It’s no secret that mothers make the world go round! With Mother’s Day upon us, it’s time to celebrate all of the mothers & mother figures and everything that they do!
We especially wanted to celebrate our artists who are mothers, and we asked them to reflect on their role as an artist and a mom. Their beautiful responses share the ways in which motherhood has shaped and inspired their art, and how their journey as a mother and an artist may not be so different.
“The parallels of motherhood and artist are easy to draw. Both are the complete surrender of oneself. Both roles require stepping outside of ourselves and squarely facing the world. To stand as the bronze sculpture Fearless Girl does, with both hands on hips and modeling a strong woman to our sons and daughters. To act as a gate keeper showing bravery and strength, while balancing protection and promoting independence. To be a mother and an artist requires humility, and to confront our fears of failure as parent/artist. These roles require sacrifice and vulnerability. Both mother and artist can be fulfilling beyond expectation. Now as my children have grown to teenagers, I am beginning to see the rewards. To be able to take a few steps back and look at the fruits of my labor in my children and my art is the ultimate reward. To see a creation that I can be proud of makes the journey even more rewarding.”
“Motherhood has been the most challenging and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life. Now that I have a daughter, everything feels more significant. I want to show her that she can make something out of nothing as long as she puts her mind to it. Every time I paint a piece, it feels that much more important to pour my heart into it so she can see how rewarding it is to work with passion. I’ve always wanted to create pieces that were joyful. Now more than ever, I think it’s important to be a source of joy and compassion.”
“In my otherwise tidy house, my quiet hoarding lives in drawers. There isn’t a drawer in the house that isn’t stuffed full of my children’s art, created over the last 20+ years. I sometimes think to myself, “I literally have no more room for the art!” Then I stop to wonder how I could ever live without it all. Fortunately, growing up hasn’t put a dent in the young creatives I’ve nurtured into this world. My oldest, a 23 year old college student, has a pen and ink drawing on the refrigerator at this very moment. It’s partly my fault……. I hope, selfishly. It’s at least partly my fault that they continually think outside the box; never cease to amaze and astonish me with their ideas; delight me with their fresh young minds and their pencils and brushes and paints and photos and music and little films of road trips and backyards. How boring life would be without art. How lucky I am to be inspired by the very ones I hoped long ago to inspire.”
Laura Van Horne
“Motherhood is all I have ever wanted. Being an artist is all I have ever wanted. Having both of these things in my life feels like such a dream. When I first was pregnant with my son, I was so prolific, painting day and night with worry that once he was born , I would have to hang up my “artist” hat for a very long time. I felt devastated to tuck all my art supplies in the garage, but at the same time absolutely elated to turn my focus on my new little one. But my mind would not let go of painting. As time went on, I slowly snuck supplies back into the house and found ways to paint when he napped or at the end of the day. Eventually I had a mini easel set up next to mine and we would do our own projects next to each other. It is funny, I went through this same pattern with baby #2 and #3. I thought “who on earth can possibly paint with 3 little kids at home?”. However, if your passion is strong enough you will make it happen. I feel like motherhood has made me a better artist. I have been more productive with the time that I have, and these kids have given me so much inspiration in many ways. I have used images of my daughter in a recent series of work, and have used her poetry in my collage pieces. My son constantly collects objects or shares ideas for my mixed media pieces. These kids are just an extension of me and a little bit of them is in every painting I make. I feel so fortunate to get to live such a full life.”
“The ART of MOM: A new blank canvas, ready for layers upon layers of color, texture and movement, figuring it out as I go, working from my heart. Taking risks with love and passion, embarking on a journey of meaning and discoveries in the process. Learning when to take action and when to “let it be”. Making interiors come alive! I want my contributions as a mother and artist to lead to unexplored horizons and endless layers of a satisfying life.”
“I didn’t begin painting until after having my children. I was 41 when I bought my first canvas and set of oil paints. I’d always drawn a lot growing up and wanted to paint, but was fearful I wouldn’t be good enough, or that I wasn’t a “true” artist, and so put it off. It was actually having my kids that unleashed my confidence and creativity. Amazed by these funny, beautiful beings that came from my body, I felt I had to continue creating!”