Sue Ellen Parkinson

For the last few years I’ve been painting Christian icons with the hope of discovering my own relationship to them. To the surprise of many of my secular friends my walls are now covered with paintings of Saints. The surprise for me has been that in painting these icons I’ve fallen in love with them. 

I’m particularly drawn to Mary Magdalene and images of the Sacred Feminine. For me Magdalene has become a symbol of all women who have been misrepresented and denied their appropriate author-ity in the world. It’s been healing to restore her iden-tity to the wise and sovereign being that I believe she was. In so doing I feel more empowered myself.

I am not a Christian nor a religious scholar yet my connection with these icons feels genuine. Painting has helped me to find entrance into what I can only call the Divine. 

These icons have had millions upon millions of people praying to them. My sense is that those prayers have created a kind of current and that as I paint them I enter into a vast river of prayer. It is this world of inspiration that I’ve been swept up into that I wish to express and share with others.

You can see more of my work at Northcoast Artists Gallery in Fort Bragg or on my website:


Sue Ellen Parkinson

71 E. Commercial St.

PO Box 503

Willits, CA 95490





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