The Mother God and Other Secrets of the Ancient Fathers
This painting series was featured in:

Excerpts from National Catholic Reporter:

An iconographer, Sr. Smith recently held an exhibition of paintings to expand the metaphors available in people's minds when they think about God.

The "Ancient Fathers" in Sr. Smith's exhibit are those of the Syriac tradition. Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke. These Christians' writings contain a wealth of images of God -- Including many feminine images -- that are not generally part of the Western Christian imagination.

All of the art [Sr. Smith] has done -- icons, paintings, and sculpture -- opens up a different window into the Divine, allows her to approach the same subjects with different eyes and different parts of the brain.

Sr. Smith said icons are left-brained whereas her painting for the "Ancient Fathers" exhibit were very right-brained. "I just kind of let my arm move, the whole arm," she said. "You get into it. It's a physical operation, step back and dance forward and go back and forth ... It's not linear the way the icons are: one step and then the next step and then the next layer.
Comforting Mother
The Spirit helps and comforts the martyrs as a mother comforts her children, as told in the Eastern Syrian liturgy for the martyrs. 2' x 3' $500
   
   
Sr. Nancy painting in Saint Joseph Studio's main room, which houses a gallery and office
Holy Mother, Holy Spirit
An address to the spirit by the Bishop of Cyrene reads I sing of the Holy Breath/Inspiration, the center point of the Parent, the center point of the Child: she is mother, she is sister, she id daughter; she has delivered (as midwife) the hidden root.16" x 20" $400
                                       
                  Living Breast
St. Ephrem, Syriac Father of the Church, describes the infant Christ, who suckles, as 'the living breast': He was lying there, sucking Mary's milk,
yet all created things suck from his goodness.
He is the living breast; from his life
the dead have sucked living breath -- and come to life. 2' X 3' $600
 
 
 
                     
 

 

 

Nursing Mother
St. Ephrem speaks of the Spirit, Attuned to us is the Diety like a nursing woman to an infant watching the time for his benefits, knowing the time for weaning him, both when to rear him on milk and when to feed him with solid food, weighing and offering benefits according to the measure of his maturity. 8" x 10" $150

 
 
 
 
 
 
Protective Mother
To portray the protective enclosing of the world in the care of God, St. Ephrem uses both the image of the Divine womb and the Divine hand. He thinks of Him as remote at a great distance although we are placed by Him as if in His palm. 3' x 5' $900 (sold)