18×24, acrylic on paper


When I first decided I wanted to day a mothers’ dayish painting, my first thought was of all the lofty things I’d write about. About my own mom and grandmother. My sister and her newborn. My sister-in-law’s ever-growing belly. My friends who can’t conceive or couldn’t, then did. Those who lost babies before they were born and those who lost them after. My friends who said goodbye to their moms far too soon. The single women I know who give life to others through their work and sense of equality and justice. The step moms. The way my own experience of motherhood has dramatically changed who am I, what I think, and the commercials I can watch without crying.

But the words I wanted to say somehow lost their eloquence as I was painting. For whatever reason, I tried something I’ve not done in over a year– I pulled out my acrylic paints, and instead of canvas, I used paper. I’m not sure why. After thirty nine days of oil-on-canvas, I suppose I felt like mixing it up. I also went more abstract in my overly ambitious desire to capture the idea of “motherhood” rather than a specific mother or child.

The paint dripped a little as I was working, and as I saw a tear form under her eye, I decided to leave it.