Therese is known for her “Little Way”, of perfect obedience in the smallest things. I should have known going into this painting that I would be called to just that! Sure enough, I had barely begin to mix my paints when my daughter became fussier than she’d ever been, demanding my attention every couple minutes. With paint drying on my palette, I comforted her again and again and again (and halfway through writing this sentence she woke up from her nap, calling for my attention yet again). This painting is testament that sometimes the greatest masterpiece is just doing God’s will in the small and unknown things.
Kolbe’s was a surprisingly difficult face to paint, with all its subtle slopes and planes, and many many hours went into this painting. But how could I expect any less than the grace to grow in perseverance when I am painting the image of a man who persisted in spreading the gospel in the midst of war, despite persecution and beatings, who willingly gave his life for a stranger, and even at the last, though he was starving, continued to praise God?
I was inspired for this painting during mass one day. As it was one of my first attempts at digital painting, I spent dozens upon dozens of hours working to get it just right. My dad has been selling magnetic prints of it from his site since the Christmas after I painted it, and it’s weird to walk into random people’s homes and see it stuck to their fridge.
When I was growing up, we had a little calendar sitting in the kitchen window with a quote from Catherine Doherty for every day of the year. I remember my parents telling me to do the “duty of the moment”. Her small snippets of wisdom blessed my childhood and continue to inspire and challenge me to this day. I was deeply honoured to have the opportunity to paint this extraordinary woman. I highly recommend her autobiography, Fragments of My Life. Her story is fascinating.