m(other) love

Back in September I shared the beginning stages of a book I was making called m(other) love. Since that post, I filled up most of the pages with mixed media, including encaustic, on some of the pages and have mailed it to Denmark to Hanne Matthiesen to peruse and add her thoughts on the subject that I chose. Hanne will be bringing it with her to Lithuania and it will be part of a traveling book exhibit throughout Europe, which I am just thrilled about! I will post details later.


Being a mother of two little ones, life has been crazy busy and add on top of that, germs of all shapes and sizes have descended on our household. So, I have neglected my blog a bit, but wanted to share some of the pages that I made in this book. Since Hanne and I both agreed that for our books we would work on top of each other’s pages to continue the dialogue, some of what I’m sharing here may no longer be! But that’s ok, as I trust Hanne and artmaking is about process, it’s about the journey, really. If we get too stuck on the end product…well, we are then just stuck. If you can’t be free in creative expression, then what’s the point? This is something I have been thinking about a lot and discussing with some of artist friends lately and hopefully I can get some time to write more about here.


This page above was inspired by a quote I found when I was doing some research online on “motherhood”. Found some really interesting discussions actually in regards to how women artists have entered this dialogue. But here is the quote that inspired the page above:

At work, you think of the children you’ve left at home. At home, you think of the work you’ve left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself, your heart is rent. ~Gold Meir


Ever since high school I have been so drawn to the images of motherhood and of the Madonna that I even did ceramic scupltures of her back then. Something that I always come back to, I guess.


Addressing that feeling of being torn between the “Mother” and “Me”. It’s crazy how even writing that makes me cringe a bit. Anyone that knows me in person knows that my children are the center of my life and I am so grateful and so lucky that I am able to be with them at this early stage in their life. But even so, people who read this blog or see this book and don’t know me and don’t know that, may judge me as a “bad” mother for even addressing issues of self-preservation. I think all mothers feel that way at some point- that people are judging their motherhood. It’s a terrible feeling, I don’t know why we do it…But it’s important for us to be honest. It lessens the feelings of isolation, I think.


This book is very sculptural and fluid, actually. One of the reasons why I ended up using encaustic on some of the pages was to add support to the structure. I really liked how it worked out.



I also added a lot of hand stitching and adding pieces of old lace handkerchiefs- addressing the domesticity that comes along with motherhood. I was talking to a Chicago artist at a recent exhibit that we were both in and we were talking about how I manage to be able to keep doing work with young children. She told me that when her kids were little she did a lot of embroidery and handstitching. I’ve heard that from a lot of other women too, whose children are older now, that that was a way for them to stay creative. Handiwork that could be easily put down and started up again because as you know, you have to learn to work in fragmented time while tending to children and household needs. And lest you think embroidery and crochet is boring and tame, you need to check out some amazing and in-your-face-pieces that I have found online!



So this was the last stage that my book was when it left Chicago for Denmark. We shall see the transfomation and additions when Hanne is done! I have since worked in Hanne’s book which is a different, but related theme. I will share my pages soon. Hopefully! First I need to get better from this annoying bronchitis!


  1. Your thoughts on motherhood, art and creating were honest and beautiful and your book collaborations are so intriguing. They look so tactile, I wish I could see them in person.

  2. Hey Bridgette, how lovely and grand your mother book project is! Thank you for finding time to share this here. Best of luck on all you are doing, I look forward to seeing more.
    Take care.

  3. what trace said is so true. i sat on the floor 29 years ago with a baby boy, he watching me, the world, the dog…and there i began my miniature tapestry weaving which lasted about 25 years. that part of my life feels done. your post reminded me of this, this floor sitting, this weaving, the small workbasket easily whisked out of reach.

  4. Soewn Earth- so true. I have to say that I really think that my kids take pride in their own creations right now because they also see me creating constantly. That makes me happy.

    Thank you Shayla, Carole, Jen and Windrock. Turns out I have bronchitis. ugh.

    Loved hearing that Velma! Thank you for sharing.

    Thanks Julie.

  5. this is beyond beautiful~ so full of depth and magic… i would love to hold it and feel the textures that i see…. i am embarking on the road to single motherhood~ so this is especially powerful…
    thank you for sharing!

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