A diminutive statue of Mother Mary stands at the edge of thick woods near a friend’s home in Mt. Shasta. Finding her encircled by tall medicinal mullein, its golden spires reaching skyward, the forest draped like a curtain behind, my heart caught at her delicate vulnerability and enduring power. Though I don’t generally paint figures, Mary evoked an exception. In bringing her to (yet another) life onto canvas, I used thick emotive brushstrokes, rendering her a life-sized guardian of the forest, with blue shoes to match her cape. This painting is done on a 1.5 inch gallery-wrapped canvas with hand-painted edges and arrives ready to hang.