Madonna and Bank Squirrel, 24 x 36, oil on wood panel, 2015

Madonna and Bank Squirrel (birth of ideas), 24″ x 36″ (60.96 cm x 91.44 cm), oil on wood panel, 2015

Introducing the first posted painting of 2015. Madonna and the birth of ideas, 24 x 36, oil on wood panel, 2015.

Madonna and the Birth of Ideas was already in progress by the time the show theme was revealed. I think, however, it works perfectly into the theme of the exhibition. The squirrel represents the birth of ideas and is a reference to how Squirrealism grew from just one little squirrel in a painting. According to my career and vocation horoscope, ideas are the food of life for me.  Many mothers would exclaim that their children provide them with the same nourishment. Using the mother image, and central icons of both the Catholic and Orthodox churches, I have represented my version of “Mary” with her child “Jesus.” In this painting, Jesus has been replaced with the image of a chalkware coin bank squirrel from the 1960’s. The images of Jesus and Mary have been used for centuries to infuse worshippers with hope. Through carefully branded imagery, the church has gained both adoring worshippers, and money to build its infrastructure. The chalkware squirrel reminds us how the birth of ideas can bring us hope, and uses humour to create a fresh  perspective. And while the coin bank squirrel may not hold enough coin to build a vast infrastructure, it does acknowledges the enormous privilege of being able to live a creative life.

Additional: The concept for Madonna and the Birth of Ideas was developed during the same creative session in which I styled the imagery for Charlotte’s Web. The dress and veil came from my costume department, as did the lovely kitsch squirrel. He is a Chalkware Squirrel Coin Bank,  and I inherited him from my grandmother. She used to have many images of religion hanging on the walls of her home, and it seemed apropos that dear squirrel be immortalized in the manor of her interior decor.

Model: Jen Steele

Glorious Tree Hat: Silly Hats Only by Kaiser Alexander

Makeup: Jen Clark

Behind the scenes, Madonna and the Birth of Ideas.

Behind the scenes, Madonna and the Birth of Ideas.


Event: “SHE”
Opening Reception: Saturday May 23th 6pm – 8pm
Exhibition Dates: May 23th – June 20th
Venue: Fazakas Gallery, 145 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver
Gallery Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday



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