Motherhood

The meaning within my work usually resonates with something personal in my life. I create drawings using mixed media. For this series of artworks, I have chosen to speak about the hardships and joys of being a mother. I collected images from strangers who wanted to be part of this project and wanted to tell their stories about their own motherhood. I wanted to explore the idea of social media and what this means in today’s society. Most of the images that we see from people’s lives are heavily curated. We see the highlights and the milestones, but rarely do we see the struggles. I asked mothers in the area to present images that reflect the true nature of motherhood, and while the submissions I received are still of course curated, I believe that the stories that come with them reflect motherhood for what it really is, both beautiful and full of difficulty.  It is especially important to me that my artwork evokes different emotions, and every single one of these artworks has a story behind it. Using different mediums such as acrylics, markers, pastels, colored pencils, and even digital drawing, I was able to tell the stories these mothers wanted me to tell. I love working with a bright color palette to express how I feel about motherhood. 

Motherhood #1
Quilled Paper Art on Watercolor Paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm
Motherhood #2
Soft Pastels on Watercolor Paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm
Motherhood #3
Watercolors on Watercolor Paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

Motherhood #4
Soft Pastels on watercolor paper
12”x12”
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“It’s a video but I took a screenshot. It’s the only thing I have of him looking at me and smiling

He was almost 1. I still don’t understand how I didn’t know he had cancer, how I didn’t notice anything. He never showed any signs of cancer. I beat myself everyday. But I also know I did everything I could do & I was an amazing mom to him. I just hope he isn’t missing me..”

-Susie

Motherhood #5
Chalk Pastels on watercolor paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“Before children, I had never had any stretch marks. Even after my first child, I had only gained enough to count on one hand. After trying for almost two years for our second baby, my body is also loaded with stretch marks. I live in a very different body than I did before. But they are not tiger strips, they aren’t battle scars as some have said to try and “comfort me”. I am just a human experiencing a normal change in the body I’m living in. I appreciate that I get to live in the body, stretch marks and all. This body that carry’s me through all the seasons, and gives me children to love.”

-Jess

Motherhood #6
Fine liner artist pen on watercolor paper
12”x12”
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“I suffer from recurrent miscarriages and lost my daughter in the second trimester just before thanksgiving last year. Attached is a photo from the surgery I had to undergo to remove my daughter, Penelope. Or maybe you’d be interested in capturing her urn, which I also attached”

-Courtney

Motherhood #7
Watercolors on watercolor paper 12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“I’m a working mom. My twin girls were sent home from daycare sick and all needing love from mama. I found the African wrapper my mother-in-law had left me months before and used it like she did to hold one on my back as I cradled one in front. Exhausted from the day but glad to hold my babies close.”

-Omojo

Motherhood #8
Watercolors on Watercolor Paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“She’s a rainbow baby. I love her so much and am so grateful for her”

-Kateleen

Motherhood #9

Colored Pencil and copic markers on watercolor paper

12”x12”
30.48 x 30.48 cm

Motherhood #10
Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“Alek was born on 3/24 via emergency c-section. While in labor, I suffered a rare pregnancy complication. My splenic artery ruptured causing massive hemorrhage. Alek was without oxygen for 12 minutes. When he was delivered, he was pale and not breathing on his own. We were both intubated and he was sent to NICU for brain cooling and I was sent to the trauma ICU. He spent 6 days in nicu, defying all odds, and I spent 2 weeks in the hospital. Splenic artery rupture in pregnancy holds a survival rate of 25% for mom, and 5% for baby. He is my miracle. ♥️”

-Nicolette

Motherhood#11
Acrylic on watercolor paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“One of the hardest things was ending my maternity leave, going back to work after 4 months, and leaving my Emmi at home. Feeling my breasts full of milk after only 4 hours, leaking and trying to find a place to pump it all out. Then, I would refrigerate it and take it back to my son so that he was exclusively breastfed”

-Nathalie

Motherhood #12
Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“I’m a single mom. My husband passed before our son was born. It’s always been just me and my son… I would try to take him on a “family” weekend trip whenever I could. This is at Monticello 4 years ago on one of our “adventures”.”

-Hana

Motherhood #13
Colored pencils on watercolor paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“This was the moment I met my son who was born 6.5 weeks early via emergency C-section. I was terrified”

-Jeanette

Motherhood#14
Soft Pastels on Watercolor Paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“She had been in labor for 7 days. Things were finally picking up and it was really hard for her. She was having slow progression with her labor and we were doing a circuit to try and help pick things up.”

-Chaya (Birth Doula)

Motherhood #15
Watercolor
Watercolor Paper
12″x12″

30.48 x 30.48 cm

“My daughter and me”

-Pia

Motherhood #16
Pen on Watercolor Paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“This was probably about a month and a half-two months into our NICU stay. The nurse let me hold her in the isolet while she straightened up her blankets and leads.”

-Jessica

Motherhood #17
Oil Pastels on Watercolor Paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

Owen and Kate

Motherhood #18
Copic markers and colored pencils on watercolor paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“This is the night I found out I was going to be a single mom. At this moment my life changed forever. I was dying inside. My husbands infidelity was traumatic and him leaving us made me question everything. But her arms around me in this moment I knew I would survive . She is the reason I’m alive today. I want to be strong for my daughter. I want her to be proud of me. God knew my heart needed her.”

-Lama

Motherhood #19
Copic markers, colored pencils, and acrylics on watercolor paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“After a long journey of trying to conceive, we had our daughter via gestational carrier on October 31, 2020. She was born 8 weeks early and was in the NICU for 40 days. As you know, mamas often don’t get very many pictures of themselves with their kiddos and that holds true for me. As I was looking for photos to send you, I wanted to share the moments that uniquely belong to my daughter and me. Daily walks, baths cuddling in the NICU, selfies when no one else was there to capture the moment. Images that show I want to make sure she experiences everything.”

-Anjali

Motherhood #20
Mixed media on watercolor paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“This isn’t the most flattering but it’s one of my favorite pictures. My partner snapped this picture of me nursing my 3 week old, while pumping & playing with toddler”

-Kelly

Motherhood #21
Ink wash and Copic Markers on watercolor paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“My first baby born back in December. Happy tears when he finally entered the world.”

-Shaelyn

Motherhood #22
Colored pencils on watercolor paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“My son will never be “just” my stepson.
I hear all the time that it’s not the same and that I’ll see when I have my “own” kids but the truth is that I don’t ever want to “see”.
Seeing would mean that he isn’t enough, that he doesn’t deserve to be loved or be a real part of my family because of genetics!
This little boy is the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me. Seeing him as less than mine would only hurt him. What mother would want to hurt their child ?”

-Storey

Motherhood #23
Chalk pastels on watercolor paper
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm

“It’s very special to me bc it’s that rare photo that captures all those crazy emotions of the first moments. Love. Fear. Pain exhaustion.”

-Alex

Motherhood #25
Digital Drawing
12″x12″
30.48 x 30.48 cm


““You’re mine!!” This photo was just a moment after giving birth on my bedroom floor after a precipitous two-hour labor. You can see how quickly he came by the fact that my underwear were not even off yet. My planned homebirth met all of my wildest dreams when he was born into my hands in a quiet, familiar room. Our rainbow baby after a 2020 miscarriage. I held him in my arms here and looked at my husband saying, “he’s here!! He’s ours!! We get to keep him!!” I then looked down at him in disbelief and yelled, “you’re mine!” This is my proudest moment in my life!”

1 thought on “Motherhood”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s