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All Saints Member Pursues Watercolor Ministry

All Saints Member Pursues Watercolor Ministry

Judith Citarella Offers ‘Art as Mediation’ Workshops to Vermont Congregations

When Judith Citarella, 62, began doodling with watercolors in college, she didn’t realize she was tapping into a gift that she might someday pass along to others. Since that time, Citarella has developed a unique style of abstract painting, combining famous quotes with splashes of color, to create beautiful handmade memes (pictured). For almost the past 20 years, Citarella has been teaching her technique to adult learners, and she hopes to host a series of workshops throughout the Episcopal Church in Vermont.

The Burlington resident is a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in South Burlington. Although she is a relatively new member of the Episcopal Church, Citarella explains that it was through her connection with faith that she discovered a love for watercolor and, most importantly, teaching others how to paint.

It was through her connection with faith that Citarella discovered a love for watercolor and, most importantly, teaching others how to paint.

Citarella said, “A friend of mine—a campus minister at St, Michael’s College—saw my doodles and asked me to paint for the seniors attending the year end retreat. She provided a famous quote, and asked me to paint around it.”

What Citarella had created was something that seemed relatively simple on the surface but provided a means of communicating emotion and finding peace.

“In late 1999 I was invited to a to do a workshop at the Congregational Church in Randolph, Vermont,” she continued. “From there I began receiving requests based on word-of-mouth recommendations.”

Her workshop clientele has even included Our Lady of Providence, an assisted living facility in Winooski, where Citarella works in transportation and as a concierge. Additionally, she offered an “Art as Meditation” workshop at the Rock Point Intentional Community Retreat in April.

Although Citarella has taken some painting classes here and there, she is primarily self-taught, which is an important aspect of her technique. She tends not to be bound by formal rules or typical subject matter.

She said, “I don’t paint landscapes. That would frustrate me. I don’t do calligraphy. That frustrates me, too. I use my own handwriting and sense of color. My journey as an artist has been about finding what I’m good at, and focusing on that, and that’s what I encourage participants to do.”

Citarella asks that parishes interested in booking a workshop contact her by phone at (802) 233-7959 or by email at to discuss availability and rates. She provides all the necessary painting supplies for the 2-3 hour event.

Featured image: Paintings by Judith Citarella.

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