The Many Faces
of Mary

The bridge between Kayla's earlier visionary art and her current series of traditional Tibetan thankas (thangkas) was a period where she studied the icons and doctrines about Mary, the mother of Jesus, as well as the last several centuries of visionary sightings of Mary (such as at Fatima). About this period and its paintings, she has said:

During 1997 and 1998 I began to do a series on Mary, deciding to study the traditional icons of her, her stance, clothing, colors. Up to this time this was the closest I'd come to letting go of my personal vision and following the inspirational iconic guide of a tradition. I did however add some of my own interpretation: each Mary having a rose placed with the figure, symbolizing her heart chakra or womb chakra or Christ or compassion and I gave her faces from all over the world. This was very satisfying and I noticed that when I painted her feet in Mary in the Garden I felt heat radiate through my body and openness in my heart area. This reminded me of how much my winds [i.e., inner energies] were affected when painting the life size Green Tara in correct proportion in 1991 for a Green Tara children's celebration in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

Painting these images of Mary set the stage for my leap into using a totally traditional iconic format when I began to paint Tibetan thankas late in 1998.

I exhibited these images of Mary at Grace (Episcopal) Cathedral in San Francisco and at the annual Marian show in San Juan Bautista (CA). These were very rewarding experiences and many people told me that they were "touched" by the images. I was particularly pleased when Charlene Spretnak chose my Irish Mary: Our Lady for Girls in All Seasons as one of the images to publish in her book Missing Mary: The Queen of Heaven and the Re-Emergence in the Modern Church.

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