My art, inspired by Mary

“Magnificat” by Angela Sealana

Since my youngest years, a few of my favorite things have been fresh boxes of crayons, markers, pencils, pens, or anything else I might use for creating. Middle school art class and club were highlights of my life, since each day brought a new lesson: sculpting, paper mache, tin reliefs, iron-ons, etc. etc. And there was no expectation for me to carry on a conversation with anyone else whilst creating.

“Mary” by Angela Sealana

Those moments were havens.

Adult responsibilities have left me little time for art these days, but the few nights I spend sketching are usually inspired by the inter-workings of grace with human wills (hearts). In particular, the person whose life inspires me repeatedly is that one woman whose life illustrates that mystery bar none: Mary.

In my later teens, exploring a call to the religious life, I was constantly sketching Mary.


My guess: Sketches are the visual wanderings of an artist’s inner self. Those thoughts, wishes, questions, and wonders closest to our souls somehow find their way out through a sketch. Sketches are exploratory.

“Mary Fondling the Word” by Angela Sealana

As I find my way through life, I am both surprised and taught by the relationship between grace and human choice. Mary’s life continues to both surprise and teach me. The more I grow as a woman, a daughter, a sister, and wife, the more my heart calls out to Mary.

But that calling out to Mary isn’t some mere sentiment. What I mean is: The more I’m confronted with frustrating, confusing, humiliating, painful, [etc.] situations, the more my human will cries out to the woman whose own will knows those situations well—and successfully cooperated with grace.

Each day, my will is confronted with grace. Do I ignore it? Do I allow it to cover me like wind hugs the curves of a hillside? Do I allow it to enter into and cooperate with me? How do I do any of it?

Mary’s life is my continued meditation, inspiration, and—ultimately—mission. What’s yours?

Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
Let it be done unto me as you have said.


  1. Angela, you can draw! Have you read Mary: Mirror of the Church by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa? I’ve just finished reading it and found it inspiring. My spiritual director wanted me to think about this: Jesus is our life; Mary is our way. He assigned the book as part of the “assignment.”

  2. Hi Angela! You may enjoy these new books on Catholic creativity at
    Living Water by Stephen Volk
    Stirring the Waters by Stephen Volk
    Reflecting Waters by Stephen Volk

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