Grace to Paint


Weekly Oil Paintings by Sister Maresa Lilley, SND


race to Paint

Weekly Oil Paintings
by Sister Maresa Lilley, SND


16×20” oil on stretched canvas; click on painting for purchase information.

This young boy of the Philippines was playing with his pigeon, when my camera caught him. He was one of many local children we visited, taught, and invited to our home in Balanga, Bataan. Both he and his little bird were a bit shy, however. He represents the transparency and simplicity of children all around the world. In painting him and his friend, I was interested in creating a strong design of darks and lights, and in capturing a stroke or two of his innocence.

Open to Light

8×8” oil on gessoed art board; click on painting for purchase information.

This smoky glass vase posed for me one day, and seemed expressive enough for a portrait. Whenever light and glass coincide, you get the usual painter’s delight. The transparency of glass and its refraction of light, transform the reality seen through it, and create something new. Seeing the change and attempting to paint it are what makes glass believable in still life paintings–always a joyful endeavor.


16×20″ oil on stretched canvas; click on painting for purchase information.

From my earliest years, I have had a great love for the dance form of ballet. The ethereal, fleeting, elegance of the dance with its power to lift beyond the mundane has always captured my imagination. As a child in summer lessons at the art museum, I remember being placed before Degas’ ballerinas with pastels and paper to imitate some iota of his genius and soft rendering of the ballerina. He won my admiration then, for his art and his same fascination with ballet. This ballerina is a sketch for a larger piece, and I was working out design elements of darks and lights. She is awaiting her return to stage.


8×10” oil on stretched, beveled oval canvas; click on painting for purchase information.

After painting something that takes much concentration, I enjoy working a free and impressionistic image, and usually flowers fit the bill. I cannot imagine anyone not liking tulips. Among the first messengers of spring, they nod their cuplike heads in the breeze, and they are always fun to paint. These are painted on a beveled, oval-shaped canvas, a nice invention for the occasional frameless painting.


Sentry Post

Sentry Post
8×10 oil on canvas panel; click on the painting for purchase information.

I have returned from a mission in the Philippines with rich experiences and images. This is the side of a restaurant called Luis’s in Balanga, Bataan of Luzon. Guard houses protect most properties, and this attractive booth drew my attention since it was attached to the business and and part of the architecture. The hot color is typical of the paint choices of the people, and it reminds me of how hot it could get in the tropical country!

Meet Sr.Maresa

I am Sister Maresa Lilley, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame, located in Chardon, Ohio, USA. For many years, I have enjoyed a passion that permits me to reflect upon simple reality with a brush in hand. To capture a simple essence on canvas and to discover inherent beauty is a daily immersion.

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