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Monk in the World Guest Post: Meg Munro

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Meg Munro’s reflection and paintings on her relationship with the Beloved Mother-Virgin.

I had been despairing that my passion for painting was waning and being replaced with my spiritual longings and pilgrimages. How could this be when I had focused my whole life on being an artist?

The two felt separate and in conflict. Then, in an inspired moment, it occurred to me to put Guadalupe in my painting. 

That is how the Beloved Mother-Virgin came into my paintings, at the time that I was beginning to leave Mexico where I had lived for 30+ years. 

Ave Maria Guadalupe

This is the first Apparition that occurred to me. After I drew the composition, I began to doubt myself and the drawing got put aside. What gave me the right to take this venerated image out of its religious and cultural context? I did not feel she belonged rightfully to me. So, I drew a different one.

The Woman of Light

She is Nuestra Senora de San Juan de los Lagos. Although she is actually the second most venerated and visited Virgin after Guadalupe, she didn’t have as much cultural weight for me. I felt freer to appropriate her. The story is told that she was brought out of the church in order to raise a young girl from the dead. The girl had fallen on the bed of knives in her family’s circus act (17th century). It is said that She (her statue) was already moving around the church at night on her own. And now, she came out of the church to give her re-vivifying self. I put her in the “’weeds” to emphasize just how naturally and “lowly” she appears “outside of the church”.  

Then I could paint Ave Maria Guadalupe. I understood that she is bigger than any cultural or church container. She really could come into my paintings. Around this time I had a meditation experience in which I felt Guadalupe merge into my heart and adopt me as her daughter.

I AM Home

I began I AM Home while I was living in a much reduced space, the guest bedroom at my father’s house. I had my painting table set up and a small bed. I felt that if I couldn’t paint I would just die. Somehow, I had ended up there at the time my father began to need help and my artist life, my whole life really had come to a grinding halt.

I completed the painting in Albuquerque during the summer of 2020 after my father had passed and I moved here. It expresses that I want to feel home inside of myself, within myself. 

Meg Munro is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society. Her award-winning paintings have delighted her collectors for many years. She has painted the marketplaces, people, jungle, towns, and gardens of Mexico. Her Bottlescapes and Butterfly paintings are among her most popular.

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