I was inspired for this painting during adoration at a weekend retreat. My original idea was to have a priest saying mass in a classroom, but it eventually evolved into this. I incorporated a lot of symbolism into this image that I am still unpacking to this day.
I painted this image the day I found out I was expecting our first daughter. We were newly married and she was a surprise—”unexpected”, as it were. I found great consolation from Our Lady as I went through the intense and incredible journey of preparing for motherhood, knowing that she, too, experienced an unplanned pregnancy. Though unexpected, our little Clara Marian was totally meant to be!
I painted this for the man who is now my husband, back when we were still courting. It was a pivotal point in our relationship as we discovered that although I have a father whose faith is bold and charismatic—and that was very much what I was used to—my husband’s quiet strength is exactly what I need. He is like how I imagine St. Joseph must have been for Mary: often silent but never lacking in faith.