of the Angels’ by the classical French Master, William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905).

I loved the painting so much that I wanted to make my own interpretation of it with an infusion of modernism. I must admit, it was very challenging. I retained the basic composition of Bouguereau’s painting; however, I expressed it in my own painting style.

Here, I tried to create an atmosphere of quiet harmony and intimacy through simplicity and gentle nativity. This was my second attempt at this painting and I’m rather fond of it. As Peter Paul Rubens wrote in his ‘Letters to Painters’: “learn from the Masters, learn from the best”. 🙂 The colour palette of various shades of blues and golden yellows contributes to the feeling of peace and serenity.

The painting is inspired by ‘The song of the Angels’ by the classical French Master, William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905).

Flight into Egypt

2022, Oil on Canvas, 90cm x 90cm, $1800

Biblical stories are an endless source of inspiration for an artist who aspires to storytelling, and this is one I had been planning to paint for a long time.

Shortly after the visit of the Magi (or Three Kings), Joseph was warned in a dream that King Herod was intent on killing the child, Jesus, so he took Mary and the baby to Egypt for safety. It was a good decision. Following the orders of King Herod, all male children two years old and under in the vicinity of Bethlehem were executed in what is known as The Massacre of the Innocents.

Sadly, too many families around the world still have to flee to reach safety. This painting was my prayer for these families.

Adoration of the Angels

2020, Oil on Canvas, 100cm x 100cm, $1800

I like the idea that all art should aspire towards the condition of music. Especially, painting. ‘Adoration of the Angels’ certainly does so for me.

When I look at it, I think of Ave Maria by Giulio Caccini, it is less famous then Schubert’s or Bach’s, but this piece makes you believe in the divine origin of music. I heard it for the first time during a ‘Christmas Under the Stars’ school concert, performed by a high school student and the school orchestra. There were a few people in tears, including me. I think that it’s a true gift to be able to put people in tears. It was probably then when my passion for the ‘Mother and Child’ theme started.

Artistically, this painting is an experiment in the geometrical arrangement of form and shape. The colour palette comprises gentle pastels contributing to the atmosphere of joy and the solemnity of the Nativity scene. And as is the case in all of my ‘Mother and Child’ works, creating this painting was a prayer. 

Good Samaritan with Lily

2020, Oil on Canvas, 100cm x 100cm, $1800

The parable of the Good Samaritan has inspired artists for centuries. It has been painted and drawn thousands of times, from great masters like Delacroix and Rembrandt to children learning the values of Christianity in kindergarten. Nowadays, the theme is as contemporary, and needed, as ever.

Within the last 6 years, I’ve painted 3 versions of the parable of Good Samaritan, in a different style and manner, investigating different attitudes and facing new artistic challenges.

The goal in ‘Good Samaritan with a Lily’ was to create a graphic parable expressing the idea in a simple narrative form as Jesus himself was telling it. The parable is shaped up into a well-proportioned message, beautiful in its simplicity: help. In this painting, I tried to express the same.

This painting is also a study in form. It is about geometry and the repetition of shapes in the design: the similarities in the roundness of the Samaritan’s turban, trees, and forms of the donkey, and the repetition of the shape of the lily and the donkey’s ears. The intersection of verticals and diagonals is the basis for the geometry and harmony created in this work.

St George and the Dragon

2022, Oil on Canvas, 100cm x 100cm, $1800

The legend of St. George’s fight is an allegory of the victory of good over evil. I thought 2022 was a good time for painting St George.

St George is the patron saint of the poor, the warriors, and the armorers as well as the herdsmen with their herds. According to legend, St. George freed a Libyan city from a dragon that had tormented the inhabitants. The dragon could only be appeased by bringing it sacrifices. When the king and queen did not know what to do, they were prepared to sacrifice their daughter, Elizabeth. At the last minute, the young George appeared on a white horse and killed the dragon.

George, who is said to have come from Cappadocia, is a martyr of the Roman army and was likely beheaded during the persecution of Christians under the reign of Diocletian. He was buried in the St. George Church in Lydda which was built in his honour and consecrated during the reign of Constantine the Great.

In some of the old orthodox icons, the king’s daughter is holding the dragon with a rope with which she drags it through the town after it has been defeated – as it says in the legend – ‘and all the world was baptised because of this miracle!.’

I find it really fascinating that the rope is also meant to symbolize that every person is connected with evil. This can only be conquered by firm belief, a willingness to make sacrifices and love.

The legend of St. George’s fight is an allegory of the victory of good over evil.

Adoration of the Magi and Angels

2022, Oil on Canvas, 90cm x 90cm, $1800

This painting is inspired by the stained glass of old European churches. Its colours are bright and happy, reminiscent of stained glass windows and shimmering Byzantine mosaics. Bold brushstrokes charge the painting with a lively energy to express the joyfulness of Nativity.

I have to admit that 2022 was a very difficult year for me. Even though I still painted a lot, it was a truly ‘blue period’ for me with mostly a blue palette.

This painting was my first painting after emerging from my ‘blue period’ and as you can see, there is a wide spectrum of colour in it, encapsulating the whole rainbow to mark my new beginning. 

St Michael Archangel

2022, Oil on Canvas, 90cm x 90cm, $1800

Saint Michael, an archangel, is a spiritual warrior in the battle of good versus evil. He is considered a champion of justice, a healer of the sick, and the guardian of the Church. 

‘Saint Michael’ was painted as the pair for another one of my paintings, ‘Saint George and the Dragon’, in 2022.

With everything that has been happening this year, I thought it was good timing. We all have been fighting our own dragons.

Both paintings were inspired by old orthodox icons and painted in traditionally strong, earthy colour schemes. As an opposite to St George, who is mainly represented on a white horse, St Michael is often painted on a red-winged horse, springing over a burning Jericho. 

Risen Christ

2020, Oil on Canvas, 100cm x 100cm, $1800

‘Risen Christ’ is a variation of my first Christian artwork, ‘Resurrection’, which is now in the collection of Holy Spirit Seminary in Banyo, Brisbane.

It’s an important painting for me, as it was painted around 7 years ago when my father-in-law was dying. Erik, my husband, flew urgently to the Netherlands. I couldn’t go with him as my elderly mother was visiting, but on some level, I did.

‘Resurrection’ was my goodbye and prayer for my father-in-law, as well as a prayer for my husband. An attempt to help him to hold on, stay strong, and to help him feel that I was close. Art does magical things after all. This year’s variation on the theme is, first of all, a prayer for peace.

In this painting, the Saviour emerges out of a stormy, threatening sky, a man who has passed through death. Christ is part of a different world now, a surrealistic world with churches and ducks in the background, the world where past and present are connected.

When people ask me why there are ducks in the painting, I can’t give them a clear answer. Maybe, not everything has an answer. But in early Christianity, the duck was a symbol of freedom and liberation, good news, and hope.

‘Risen Christ’ is a variation of my first Christian artwork, ‘Resurrection’, which is now in the collection of Holy Spirit Seminary in Banyo, Brisbane.

Baptism of Christ

2022, Oil on Canvas, 90cm x 90cm, $1800

This painting depicts the figure of Christ being baptised in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. Within the history of Art, paintings of the Baptism were very important and notable as they depicted the beginning of Jesus’s ministry and confirmation of his identity as the Son of God.

The colour palette I’ve chosen for this painting symbolises the two natures of Jesus, his hypostatic union, being both fully God and fully man. The ultramarine blue is for his divine self and the earthy colours are for his human self. 

This painting depicts the figure of Christ being baptised in the River Jordan by John the Baptist.


2022, Oil on Canvas, 90cm x 90cm, $1800

This is one of my latest paintings and the second painting depicting the annunciation event in this exhibition. 

Again, I have tried to express a mysterious solemnity in the moment of ‘Annunciation’ to achieve a sense of tranquillity through colour, light, and harmonious composition. The transparency of the paint application adds to a quiet stillness notable in Early Renaissance art.

St Mary and Child

2020, Oil on Canvas, 75cm x 60cm, $1200

This painting is from a series inspired by my studies of the Early Renaissance. ‘St Mary and Child’ was an experiment with an Early Renaissance style, staying true to myself by adding a touch of Modernism. I tried to express harmony, affection, and lyricism through the calm color palette and the balance of geometrical forms.

Henri Matisse once said ‘My paintings are my prayers’. My paintings are my own prayers, too: I have three children and have a number of variations on the theme of Mother and Child, both in oil and charcoal.

St Mary and The Blessed Child

2020, Oil on Canvas, 90cm x 60cm, $1200

This is one of my favorite paintings on the theme of Mother and Child with a limited color palette of earthy tones. I like the juxtapositioning of vulnerability and strength this work depicts. The free, energy-charged brushstrokes and the strong emotional facial expressions of both, St Mary and Jesus, add to this impression.

Annunciation with a still-life

2019, Oil on Canvas, 75cm x 60cm, $1200

This painting is part of a series inspired by my studies of the Early Renaissance, it depicts the classical scene in Christian art where the Archangel Gabriel appears to the Virgin Mary to announce that she would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit to be called Jesus. Traditionally, Christian artists used several symbols in the scene of Annunciation which were easily understandable for devotees.

For example, Mary’s throne emphasizes the importance of her role, the dove symbolizes the act of immaculate conception, the book which Mary holds is a reference to Bible. There were lots of secret symbols in the scene of the Annunciation, especially in the Northern Renaissance art.

In my Annunciation, there are pears symbolizing affection between the Virgin and Child and lilies to symbolise purity. Both pears and lilies are favourite and frequent subjects in my artwork. It’s interesting that a lily started to appear in the scene of Annunciation, replacing Gabriel’s sceptre, from the 14th century in Florence. A red lily was represented in the coat of arms of Florence. Sienna, as Florence’s old rival, replaced the sceptre with an olive branch in their paintings of the Annunciation. In Northern Early Renaissance paintings, we often see lilies in a vase rather than in Gabriel’s hand.

In my painting, I tried to express the solemnity of the moment with simplified forms and the tranquillity of this event with a pearly colour palette.

Annunciation with a still- life

St Mary in Prayer

2020, Oil on Canvas, 75cm x 60cm, $1200

This painting was inspired by my studies of the Early Renaissance, particularly my studies of Piero della Francesca. I was deeply touched by the series of frescos ‘Discovery of the True Cross’ in Arezzo when I was traveling across Italy a couple of years ago. Since then, della Francesca has become one of my favourite painters. I even authored a research paper on Piero’s use of mathematics and geometry in his art as a part of my History of Art studies at the University of Queensland. In this painting, I tried to express the tranquillity of the prayer through the calm and pearlescent colours much loved by Piero della Francesca.