Welcome to Twelfth and Blossom! I'm so glad you're here. I'm Mary Claire, wife to Mike and mom to Andrew (10) and Philomena, our new baby.
While the leap into a career as a full-time artist took a little time (I was 38 years old!), I've been an artist my entire life. At the age of five, I sat in the front yard, trying to sell my little paintings to passers by. While I wasn't an overnight success, I was determined.
I was born into a devout Catholic family and attended Catholic schools from Kindergarten through college. However, it wasn't until I left an abusive marriage that I really began to depend on my faith and claim it as my own. My son's birth on December 12 was pivotal in my decision to start a new life. You could say that on the 12th, I began to BLOSSOM. In a lot of ways, I feel like I've been given a second chance - my life now is completely different from what it was 10 years ago. I met Mike in the church choir, we got married, and he adopted Andrew as his own. Then, Philomena was born in early 2022. I can't help but thank and glorify God through my art.
I've had a lot of stops on my creative journey: dance teacher, actress, singer, cookie decorator, graphic designer, and more. But I fell in love with watercolors during the pandemic, and I haven't looked back. What I love about watercolor is its unpredictability. Water has a mind of its own, and I've learned to "go with the flow" and to follow the colors as they move instead of trying to control them.
You'll notice that my art is happy and colorful. I want the people who see my art to feel light and joyful - that's how I feel when I paint - and I pray that the same joy brings others closer to God.
Our Lady of Guadalupe - November and December 2022
We celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th.
In 1531, a poor Aztec man was on his way to Mass near Mexico City. Juan Diego had recently converted to the faith, and was surprised to see a beautiful woman, dressed as an Aztec princess on the hill. She was with child. It was the Blessed Mother, who spoke to him in his own language and asked him to tell his Bishop that a church must be built on that very spot.
Juan Diego did as she asked, but the Bishop did not believe his story. He wanted a sign that the Virgin Mother had indeed appeared. On December 12th, Mary granted this request. She showed Juan Diego a beautiful rose bush full of Castilian roses. She instructed him to gather the roses in his Tilma and take them to the bishop - no roses should be growing in December in Mexico!
When Juan Diego presented the roses to the Bishop, letting them fall from his tilma, the bishop was amazed. Not only were the roses beautiful, but an image of Our Lady as Juan Diego had seen her, had formed on the cloth. The bishop fell to his knees and the church was built.
Our Lady of Guadalupe’s appearance brought about the conversion of 6,000,000 indigenous people. It ended the Aztec practice of human sacrifice and the worship of stone gods. Juan Diego’s tilma is still intact, almost 500 years later! The colors have not even faded. It is on display in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. She is the patroness of the Americas and of the unborn.