by James Feraciour


When I first saw "Madonna and Child," I was moved to tears by the sumptuous care and attention to detail that had gone into the portrait. It seems to me that there was a deep sense of presence and connection between the artist and subject. 

I was inspired to take this particular portrait as a starting point for my own exploration of presence as an idea, a physical sensation and a lived reality in my life as I felt that the image spoke to me on a number of levels. I have recently separated from my wife, and have an infant son through that relationship. Upon first seeing the portrait, I was struck by how familiar it seemed to me, reflecting facets of my recent life experience that I had not completely dealt with, particularly my own grief at losing a very dear friend and partner. 

As I have worked on this painting over the last year, it has become a source of great challenge and comfort to me. It has spoken to me about loss, change, family, expectations, courage, redemption and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity, mirroring both my own journey and that of the mother and child in the portrait. My hope is that there will be a transmission of this presence in any correspondence that others have with the painting.

Artist Statement

This moment may be all we have. I paint in order to leave markers, witnesses to the moments of my life, avatars who will speak for me and share my journey with whoever approaches them.

My work is infused with a deep sense of wonder and gratitude for the gift of existence. The paintings act as windows into my consciousness, illuminating my experience of the vast and particular beauties of life, the potentialities of a moment, and the phenomenon of subjective consciousness itself. I am continually aware of the essential beauty of being alive, however else I may feel about my specific life circumstances. 

Typically my paintings develop very slowly, over the course of months, sometimes years, so the work is a practice, a reflection and a meditation on what it means to exist. Each completed painting becomes an immersion in the moment, a rich evocation of the experience of noticing one’s own existence, and a constant reminder to live now, be present, conscious and thankful for all that is.

Project Entry