Brazilian Artist Shares Her Journey

   Ana Maria stands before her icon of St. Joseph and Jesus at the 2016 Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild       Exhibition

 

I began my journey as an artist under the tutelage of my aunt Wega Nery, world renowned artist, as I completed my first landscape oil painting at ten years of age.  In 1970 I started the Publicity Sketching Course in the Pan-American Art School in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  At that time I co-founded 'Studio Infantil de Artes" (Art Projects and Craft Activities For Kids).

 

Ana Maria working on her icon of Our Lady of Tenderness  during the Tri-Cities News U-Tube Filming                                                  Session in 2017 at the Esplanade Studios in Port Moody  

 

 

I continued my studies and in 1974 graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Sao Paulo.  For two years I worked as an art teacher in the Instituto Sao Jose School in the city of

Sao Jose dos Campos.  During that time, I was hired to illustrate a book, but upon completion of the project I was not acknowledged as the artist.  Through this experience I learned that a career as an artist could be challenging and thus pursued more education and became a lawyer in  Brazil.

While I practiced law, I never gave up my interest in art and continued to develop art as a cherished hobby.

 

As a devout Catholic,  and despite my career as a lawyer, I always manage to find time for prayer.  In 1990 I was invited to join Prayer and Life Workshops, whose founder, Father Ignacio Larranaga, developed a daily program for people to get closer to God through prayer.

                                                                                    Archangel Gabriel

 

In my path as an artist, I experimented with various materials and techniques such as pottery and China painting, watercolours, and oil and acrylic painting.  I also began to make rosaries and to teach people how to pray with them.  This connected my deep appreciation for art with my dedication to prayer.  Additionally, I began religious statue restoration which brought joy to me and the owners.

 

                                                               Baby Jesus Restored by Ana Maria

 

In 2002, I met D. Jose Carlos Velasco OBS Cam, a Camaldolense Monk, and I spent a week in a monastery in the city of Mogi das Cruzes in Sao Paulo in order to write my first icon, Jesus Pantocrator.  All the icons that I have written were done for one specific intention.  For the first icon I was praying to Jesus as I was considering immigrating to Canada, which eventually took place in 2003.  I immigrated as a Catholic Missionary to apply Prayer and Life Workshops with the approval and blessing of Most Reverend Adam Exner, O.M.I., Archbishop of Vancouver.  I was recommended by Frei Ignacio Larranaga, my local bishop Dom Nelson Westrupp and also by the CNBB (Confederation of  Brazilian Bishops).

 

                                                                           Our Lady of Fatima

 

Upon arriving in Canada, I facilitated several Prayer and Life Workshops at St. Stephen's Church, Holy Trinity Church,  both in  North Vancouver, and Our Lady of Fatima Church in Vancouver.  At that time I met local artist Patricia Ballard who introduced me to the Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild and I later met and was taught by Guild artists Frank Turner and Steve Knight as well as with Ana Diaz-Drew, a master gilder from the Academy of Applied Art and Artistic Professions (Madrid).  Currently,

I continue with my icon studies and recently took a class in Celtic Knot Drawing and Calligraphy with

Guild artist John Suter, a master in Calligraphy. 

 

 

Ana Maria working on the icon of Our Lady of Aparecida (Our Lady of Apparitions)

 

I am very honored to be part of the Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild and have served as Secretary on the Executive since 2011.  For our upcoming 15th Anniversary Exhibition (in October 2018) I am working on the image of Our Lady of Aparecida, patroness of Brazil, a work in egg tempera, with gold leaf on gessoed board.  The original statue is housed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil where I was baptized.

 

Through my journey as an artist I have become certain that through faith we shall not only approach Our Father, Abba, ourselves but also inspire others to do so.

                                                                         Ana Maria in her home studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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