Mother and Child 2, 8×10 oil on canvas $112 click to purchase
I’ve been focused on mother and child art for a while now. I go back and forth between the abstracted faces and the more natural ones.
For Lent I decided to set aside some time each day to reflect on the scripture readings of that day. I’ve failed more days than not. But a couple days ago, in a last ditch effort to keep my observance, I looked up the readings just after crawling into bed for the night. The old testament reading (Isaiah 49), was one I’ve heard many times before but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head:
But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.
Yes, mother and infant– that image with which I’ve become so consumed (obsessed?). But what struck me was that the image of a mother and her infant is in response to a declaration of neglect. Oh, Zion. I’ve been there, and some days I still am. It’s good to be reminded that sometimes unfortunate circumstances, or, let’s just call it what it is– suffering– isn’t a curse but maybe, unfortunate as it is, an opportunity.
This painting struggled. There are at least five different versions of it underneath this one. Today was the day I decided to stop fighting it and so out came the big paintbrush and away went the original image. In seconds, a painting I’d been fighting for weeks vanished and this one, almost effortlessly, emerged. Again, I think it’s what’s underneath that makes it special. Those failures and setbacks creating the soil in which this one could be planted. I’m quite pleased.