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Catherine's Legacy

Judy Ward, RSM

The Artist at Work  

Vision and Process

Welcome to my adventures in Catherine's Legacy!

When I began to work in Communications for the Sisters of Mercy Regional Community of New Jersey, I was given the opportunity to delve into computer graphics, which I have found so exciting!  I took some courses and discovered I was learning new ways to use the talent I've always had.  My whole background in fine arts and art education enhances my graphic expression.  I continue to learn more every day.  Adobe Photoshop is my constant companion.  It is also my vehicle for Catherine's Legacy!

My creative designs came about in a fascinating way.  In my mind I was toying with the idea of overlapping translucent planes of photos, drawings and color.  I began in the summer of 2005 to "explore with tools" in Adobe Photoshop.  And one day I seemed to get somewhere!  The more I worked at it, the more it unfolded.  I got where I wanted to go and it drove me to go further.  It's a new medium for me, and it is exciting, fluid and instant!

Why the title Catherine's Legacy? ... Because Mercy is my theme and my life.  Catherine McAuley, shown in a portrait above, founded the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831.  I believe I am carrying out Catherine's Legacy by being a creative, authentic, spiritual woman.

I began with Mercy montage designs, featuring Catherine McAuley and Frances Warde, the first Sister of Mercy to minister in the United States.  I wanted to do justice to each of them.  I have transformed my designs into prints, note cards and prayer cards.  I have also expanded into restoring photos, designing montages and preparing a combination of photos, text and graphics for various representations.

I define my process of creativity as the release of my free-spirited ideas, and spirited in more ways than one!  What I find most challenging, is finding the right path to get where I want to go - knowing all the time, there are many paths to get me there; sometimes I stumble on things, and I find that so exciting.

The past has been full, active and fulfilling.  So one day at a time I will pursue this exploration and enjoy the journey.  I have met so many wonderful and gracious Sisters, Mercy Associates and friends in this Catherine McAuley Ministry.  It brings me great joy.  I do hope that you too will enjoy my adventures!