I have been focused on the Just Beyond collection artwork and building my small business. Illustration has been set aside and, oh! how I miss it. When I woke up this morning I decided to squeeze in an hour of sketching. Those sketches turned into macrame plant holders, caught fish on the dock, a reading list, and a zen cup of tea. Using my favorite three colors, I worked as I always do: little to no sketching prior, laying down fields of color, and then giving form and shape with watercolor pencils. After doing some additional iterations, prints of the best will be put into the shop come September.
(Flow of consciousness entry) Exploring the qualities of the complex relationship between mother and child, in addition to the self (adult female and mother). My initial thoughts are to create representational shapes of the roles. How do they interact? How do they interpret each other? Maybe think magnets - cycle of repelling and drawing closer, repel, draw, repeat. What shape is a child? What shape is a female or a mother?
In response to a quick sketch exercise created, a friend mentioned 3-D glasses. This has stuck with me as I think through how this relationship would be best described or transcribed or created or... . The layering of two colors, the creation of another color where overlapped is quite representational of this relationship. Cyan and yellow, green? Magenta and yellow, orange? Is magenta associated with female too often? Would blue be too strong or infer different meaning? Could I use ink? Watercolor? Screen print? My brain is completely overflowing right now! More to come.
"Bourgeois uses the spider, both predator (a sinister threat) and protector (an industrious repairer), to symbolise the mother figure."
I first learned of Louise Bourgeois in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Gardens in Washington, DC. This was in our pre-kids era and we used to go for jazz and sangria on hot summer nights, dipping our toes in the pond. Wandering through the gardens, my intense fear of spiders kept me from one of the most fascinating interpretations of the "mother". It wasn't until I visited the Bilbao Guggenheim that I really felt a connection with these sculptures (still couldn't touch them though) and the artist Louise Bourgeois.
Quietly exploring her exhibition space along, my husbands rocking our sleeping one year-old, I realized some of my negative feelings and experiences toward "Hollywood" motherhood were being validated in an unexpected and pleasing way. Even now, thinking back, I'm not sure I can put the experience into words; I just remember the experience being quiet and loud, and eerie and comforting, simultaneously. To say the very least, it was unforgettable.
However, all that being said, I have been looking back in my archives and found this screen print from my days at university. Created with canary paper and conté crayon, the piece displays a struggle of two selves contained in one body. It seems internal struggles have always peaked my interest! I am thinking of taking this piece and using it as a baseline for my next fourth trimester series.
As always, would love your thoughts.
This was a quick sketch from an exploration of the positives and negatives experienced during breastfeeding. Thought back to when I worked internationally with an infant attached to me most hours.... Whew, what a trip.
I'm so pleased I was able to breastfeed my children, there were so many times I had wished I was doing something else, or would get upset that they were in between me and my work, or hoped the girls would ween themselves soon, like right then. These down times would bring on the mama guilt (so, so heavy). But looking back and talking with others I realize it was all part of the journey.
So I began to think, "Well, what can I change? Where do I start? What do I know? I know women. I know motherhood. I have felt the struggles. I'll start there." So by combining my fervor for the BIPOC community with that of women's struggles, the Beach Women collection was born.
Beach Women observes insightful women at a shoreline.
The veiled woman in uniform performs natural acts while considering her placement. She sits and learns; she ambles; she nourishes, she contemplates and evaluates; she holds steady against the elements. The protective shelter she has brought is sometimes necessary, sometimes unnecessary, and sometimes forgotten. So deep in thought, she eventually carries her baggage into the water, but she must go back to her place before moving deeper.
These women yearn for their depth to be understood by the forceful waves that create the stalls surrounding their life.
The monochromatic design of these pieces allow for feelings of happiness, hope, and honor to surface. The color progresses to blue as she progresses away from the shoreline. Only original watercolors will be released in this collection.
- "Girl" has been defined as human female child
- "Lady" has been defined as a polite or formal way of referring to a woman or a woman of good social position
- "Woman" has been defined as adult human female
Names are very, very strong. These paintings are most decidedly women of unnoticeable class but noticeable age. I have changed my language and used the correct term to reflect this finding. In correcting this error, I'm now interested to find the definitions of nouns given to adult human females and help others identify the correct terms to use when regarding an adult human female. Below is a list that will be updated throughout time.
If you were to ask me if I am a racist I would give a whole-hearted "NO." I have been reading resources being posted since the death of George Floyd and it would appear that I have been indirectly in the past. There were so many times in my youth that I did not stop others from speaking hateful words. I should have. I feel ashamed. Name calling, jokes, hateful speech, discrimination, profiling – I experienced all of this and did nothing. I got nervous, couldn't find the words. Silence is compliance.
Moving forward I will find the words, even if they come out wrong the first time, the second time, the third time. I will fight those hateful words with you. It's time for me to show that I am antiracist.
We are stronger together. The time is NOW to step up and do something, anything, to end racism. This illustration depicts people coming together to fight for justice, to protect and support one another. There is anger, grief, and sadness. But there is also hope, motivation, and love.