Completed: June, 2017
Dimensions: 41″ x 13″
Somerset Enhanced 330 GSM Archival (100% Cotton-Rag Paper)
Media: Giclee Fine Art Print


ANNUNCIATION (Giclee, 2017)

Twilight, when sun fades and night swells.
That’s the spirit-moment
when we close our day’s work
and without much thought, begin to engage
the marriage of day and night.

It is a moment when angels call
and invite us over the brink
of the possible to the impossible.
Standing at that threshold,
not in, not out…
we hear the call and catch a flash
of precious insight.

It is yesterday. It is tomorrow.
And right now, the spirit angels
have slid through our reality
and let us know that our simple, everyday tasks
are pregnant with the eternal.
Angels do that.

The ordinary is shot through and shining.
The ordinary is extraordinary.

Gertrud Mueller Nelson, 2017
Author, Artist, and Lecturer on Myth and Ritual


THE ANNUNCIATION — History of the Image
Swanson developed the form and structure of The Annunciation though many drawings and sketches. This print edition is based on a new painting of the same name, completed between September, 2016 and April, 2017. It reimagines a water media painting from 1992 with additional embellishments and intense colors. After the many sketches, studies, and final painting, Swanson spent months adjusting the image digitally to create this giclee edition. 




Early Sketches




Early Sketches




Other Artworks:
Detail from PROCESSION




Images of
Gouache Painting
23″ x 7″





Working on Painting




Progression Of Painting
38″ x 12″





Progression Of Giclee
41″ x 13″


A collection of observations, thoughts, and ideas on, or relating to, ANNUNCIATION.

Denise Levertov

from her book,
Door in the Hive

You may read
the full text on the
Ignatian Spirituality blog.


We know the scene: the room, variously furnished,
almost always a lectern, a book; always
the tall lily.

Arrived on solemn grandeur of great wings,
the angelic ambassador, standing or hovering,
whom she acknowledges, a guest.

But we are told of meek obedience. No one mentions

The engendering Spirit
did not enter her without consent.

God waited.

She was free
to accept or to refuse, choice
integral to humanness.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta
“Mother Teresa”
Thirsting For God, 2013
“Mary showed complete trust in God by agreeing to be used as an instrument in his plan of salvation.
She trusted him in spite of her nothingness because she knew he who is mighty could do great things in her and through her.
Once she said ‘yes’ to him, she never doubted. She was just a young woman,
but she belonged to God and nothing nor anyone could separate her from him.”

Gertrude Mueller Nelson

Artist and Lecturer

Originally written as a reflection for A VISIT, 1995.


A spiritual life is not about escaping the world and its
daily requirements–
it’s about infusing the world with a vision of the holy.
Then we begin to weave real community
–like a bright, whole tapestry
where your task hinges on mine,
your job mends where mine is worn thin.
This is not the milling of people where each person uses
the next for personal ambition,
but here each brings a gift to the rest of the world so that
we can live in harmony.
For my job and your job is a grand business:
it is to find God
not just dwelling in the hot sun’s eye
–but discovering the divine
in the earthly task at hand.
Then we entertain angels.
The divine and the human meet.
Heaven and earth are one.


Janaan Manternach
Author and Lecturer
I think of the Annunciation whenever I see a pregnant woman, because every birth is an announcement from God, because each baby, each one of us, is God’s son or daughter.

Just as the Divine totally existed in Mary’s son, Jesus, the Divine also totally exists in each of us. Jesus had a unique call and he fulfilled it. Each of us has a unique call –some of us fulfill it; some of us bungle it up, and don’t fulfill it– but, all of us are his, and he loves us no matter what.

Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J.
Author and Advocate
A letter dated July 30, 2017
Before I began the new painting,
I had read Sr. Helen’s essay,
Bolt from the Blue, in
America Magazine, and was very moved by it.
Dear Ever-faithful John,
How did you know I love the mystery of the angelic annunciation to Mary more than any other?I love, love, love your tableau and the Nelson poem. Ever heard this from St. Basil? “Annunciations are frequent,
incarnations are rare.” You, in your luminous art, John, are definitely an incarnation. Keep creating.Much love,
Sr. Helen Prejean


Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 36 × 7 × 7 in