and ink on paper
Ave Maria is one of the most widely known prayers in
all of Christian history. It is a combination of Gabriel’s
greeting to Mary at the Annunciation, and the words of
Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, when she realizes that Mary is
pregnant with God’s Son. (Mary’s answer, Magnificat, is
equally well-known). The color scheme of this illumination
comes from Medieval painting, in which Mary wears a blue veil
or cloak, and is associated with the color white, for purity.
The shape of the paper is reminiscent of an altarpiece with
its doors wide open – Mary opens the gate of Heaven to us.
Lisa Bell is an honors graduate of Pratt Institute in
Brooklyn, NY. She holds a BFA in Painting, with a History of
Art minor, focusing on Early Christian and Medieval Art. Her
work is a fusion of these two fields of study, combining
illuminated manuscripts, and texts taken from traditional
liturgy and Scripture, with heavy, visceral fields of color.
It is essentially a marriage of Medieval mysticism and
blood-and-guts faith existing in the present moment, which is
where time touches eternity, where prayer and human longing
touch God. The resulting illuminations are as heavily rooted
in centuries old manuscripts as they are in the world in which
we live, and move, and have our physical being. Lisa currently
lives and works in Hartford, CT.