A week ago I posted an open brief to produce artwork inspired by women for Mothering Sunday (celebrated in the UK this weekend). Here are the wonderful results: thanks so much to everyone who took part. If you fancy getting involved there will be another open brief posted soon. In the meantime… enjoy, and make sure you spoil your mum this Sunday.
The Virgin of Guadalupe by Lally MacBeth.
My work almost always uses self-portraiture, exploring the many facets of women and their experience through characters and clothing. This series of photographs was inspired by The Virgin of Guadalupe and her role in Mexican culture as a mother, saint and icon. I have long been fascinated by the representation of saints in paintings and sculpture, in particular their ‘caring eyes’ and the strength they seem to exude. In these images I wanted to expand on this interest by looking at the archetypical mother figure, exploring what it is that draws people to The Virgin of Guadalupe and why it is that she has been such an enduring icon. I drew inspiration from the religious cards available in cathedrals and the poses of devotional sculptures.
Breaking Through by Jenny Kadis.
When I read that Mothering Sunday was once associated with breaking fast by eating pie I immediately thought of a line from the nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence” – “when the pie was broken, the birds began to sing” – which seemed to be a great metaphor for womens’ global endeavor to break through the glass ceiling. I often illustrate birds and so they seemed the perfect way in which to represent women breaking free from constraints and striving upwards towards achievement.
Mothers who work for their families, by Cressida Knapp.
When I was growing up I had a stay at home dad, and a mum who went to work. She would leave the house at 7am and be home twelve hours later. So whenever Mother’s Day came around we would try and spoil her, turning the house into a ‘love shack’, full of freshly picked flowers and sweet treats. Millions of women across the globe are the breadwinners for their families, and these women are my inspiration. I use watercolour to make my images, and nearly always use the first drawings as they have a loose, idiosyncratic look. I then scan the images into my cranky old Mac, and play around with them like a collage. I work fairly quickly, usually at night and always accompanied by some fantasy, sci-fi, or thriller audio book playing in the background, and my dog Sparky sleeping at my feet.
Elephant Tea Party by Carly Watts.
Elephants are known to be compassionate and familial creatures; they are also one of my favourite animals! When I first read the brief, I knew I wanted to create a scene involving a little elephant family and I chose to feature a mother and daughter enjoying a small tea party together out in the wilds. I love these gentle creatures and am always astounded by the bond they share within their family groups, I think they’re the perfect animal to represent Mother’s Day.
Yellow Cathedral by Kat Hassan.
During the sixteenth century, people returned to their mother church, the main church or cathedral of the area, for a service to be held on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Later it became a day that children and servants could return to their mother church to see family and would pick wild flowers along the way. My piece is a collage of images I’ve developed from drawings of Bath cathedral and flowers. I was interested in seeing how the strong graphic lines combine with the pretty shapes.
Woman in flowers by Karina Jarv
For me every woman is a flower…
No matter what clothes you wear (studded leather jackets or chiffon dress), or style of music you listen, or book you read before sleep, you are a flower! This spring me and my mother found very nice Crocuses in the flower shop, they inspired me to create this artwork. Of course I couldn’t forget Mimosa flowers – the best known flowers in the beginning of the spring in Russia.
Sedna by Kirsty Greenwood.
Sedna is an illustration inspired by the Inuit creation myth of Sedna, Mother of the Sea – responsible for the life sustaining bounty of the Arctic Ocean. The story is a disturbing one in which Sedna, after falling overboard, has her fingers beaten and chopped off (which turn into whales, walruses and seals) by her father as she tries to climb back on board while they are both fleeing from the evil raven she was married off to by her father for a dowry of fish, as he pursues them after she escaped his confinement with the help of her father, who is now terrified and willing to sacrifice his only daughter for his own safety. This story fascinates me, and I feel encompasses the nurturing gift and sacrifice of mothers worldwide.
Ms.Hepburn by Nadine ZR.
In my attempt to express the limitless beauty of Ms. Hepburn, I drew her form (and that of her pet fawn, Pip) with a line that is both simple and soft – each an inherent quality of this lady. Her pose is one of my favourites, inspired from a fishing scene in the film Funny Face, whereby I place Ms Hepburn under a hail of pirouetting tulip tree blossoms (one of which conveniently adorns her hat). A tulip tree and a tulip are actually two different species of plant, but each illustrates both Ms Hepburn’s wonderfully delicate recital of a poem in another film, Two for the Road (featuring a tulip tree), as well as her preferred flower, the Dutch tulip. Audrey Hepburn is, in my eyes, what too many people are not, and because of this she herself is a blossom who should remain eternally respected.
Mother of all Birds by Wietske Claessen
We all come from a Mother, who feeds us, takes care of us,loves us with her mother-instinct which she got from Mother earth, she takes care and nurtures us to let us become who we are, to let us grow , to make the circle go round and so we can also become a Mother in all kinds of ways for everybody around us.
Joan Baez by Vaso Michailidou
This is an illustration of Joan Baez, folk musician, social activist, pacifist and all around legend. Produced with pencil, felt-tip pens and painted on Photoshop. She is an inspiration. Someone who used their art in a powerful way, to say important things and motivate people to protest for change. A brave, beautiful lady. I loved working on this and now I think I will be doing a ‘female legend’ related piece for every March to come. There’s millions! But my mom’s next.
Being a Mother by Gilly Rochester.
Qing is on the right, my incredible daughter-in-law since December. She is with her mum and grandmother in her rural hometown Borzhou – a centre for plant-growing for Chinese medicine and her family’s business, hence the flowers. I based the illustration on 2 photos Qing sent, taken at Chinese New Year 2014, having no idea then (or when we visited China last April) that by August my son & Qing would be living in London (nor they). I accepted that they would be in China for the foreseeable future but was feeling decidedly quakey and bereft. I haven’t met Qing’s mum and granny, I hope I do one day, but they are very much in my thoughts especially now, as although Qing is now back in China for visa reasons, she will be returning to London in May; and they will be bereft. It’s such a difficult thing to do.
True Affection by Oda Valle.
My name is Oda Valle and I am a Norwegian illustrator. I illustrate for magazines and various clients around the world which I love. Screen printing is my latest passion in life. I spend most of my time drawing, listening to indie rock music, drinking my coffee and I dream of going back to New York City. I always bring my ink pens and my music headphones with me wherever I go. Quirky beauty, eccentric people and nature landscapes inspires me. At the moment I´m drawing owls and guinea fowls. I love the shapes and colors of their feathers. I am greatful to my mother for giving me life. I got my creative skills from her.
Carly Watts, Cressida Knapp, Gilly Rochester, Jenny Kadis, Joan Baez, Karina Jarv, Kat Hassan, Kirsty Greenwood, Lally MacBeth, Mother of all Birds, Mother of the Sea, Mother's Day, Mothering Sunday, Nadine ZR, Oda Valle, Sedna, Squid Stew, The Virgin of Guadalupe, Vaso Michailidou, Wietske Claessen
- Mother’s Day and Women’s History Month Open Brief for Artists
- Mothering Sunday 2012: an illustrated ode to Mothers everywhere
- An interview with The Flower Appreciation Society
- RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2011: Flower Trends
- RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2011: Alice’s Adventures Scarecrows