Creation of the Week 65 - Tianna Williams: Oil Painting of St. Gianna Molla

Tianna Williams is at it again, this time working on an oil painting of St. Gianna Molla. If you haven’t seen her beautiful paintings, or any of the stunning time-lapse videos that she’s done of her painting process, check it out here!

Personally I never got past a 1st-grade painting level, and in my attempts to recreate fire trucks and dinosaurs I really only succeeded in getting paint all over several of my patient homeschooling Mom’s belongings. As a result my commentary comes more from my appreciation of the art of painting than any semblance of experience in it.

That being said, I find Tianna’s work to be uplifting and inspiring on multiple levels. Incidentally she is also a talented Graphic Designer, Web Designer, and Photographer, but I’d like to focus here on her prowess at oil painting, and specifically the piece she’s currently working on, of St. Gianna Molla.


One of the things I find fascinating about Tianna’s work, is her process of drawing inspiration. Before the actual painting even started, Tianna looked to the CC community for inspiration, in this post:

It’s been on my heart for a few months now to paint an image of St. Gianna Molla (and God keeps reminding me... pretty much every day, haha). But I’m struggling with how to portray her... In all the famous photos and in every painting I’ve seen she is holding her babies—which is lovely and iconic but I feel like I’m supposed to something more than simply copy a photo. I think part of the struggle is that I’m only passingly familiar with her story. So. Those of you who love her—what about her inspires you the most? What details of her story stood out to you? How do you imagine her? What kind of painting would you love to see? I’m in the stage of gathering ideas and inspiration, as I’m still a few weeks away from starting the painting, so I’m open to all suggestions!
— Tianna Williams, April 30, 2019

A series of beautiful reflections on the figure of St. Gianna Molla ensued, and from the looks of it Tianna has drawn from this inspiration in a beautiful way.

The image is vibrant and full of life. As with all of her other saint portraits, you can almost feel the character of St. Gianna bursting off of the canvas. Her spirit as wife and mother shines in her eyes, and her lab coat covering her everyday clothing alludes to her role as a professional woman. She is surrounded by white flowers, among which lilies, roses, daffodils are immediately recognizable, pointing perhaps to the way she lived purity in her vocation as wife and mother. Her gaze is lifted to heaven, with hope and quiet joy. It’s still a work in progress, but I can’t wait to see the finished piece!

We reached out to Tianna to share a bit about herself and her work, and here’s what she said:

I was raised in a ministry family. My father is a Catholic evangelist and singer/songwriter, and his concert tours took us all over the USA and Canada. So, from an early age, I was given a great appreciation for the power of art in communicating the beauty and goodness of God.

We are all artists in my family, stretching back generations. For as long as I can remember, we’ve been encouraged to not only use our gifts to the best of our ability—drawing, painting, music, video, writing—but to use them for the glory of God and love of neighbour.

I’ve carried that with me into adulthood, into the graphic design & photography business I began at age 16 and now into my ministry as an oil painter. Every painting is a prayer—a journey with the saints into the wilderness of my soul, where I encounter Christ so that I can share him with the world through my art. Always, always, I desire to be no more than a mirror reflecting the beauty of God.

I live in Alberta, Canada, with my husband and 3-year-old daughter. I love to paint first thing in the morning after a strong dose of coffee and prayer. You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook (@artbytispark) for updates of my latest paintings, videos, and blog posts. You can also check out my website at

Oh, and it’s pronounced tEE-spark.
— Tianna Williams

When our art becomes a prayer, we’ve attained what’s at the very core of creativity. Our own creations are united to the Creator upon whom all creative work rests. We take our place in his work of creation, and share the light that we have been given. This is at the heart of Tianna Williams’ achievements, and shines through everything that she creates. Her work inspires, uplifts, and encourages us in our own search for God, on and off the field of practicing our craft.

You can contact Tianna or hire her for oil painting and photography needs!

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by Nik Sternhagen

Marketing Specialist at Catholic Support Services