Painting, Catholic Faith & Inspiration by Sister Maresa

Posted by Veronica Wilson on

About Sister Maresa Lille - "I am Sister Maresa Lilley, a Sister of Notre Dame, living in Chardon, Ohio, USA.

Currently, I have the joy and ministry of representing all things beautiful in oil paint. The work includes a daily blog of images that I paint, and an online store “Paintgrace” that I maintain on I enjoy promoting God’s beauty, truth, and goodness in this way that connects me with so many who see the paintings on the internet.

In the past, I served Catholic education as classroom teacher, administrator, business manager, novice director, and missionary, so children and other cultures may emerge from time to time in the art".

What is the message you want to pass on with your paintings? 

The main message of my paintings is that there is beauty in the ordinary; that nothing is only ordinary. All things, have an inner essence of goodness, beauty, or truth. I look for this and try to celebrate God’s touch in all earth’s creatures.

On one specific painting "Pacific Painting" what inspired you to paint this item?

The painting, “Pacific Picnic” was painted about 9 years ago after an experience of our mission in the Philippines. One Sister in the painting was one of our Indonesian Sisters of Notre Dame, and the other is an American Sister of Notre Dame. It was painted just for fun and remembrance of our time of working together with young women and students of the Philippines. (If you need a better quality image of this painting, I can help you with one).

Is there any biblical passage you would paint? if yes which passage and why?

A few times, I have attempted to paint the face of Jesus. When the Samaritan Woman in John’s gospel tells Jesus at the well, “I know the Messiah is coming and he will teach us all these things,” Jesus answers her, saying, “I am He.” It is the “I am He” that I think about when I paint the image of Jesus. However, I would like to paint many more images from the gospels in the future.

Is there a symbolism on the colors chosen?

Sometimes I am purposeful about some colors, because I am searching out color harmony or color surprise in the work. While I prefer soft, subtle color…almost monochromatic, I am surprised at how colorful my body of work will look.