Profiles in Ministry, Sister Maresa Lilley

Profiles in Ministry, Sister Maresa Lilley

Making drawings or some kind of art has been part of my makeup always. When I received a set of oil paints for Christmas in 1986, I resolved to learn how to use them. Once I took the caps off, the paints have been oozing ever since.

Painting is often a contemplative process for me; for example, I can get lost in trying to imagine what expression Jesus or Mary may have had on their faces as I bring them to life from a scripture reference.

Since 2012, I manage a daily blog, which requires posting several images weekly with a brief explanation. This in turn means that I paint several small paintings every week and put them up on “Grace to Paint.” Eventually, these paintings are varnished, prepared for sale, and then posted on my online store Paintgrace. From there, anyone in the world can purchase the works. Maintaining the online shop, packaging and shipping sales are also part of my daily routine. People who visit Paintgrace or see some of the paintings often ask me to paint a particular one for them, and so far, I have been able to fulfill most all requests.

I have had many wonderful contacts with people who enjoy my images. The paintings are usually inspirational or uplifting in some way, and so people are generous in letting me know how they have been touched. Since I often paint religious themes, I offer something for heart as well as for home. So far, I have sent hundreds of paintings to several countries and about two thirds of the United States.

I strive to translate glimmers of God’s goodness, beauty, truth, and charm into paint. Those who contact me or purchase from my shop recognize this. I am most happy when I am sending off Gospel based images in the mail. Every painting, hopefully, makes people stop, look, and appreciate something of God’s goodness and provident care.


Sister Maresa recently completed a painting for a church in Colorado.
“You Will Be My Witnesses” (4×5 foot) was commissioned by a Presbyterian minister.