Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mother and child

This week the subject has arisen twice, each time by dear friends.

One asked if I could come down on my price for one of my favorite prints, here at Etsy and here at the top left. She is one person I know would treasure the piece. Truth of the matter is I'm not sure I could sell this piece if someone offered me 100 times my asking price. I want to cry just talking about it.

So here I am writing about it. Ha.

I created this drawing/print at a very difficult time in my life, during my first miscarriage. The thing that wrenches my heart still is that I made it weeks before I even realized I was pregnant. I think somehow I must have known, though. As I was making it I knew I was deconstructing an image that is iconic to me, Picasso's Mother and Child, a pre-Cubist portrait. The sketch for the painting is below and left and Picasso's painting is to the right. The delicate way he formed the mother's hands captured the idea of a mother holding and guarding her most precious treasure. The piece I created is not a literal baby in a mother's arms. It is the same arms, disembodied, holding an egg. The egg is actually a print made from my handprint first in an etching and then blown up on a simple Xerox. As I was creating the final piece I realized how much this egg symbolized - a child, a thought, an artistic vision.

When I discovered I was pregnant I realized it was a self portrait.

When I miscarried I couldn't look at it. In fact it is still stored away and I've never displayed it.

So, that discussion about this piece was a few days ago.

Then today I find out a dear friend is freshly pregnant! I am eternally happy for her. I do remember that elation. No, I'm no longer sad and dysfunctional when I find out other people are having babies. And I'm only a tad jealous.

But I just want to tell her how it have that precious little life ripped away from you. I know that's so wrong. But sometimes I don't think we tell the people we love enough to treasure the really special things in life. Some things should have warning labels.

So yes, warm happy thoughts to all of life's momentous occasions. But, please don't forget how precious they are.

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