Judi Wild looks at a print of her painting

Judi Wild looks at a print of her painting

The story behind Judi Wild’s ‘Mother Teresa’

Original was sold to an Edmonton obstetrician

  • Sep. 21, 2016 11:00 a.m.

Terry Farrell

Record staff

 

Fanny Bay artist Judi Wild was a graphic designer in Edmonton when she began working on what would become the most important painting of her career.

Little did she know at the time, she was painting a picture of a saint.

The year was 1991. Wild was an Edmonton Telephones employee. She said the work – and the words – of Mother Teresa is what inspired her to create the painting.

“Of course there was always the total admiration of her inner strength and also her tireless work in the streets of Calcutta (her call within a call),” Wild said, after some thought. “But the artist in me first had the desire to paint her because of her age and my artist’s fascination with the mature character lines in her face and hands. Each fold in her beautiful face tells a story of dedication and love, and her hands define her hard work. I have always had a love for old people – and used to teach them art and listen to their words of wisdom.”

It was not only the physical attributes Wild found inspiring. She also admires Mother Teresa’s teachings.

“I think it’s her sayings – I agree with her philosophy,” said Wild. “I’m not Catholic, but I am spiritual. And it’s her expressions, her philosophies of life. I agree with everything.”

She said she felt a further connection to Mother Teresa as her canvas creation progressed.

“When I started doing the painting, it was like a spiritual growth for me.”

Wild said it took 300 hours to complete the painting, but it went extremely smoothly.

“Usually, I have one little part where I have so much trouble, one little tiny part of a painting that I will really struggle with. But no. Not this time. It was 300 hours of just bliss. It just absolutely flowed.”

Wild said it was almost like there was some divine intervention with the process in creating the 28 x 40” artwork – and even with the eventual sale of the painting.

“That was one of those pivotal moments that they talk about,” said Wild. “I had a gallery at West Edmonton Mall, and a customer came in and saw the painting and said ‘I have a buyer for you.’ It was at a time I was really struggling. I was close to going back to work (as a graphic designer). So I reluctantly gave her up… it turns out, it really did save my career.

“And it went to the best home ever. It was a doctor, who has delivered 25,000 babies. He was such a kind, kind soul.”

Dr. Fawzy Morcos, an obstetrician in Edmonton, purchased the painting. Morcos was revered by many for his breakthrough approaches to parenthood. His hospital (Edmonton Misericordia) was the first in Canada to adopt a “rooming in” policy for mothers and babies, and he also piloted a revolutionary hospital-based midwifery program.

Wild was to have met Mother Teresa shortly after the completion of her painting, but plans fell through.

The painting can be seen at various locations in the Comox Valley, including the chapel at The Views, and at Christ the King Catholic Church.

The print at The Views was not always in the chapel. When current chaplain, Brian Ducedre, came to St. Joseph Hospital, in 2003, the painting was hanging in his office.

“I really loved the painting, but what bothered me was that so few people actually had the opportunity to see it,” said Ducedre. “Being in my office, it wasn’t really in plain view for a lot of people to appreciate. So, I think it was around 2009, I moved the painting into the old chapel. The painting was there for a number of years, until the chapel was decommissioned.”

Once construction of the new chapel was complete, the painting was moved to its current location, just inside the chapel doors.

“People love it. People love looking at Mother Teresa and just talking about the different characteristics of who she (was) as a person, and how they experienced her in their own lives and spiritual journeys.

“I think a lot of times, why people are so attracted to Mother Teresa is because of her compassion,” Ducedre added. “Her compassion was so evident in everything that she did in caring for people, that we are all naturally attracted to her.” Wild said seeing the painting at The Views is especially pleasing to her, as her “biggest fan” is a resident there.

“My mother is presently living in residential care at The Views. I notice the interesting faces of the well-cared for elderly residents when I visit and wonder about their life-stories, as they smile back at me. I remember Mother Teresa’s words ‘One smile can change the world.’ ”

Mother Teresa was officially canonized on Sept, 4, as St. Teresa of Calcutta.

Fr. Marek Paczka, the priest at Christ the King Catholic Church, said the canonization of Mother Teresa sends an important message.

“I would say that maybe the Church is trying to show through the example of Mother Teresa that maybe we should not focus too much on ourselves, but direct our attention and our work to others. Not only is she a saint because of her great work and her love of the poor, but I think the church is trying to tell us, look at Mother Teresa. She lived like we all should.”

She has been recognized by the Vatican as having performed two miracles – both of which involved curing cancer patients.

In celebration of the canonization of St. Teresa of Calcutta, as well as the 25th anniversary of the original painting, Wild is re-releasing prints on canvas giclée. The painting can be seen at Whyte’s Framing & Gallery (1225 Lazo Road, Comox).

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cumberland Brewery is looking to expand its patio space temporarily for the summer. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland Brewery looks for temporary patio expansion

Move would allow business to spread customers outside in summer months

School District 71’s final budget for this school year showed more revenue from distance learning students but less from traditional classroom registration. Record file photo
Comox Valley Schools’ budget grant almost $5.5 million higher than planned

Increase came from a boost in distributed learning rather traditional registration

A&W on Ryan Road confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 at their restaurant and temporarily shut its doors. Google Maps photo
Courtenay restaurant temporarily closed due to COVID-19 exposure

It’s the latest business in the Valley to be affected by the virus

The CSRHD board moved closer to passing a budget with a $4.4 million cut to the tax requisition. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Strathcona hospital district moves on budget with tax cut

At $12.6 million, budget requisition represents drop of $4.4 million for current year

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton, standing at right, sits on steering committees of two organizations that are tackling the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. File photo
Courtenay councillor leads campaign to reduce building-sector GHG emissions

Courtenay councillor Will Cole-Hamilton wants local governments to carry a little more… Continue reading

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
All B.C. Ferries sailings cancelled due to winds, adverse weather

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

Bryan Adams with his mom, Jane Adams Clark, at Lions Gate Hospital. (Bryan Adams)
Bryan Adams gives shout out to North Shore hospital

The singer’s mom was in Lions Gate Hospital for care

Most Read