My current work focuses on the role of the Mother figure, both actual and fictional. According to Karl Jung, all humans are born with an innate capacity to recognize, seek out, and attach to a mother or mother figure to whom we look to for safety, care, and protection. I myself was blessed to have a wonderfully loving and supportive mother, and after her death, it made me examine what an important role the mother as archetype is in our society.
My first series in this theme, titled “Momisms is a lighthearted representation of the iconic well-meaning mother that doled out her wisdom to her children, whether they wanted to hear it or not. Viewers of this series usually smile and laugh, remembering the things their own mothers said to them on a regular basis. As antiquated as some of these quotes are, they are still repeated generation after generation, handed down like a favorite recipe. I use old hand written recipes found at yard sales, along with papers that have traditional patterns like polka dots and stripes, collaged in the background to suggest a nostalgic feel to the painting. I then either use a Sears and Roebuck model or vintage photo for the figure of the mom. Looking back on this series now, I see it was a vehicle for me to work through my grief of losing my mother unexpectedly.
The series “Mrs. John America” is a more reflective look at the roles of mother and wife circa 1950-1960. In these decades, women found themselves in very defined roles that was expected of them through societal pressure. In these roles of wife and mother, women did not have complete control over the choices they could make about career, politics, or finances. In these collaged vignettes I give a snapshot of different situations women found themselves in and feeling powerless about these situations.
In my current series “Mother Nature” I am imagining this mother figure that is a personification of nature itself. Algonquian legend says that “beneath the clouds lives the Earth-Mother from whom is derived the Water of Life, who at her bosom feeds plants, animals, and human”. Like human mothers, I imagine that Mother Nature watches over her children who embody the forms of flowers, butterflies and birds. These symbols populate this series of paintings of which I have used text from old gardening books for Mother Nature’s face, representing her wisdom on the biology of nature. Because she is from and of her environment, I embellish her with flowers, vines, vegetation, birds and bugs. Like an actual mom, my Mother Nature must be concerned about her children and whether they will survive considering what we are doing to our environment with pesticides, the annihilation of her rain forests, and global warming. She looks at us with hope in her eyes that we will do what is right, and save this beautiful planet for future generations to enjoy.
I currently teach classes in Collage and Mixed Media, Altered Books and my Family Memories Recipe Book. I have also taught classes about Creativity as I am passionate about helping others with their journey to discovering their own creativity.