It was that moment that I decided to start The Madonna and Child Project I hadn't fully formulated my concept at that point, but I wanted to express the joy and awe I felt as a new mother, and I could think of no better form than the classical Madonna and Child theme. As an artist and a mother I've had to struggle to balance both worlds. There were times when I actually continued to breastfeed my child as I completed my projects- a true case of art imitating life! Sometimes I felt frustrated and harried as every mother does when trying to balance work and life, and sometimes I've felt guilty for wanting to do art when my children need me more. Most of the time I find my work and my children are symbiotic to each other- they relate so closely to each other that I have trouble separating the two. My experiences as a mother inform my artwork, and I think my artwork contributes to my experiences as a mother in turn.
Not every moment was magical of course. I had days in which my breasts were aching and engorged and every item of clothing I owned was stained with breastmilk. My sheets were soaked at night, and I struggled with feelings of irritation or disgust at my own wonderfully productive body. Then there were other moments in which I would feel the most overwhelming love while nursing. I remember specifically nursing my daughter in bed while she was only a few days old... thinking... no FEELING with my whole body "I love you!" People explain that rush as a release of oxytocin and other hormones, but I prefer to believe that it's something more than that. It felt almost like I was experiencing something transcedent, something of the divine- God if you will. I think there is just a touch of the divine involved in the best parts of motherhood. For some that involves bathing a child, looking into their eyes and hearing their laughter. For me that also involved nursing, and that is what I have attempted to express through my art.