To celebrate Mother’s Day this week, we asked some of our artists to tell us about their mother and how she supported or influenced their work. But to begin, I would like to say a little something about my
My mom…it’s hard to even find the words to express how I feel. At 4’11” and a complete dynamo, she designed and made our clothes as children, keeps an amazing organic vegetable & flower garden and makes the best stuffed peppers ever! She is my inspiration and always will be. I’m in awe of her courage to leave Greece in 1967 at the young age of 33 (with my dad, sister and myself in tow) to travel to a country…a land of opportunity, where she didn’t even know the language. Her and my father’s dream was a better life for their family. And their dream came true. Thank you mom for all the sacrifices you made along the way and for bringing me here to grow, excel as a business owner and follow my dream of becoming a wife and mother myself. “Se agapo!” (I love you in Greek)
[caption id="attachment_2055" align="aligncenter" width="544" caption="Left: Still in Greece when I was just a baby Right: Fixing my veil on my wedding day in 1993"]
Artist, Karin Sheer writes...
"My first recollection of a painting is of one that my mother did on my bedroom wall when I still just two years old. To spruce up the otherwise plain room, she had painted a scene from a story book of a boy walking along with a fishing pole over his shoulder off of which dangled the fish which he had just caught. Apparently, I was terrified of the fish (which was about an inch in length) and, wailing, refused to sleep in the room until she painted over it! So, I hate to say that my first memory of a painting was an unpleasant one but the good news is that the experience did not negatively impact my future interest in art!! My mother had an old wooded box full of tubes of various colored oil paints and on occasion she would get it out and start a painting. She was self taught and treated it as a hobby. She would labor over each new painting, learning as she went to blend the colors and recreate the image which she copied from one of her magazines ...usually a pastoral or ocean scene. The Connecticut countryside , where we lived, was a great inspiration for her and she gravitated toward the beauty of the ocean and peaceful, pastoral scenes. She completed several pieces which she deemed acceptable and they hung in the living room of our house. My mother always encouraged me to draw as a child and featured my work on the refrigerator. My decision to get a degree in Art Education was met with enthusiastic support but, like my mother, I only painted as a hobby until about ten years ago. By that time, my mother had passed away and, unfortunately, she did not get to witness the progress I've made over that time. But, whenever I do a painting involving an ocean, a barn or a cow, I know that my mother would approve!"
[caption id="attachment_2016" align="aligncenter" width="495" caption="Click image to see more of Karin Sheer's artwork"]
Artist, Lisa Schuster writes...
“Mothers. We all have one. Some of us are blessed with good ones that teach, love and take good care of us. And some of us are twice blessed with mothers that are happy people themselves and who believe in us so much they inspire us to find our best selves. Such is my great fortune with my beautiful mother.
Songs have been written in their honor, countless poems have been penned. And I am humbled to say that my floral paintings have been painted in the hopes of reflecting her joy as she toils in her exquisite gardens. I cannot see a flower, bouquet or garden without seeing it thru her eyes. With love, pride and gratitude, Happy Mothers Day.”
[caption id="attachment_2018" align="aligncenter" width="495" caption="Click image to see more of Lisa Schuster's artwork"]
Artist, Mary Barr Rhodes told us...
This is the conversation I had with Mary & her mother over the phone...
Mary: “My Mother was a great support to me. Not only did she put me through college, but she even modeled for me for my figurative drawing class! Isn’t that great!?’
Mary’s mother, Frances A. Barr: “Whether it was a flower, a truck, or the sky above!”
Mary: "I don't remember painting a truck..."
...and with that I heard only laughter in the background, two very similar & sweet laughs.
[caption id="attachment_2038" align="aligncenter" width="442" caption="Click image to see more of Mary Barr Rhodes' artwork"]
Artist, Rocky Woods writes...
“My mother, Veronica “Vera” Woods, was the kindest, dearest, slow-to-anger person I’ve ever known. She was quite attractive and could have easily been mistaken for Ingrid Bergman.
Most parents put artwork on the fridge. That wasn’t good enough for my mom. She hung my art (for as long as I can remember) on our front window & front door! She had such pride in her son, the artist! What more encouragement did I need? The good Lord took her home when I was only twenty, but she will always remain in my heart, and someday we’ll be reunited."
[caption id="attachment_2019" align="aligncenter" width="495" caption="Click image to see more of Rocky Woods' artwork"]
Artist, Paula Wiggins writes...
“My mother was something of an enigma. She was the daughter of Irish immigrants who settled in a small industrial town in Connecticut. Her grandfather had built the family home which, when I was small, was large and wondrous. As an adult it had become small with rickety back steps. One of my earliest memories is of a family dinner interrupted by a fire in the backseat of a 1955 Pontiac parked in front of the house. It was from a burning cigarette. Everyone smoked back then.
When World War II erupted my mother, who was a nurse, went with a girlfriend to enlist, with the provision that the two be stationed together. Certainly, the recruiters said. The two young women joined the United States Navy and never saw each other again. My mother went on to attain the rank of Lieutenant Commander and stayed in the Navy for 7 years. She was to meet my father at St. Albans Naval Hospital.
After the war, returning veterans were expected to forget what they’d seen and resume civilian life. My parents settled in suburbia to raise 2 children as was expected. My mother was not one to talk about her past. My sister and I often wondered if the trauma of caring for the wounded of Iwo Jima and Okinawa made her reclusive, silent, and painfully shy. Or was she always like that? I never knew what she thought of my art and my decision to become an artist. While she dutifully attended openings she did so without comment. To her, emotion was to be strictly hidden away. Maybe that’s my mother’s real influence: cloaking the interior workings of the soul in paint, in paper, and in bits of the discarded past.”
[caption id="attachment_2044" align="aligncenter" width="336" caption="Click image to see more of Paula Wiggin's artwork"]
Kelly Ryder, ADC's PR & Social Media Specialist writes...
"My mother is the superwoman of all super hero mothers. She believes in me, supports me, and beams with pride for me no matter how large or small my achievements. The epitome of every epic story’s leading lady—she is beyond
beautiful, kind, caring, smart, and strong. She is loved & admired by every person she meets. Her unconditional love, dedication & faith in Christ amazes me daily.
It is my hope to someday become even half
the woman my mother is."
[caption id="attachment_2052" align="aligncenter" width="346" caption="Mom- I love you with my whole heart. You're my mentor, role model, and best friend."]
To all mothers—whether you are expecting your first child, enjoying the beautiful chaos of kids at home, or all your children are grown—a very happy Mother’s Day!