Love Letters To My Mother
My current work addresses the lasting weight, and work, of mothering. After my first son was born, my work as a new mother felt invisible — I felt invisible — and I needed to be seen in a way that felt real and true to my experience. For many mothers, a gap exists between the palatable, socially acceptable view of mothering and what we mothers actually experience in the flesh, and the mind. I paint to narrow that gap.
In the process of documenting myself in the present, I found a second and separate meaning in the work. What I thought was about me as a mother, has just as much to do with me as a child. While working on the closely cropped compositions of skin-against-skin, it dawned on me, suddenly, that I was revisiting an intimacy and connection that I was severed from in my youth. I lost my own parents at age 14, and my paintings of holding, and being held, became a way to excavate the grief and loss of connection that happened 30 years ago.
Most of my work is oil on linen or on wood panel. I use oil paint for its historical connotations of heft, permanence, and value. My paint application is slow, deliberate, and layered. Purposeful. Time is the unseen element in my work, much as it is in the seasons of grief, or in the joy and continuity of raising a child. The most recent pieces in this collection are in round, tondo format, because after bridging the time gap between myself as mother/child I felt the need to convey a narrative of a wholly enclosed world with no sharp edges.