About the Artist

We are all pilgrims
On the sacred path of life.
Same struggles, same goals.

Drawing and painting have been favorite activities for me since childhood. Over the years I have worked with clay, stained glass, silk, ink, and watercolors. I live in a small adobe house that I designed myself, near the Audubon Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Close by are many trails leading into the mountains. I work one day a week as a physician and spend a lot of time in the garden and at Upaya Zen Center which is just down the road from my house.

I am grateful to my parents for passing on to me their values, including hard work, generosity, service, healthy living, and appreciation of beauty. Another important influence in my childhood was Girl Scouting, which gave me a love of the outdoors and an interest in learning about other cultures. Quakers made me aware of social justice issues, and Buddhism and Al-Anon have given me the tools to live a happy and ethical life. You can see many of these values expressed in my work.

Being a pilgrim, walking most of every day through varied countryside, is a way to reflect on one’s life, make new friends from around the world, and become more grateful for all the beauty of our planet. In 2012 I walked 450 miles across France on the Way of St. James, a medieval pilgrimage route leading to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. I then spent a week at Plum Village, a monastery founded by Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen teacher and peace activist. Along the way I painted a watercolor almost every day.  In 2014 I walked 700 miles in Japan, sketching, painting, and visiting 88 Buddhist temples on the island of Shikoku.  Most recently, in 2017, I walked another 35 days on the Way of St. James in France and Spain, ending the trip with two weeks of flamenco lessons in Seville – great fun, but please don’t ask me to dance for you!

– Mary Ray Cate  

“The most beautiful path is the path of compassion.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

The art work shown on this website is a product of the artist’s imagination, based on memories, impressions from recent and historic photographs, and from direct observation. The colors you see on your computer screen are approximations of those of the actual cards, calendars, prints, and watercolors.

Contact Us at Sunlit Art, 1677 Cerro Gordo Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501-6148, U.S.A.

(505) 989-1630 | info@sunlit-art.com

Artwork and poetry © Mary Ray Cate, all rights reserved.