Paintings of Mothers

 "I love you. You're the best mommy (and artist) ever in the universe. Xoxo xoxo Love, Nell.

P.S. Hug me next time you see me."

--recent love note from my 10-year old daughter

"Mère et son bébé," painting by Eugène Carrière

Happy Belated Mother's Day!  To celebrate, I am sharing some of my favorite mother-and-child paintings from my pinterest board, Mother and Child.  I didn't include the famous ones (notably, Mary Cassatt) because I wanted to highlight some less-familiar paintings.

"Rest," painting by Anna Nordgren

Honestly, I didn't really have a great mother's day myself.  I spent most of the weekend working on cleaning out my mother-in-law's house (she passed away 3 months ago) and it was emotionally difficult.  I tried to empty out the clothes in her closet, but I spent a lot of the time just sitting in the closet and crying.

"The Laundress," painting by Honoré Daumier

"The Laundress," painting by Honoré Daumier

Being a mom is hard.  I'm really struggling right now, trying to keep all my "balls in the air," and often forgetting important things, and getting overwhelmed.  I recently had a conversation with a local artist about being a parent, and I found myself wondering why I had chosen to become a mother in the first place.  It's just so hard.  I'm not sure I put all that much thought into it at the time; I was young and eager to participate in life, and I guess that's why...

"Street Crossing," painting by Zoey Frank

Maybe it's not all that important why I became a mom.  The fact is, I get a lot of pleasure from the experience.  It's basically chaos-saturated-in-love.  Plus, my family gives me a lot of ideas for themes for paintings.  (Like my storytime sketches.)  And also, I get a lot of cuddles...

"Madonna of the Cotton Fields," painting by Dame Laura Knight

I'm grateful that I have had such loving mothers in my life.  My mother-in-law fiercely encouraged my dream to be an artist and she modeled a low-stress, hands-off parenting approach.  And my own mother continues to support me every day.  She is truly the Queen of Unconditional Love.  So, I feel very lucky.

"La Mère," a painting by Loïs Mailou Jones

Plus, my kids really love me.  I mean, it's hard to believe how much they love me!  It's so wonderful.  I'm often humbled when I find little love notes like this one:

Thank you to the mothers and grandmothers in my life.  My debt of gratitude has no end!

For further reading/ art-viewing:

Mother and Child, my Pinterest Board filled with my favorite paintings on this theme

Finding Balance, my attempts to reconcile art and motherhood from a blog post last year

Thoughts on Perfection and Motherhood, one of my first blog posts

Baby Sketches