A nod to Velazquez while exploring the idea of the halo or ring of stars. Letting the symbol stand alone, deity removed (in this case the Holy Mother) creates an interesting tension; the aura of spirituality without the figurative elements. As a lapsed catholic and a painter I think its useful to confront, or at least start a dialogue with roman catholic iconography, the backbone of western painting. It also reminded me of certain miracle visions, such as Our Lady of Fatama, which is a truly strange episode with apocalyptic secrets passed on to unsuspecting, yet devout children, culminating in a blinding mid-day apparition confirmed by an entire town.
Religious iconography, and the stories they serve to better tell, present us with a fascinating intersection between faith, natural phenomena and the ability of the mind to extrapolate meaning from both.