seeking the divine

My work explores the divinity in each one of us. I use images that echo the world I live in. My Christ is a young Christ; my Mary reflects many cultures. I believe that we express God and the god in us through the portraits we paint of what is part of our identity. My Mary, my Christ do not fall within the rubric of traditional iconography; they are mirrors of the people of my own world.

I use images of Mary, the Mother, the Madonna, the teacher, the mourner; Magdalene, the redeemed apostle, the lover, the mourner; and Christ, the teacher, the Son, the Symbol. The Marys — Mary the Mother and Magdalene the Apostle both have stories to tell as the women in Christís life. The Son who bears the burden of the Cross is reflected in their eyes and in their lives. These are the lives I illustrate with my work. Through these images I seek the divinity in all of us, by investigating the differing roles each figure assumes — much as we assume different roles in our own lives. The ability to shift from one role to another, is a tension that exists, not only for the disciple of Christ, but for the carpenter himself.

My work is primarily watercolor with collage. I am currently exploring the use of boxes constructed to enhance my images. These boxes layer images and textures and colors to define the whole. I also work in watercolor on wood with collage. These pieces employ several pieces of wood, usually in a cruciform shape, to create the base for the works. The collage elements come from several sources — Japanese rice papers, papers I have dyed, found objects. I also make extensive use of symbolism in my work. Sometimes it is overt, such as the crucifixes distributed within the collage, or the cruciform boxes. Other times it more subtle, such as the use of a triplet of items to represent the Trinity; or a quintet for the stigmata. Yet this symbolism extends further to the models of the portraits themselves. For while they are hardly Christs or Madonnas, they represent what is divine in all of us, our ineffable and varied humanity.

Artist-in-Residence, Wesley Theological Seminary

CIVA, Christians in the Visual Arts
NAWA, National Association of Women Artists
Washington Arts Consortium

Augsburg Press
St. Monicaís Church, DC; stained glass windows
Cover and illustrations for From Genesis to Revelation by Christine Haapala
The Caring Institute, Washington, DC; ten portraits of award recipients

Grant recipient
DC Commission on Arts and Humanities

Shows nationally

My work is in collections worldwide

An Interview With Christine

Trinity Church Wall Street purchased Christine's painting La Magdalene and used it as the cover for their 2005 Annual Report. Resulting from this they also produced a video about Christine and her works.
To watch the video CLICK HERE

Website Link:
Trinity Church Wall Street