TI McWethy

Tatiana McWethy

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Icons and Angels blank
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“…Mastering Russian spiritual culture is the only way to avoid falling into mediocrity in singing just as in painting…” Ivan Alekseevich Gardner.

When one discovers for oneself the beauty of Orthodoxy, that is, the miracle of experiencing God in one’s life, it is only natural to wish to share this joy with those who are close.

It is this desire to share the beauty of Orthodoxy that becomes a special idiom that brings forth visual
images in color on canvas.
Or, Tatiana, do you mean this: [The miracle of experiencing God in one’s life
is what spurs the creation of visual images in color on canvas.]
The artist wishes to express everything
that has been deeply felt and conceptualized in one’s work.

Without the continued support and love of my family, friends, and others it would have been difficult to
bring this series of paintings into being.

I am grateful to my guardian angel who labors unceasingly to guide me on the path to salvation.

Still Life with Icon of the Kazan Mother of God

Oftentimes, long before the creation of a painting, certain images and ideas come to mind that inspire
one towards its execution. That is what happened in this case. An excerpt from the verse of the psalm
“Blessed is the earth and all that is therein” was the creative inspiration. This sentence planted itself in
my mind and I wished to express the beauty of nature and God’s blessing on all creation using the genre
of still life. God’s earth is so splendid: the fruits of the earth, the ripe harvest, wheat, flowers, a cluster
of grapes! Everything is created by God for the enjoyment of humankind.

In the center of the painting is the Kazan Mother of God with the Infant Christ. The icon is the
compositional center of the painting and a symbol of divine love which transfigures our entire life.
There is a lit candle before the icon. The candle burns, the Most Holy Virgin prays for us. The candle is a
symbol of prayer. And in the painting the candle’s flame is symbolic of the heart of the Mother of God.
The candle burns in front of the icon, on a little table covered with a lace tablecloth on which a blessed
prosphora, fruit, ears of wheat, and wild flowers have been placed. An icon cloth surrounds the image.
In the background lies a cluster of grapes symbolic of Christ: “I am the grapevine, and My Father is the …”

The Icon Lamp (Lampada)

In the still of the night when the whole world is quiet, prayers are poured forth inaudibly.
The icon lamp is burning, illumining the countenance of the Mother of God and Infant Christ with its soft light.
The old gilding shimmers. At a certain moment the icon seems to come alive and the presence of
the Mother of God and Her prayer, Her intercession for us sinners is felt so close. It is so good, so calming…

Anastasia or the Angel’s Dress

This painting is dedicated to the memory of Her Imperial Highness, Grand Duchess of Russia,
Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, July 18, 1901-July 17 1918. She was shot with her family in 1918 at the Ipatiev
House [Ekaterinburg, Russia]. She was canonized with her parents, sisters, and brother in the Synaxis of
the New Martyrs of Russia.

Russia. The 20th Century. The Royal Family

In spite of the attempts to destroy faith in Christ and to besmear the name of the Emperor Nicholas and
to pervert the truth, they were unsuccessful in the end. The truth cannot be hidden! The Soviet placard
which covered the icon for many years has been torn off. The face of the Savior looks at us soberly from
the icon. In His hand, Christ holds a small photograph of the Royal Family, symbolizing His acceptance of
the atoning sacrifice of the Tsar Martyr for Russia.

The Psalms of David

The Psalms have inspired people with their poetic beauty and deep religiosity since ancient times.
They helped in overcoming grief, loss, and encouraged people to turn to God, to cleanse their souls through
repentance. The Psalter contains many thoughtful reflections, and words of guidance and of comfort.
Not a single Orthodox service is conducted without the reciting or chanting of psalms. Psalm verses are
woven into the services. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that the Psalter is the most valuable
book of the Old Testament for the Christian.

The “Psalms of David” painting is an attempt at thoughtful reflection, to find historical meaning in the
psalms on the surface of the painting, inviting the viewer to a conversation, a discussion. The two
worlds of the Old and New Testament meet in the space of the painting and form a single entity in the
uninterrupted flow of time. The Old Testament is associated with something as yet earthly and chaotic.
We see the ancient scroll on which a psalm is written, a scroll found in the Judean Desert at the Dead Sea.
The New Testament is associated with the glimmering of gold crosses against the dark background
of the creation of the world.

In the center of the painting is an ancient icon of the king and prophet David. How great was his faith
and love for God! Here he is depicted holding a scroll of his psalms. Before us is one of his psalms
written in Church Slavonic: “The Lord is my shepherd…”

The icon, the words of the psalms…The eye slips along the painting and we see the starry sky. That it is
depicted here is no accident. The heavenly and the earthly, heaven and earth, time and eternity—all
this finds expression in the psalms.

When David was still a young shepherd he conquered the mighty Goliath with a well-aimed blow from a stone.
Later, he conquered evil with the power of the word.

The wheel of time turns from past to future. Generations come and go, each discovering for itself the
great spiritual power of the psalms.