I wish to instigate a dialogue about the role and meaning of the present day mom and add a sense of dignity and beauty to all phases of maternity.
My goal is to complete a collection of 17 paintings in the tradition of Odalisque portraiture, depicting present-day mothers without props or distractions, just their personalities stripped of external expectations. I am interested in conveying their authenticity. A sort of vanguard odalisque, where the mother is also a muse, proud of herself and her body.
My models are all mothers – they have their unique stories, they come from different nationalities, their professions range from Editor in Chief & CEO, artist, full-time mom, head of marketing and more.
These are women who wear many hats, who want to own their lives and their bodies, who are not afraid to build their own success. Their pride, vulnerability, determination, and ambition, are all qualities worth portraying and immortalizing.
How I started this...
Becoming a mom, juggling work and family hasn't been easy; initially my work took a backseat. My inspiration to pick up the brush again came from my friends — mothers — who like me, have kids, work, house chores, family obligations, and yet find time to socialize, organize, and even build a business. I thought… "These are amazing moms, someone needs to paint them!"
So they became my new-found muses. I paint them as I see them: beautiful and attractive in motherhood.
When I started developing the collection, I wondered how the mothers would react to me asking: “Would you pose for my collection?” None of them had done this before. Not only did they unanimously accept, they were thrilled by the concept. The very intimacy of the project made them feel great about themselves. They even helped to spread the word, which drew more mothers to participate.
My intent is to launch the exhibition in Madrid on March 8th, 2016 - coinciding with International Woman’s Day. There will be a press gathering, many influential artist, key people from the Madrid art world, as well as most of the muses themselves.
I also plan to produce both a multimedia e-book with work-in-progress videos and testimonials from some of the muses, as well as a hard cover book featuring all 17 pieces with work-in-progress photos. I wish that this book not only be a beautiful gift but also a book that will spark further discussion.
The Pencil DRAWINGS
As part of the project and exhibition, each muse will have a limited set of pencil drawings on water-color paper that accompany the large size painting. These are beautiful small size pieces that reflect a simple outline of a nude. This allows me to portray each muse in more than just one pose.
To complete the full scale project I now need your help – the Kickstarter community.
Funding will GO TOWARDS:
The material needed to finish the collection (which includes canvases, paint and wood stretchers).
The space for the exhibition and the press campaign for the opening of the show.
The creation of the E-book and print-run of the book.
Upon my success thanks to KICKSTARTER:
Success in this mission will allow me to make a contribution to the ongoing movements that encourages mothers to step up and take the front seat again (to "Lean In", as Sheryl Sandberg writes in her book) and to truly feel good about themselves.
This project really means a lot to me as it is not only about the paintings themselves but about their symbolism: an empowered image of women as mothers. I intend to invest all my time and effort towards completing it.I hope you will join me in my venture and support my mission to bring a new sense of dignity and beauty to all phases of motherhood.
Thanks for your support!
A little more about my inner thoughts...
Why naked and not clothed?
Well why not? Because nudity can be empowering; it is not a symbol of submission in today’s western world. A strong, wise, leading and authentic person is just so, whether portrayed naked or clothed. Too often nakedness has been used to evoke sexuality as it has been depicted and promoted largely by men for men. Many modern women however regard their own nudity as sensual, a part of their everyday life, a source of pride. And if they choose to pose nude for a photo or a painting, it is primarily for themselves that they do so, not necessarily to please any one else.
Why paint a mother without her child?
Why not? They are entitled to their individuality. We assume the stereotype: that men are leaders and women care takers. Are we to be expected to disappear behind a pile of nappies, laundry, and baby food for another century? Today’s Western mother is free to also - on top of being a mother, wife, partner and professional - have a life of her own. She has her own friends, her own hobbies or activities that do not involve her partner or her children. Our society needs to redefine the image of the mother. We are still burdened by an old fashioned stereotype of maternity.
I work from photos, as no mother in their right mind would have the time to pose live for hours on end. When I ask a mother to pose nude I never tell her how to pose. I just let them sit as they wish. And this is where something amazing happens. Every single woman sits differently, her back posture is different, her hand position is different, everything in the way she poses reflects a part of who she is, expressing her personality. There is no pretense, no trying to act out, they are simple themselves, and that’s great.
Risks and challenges
So far, time has been my biggest constraint, funds my second. The reality of having two young kids, even if they do go to school, is that during the year there will inevitably be moments where one or both will be sick and hence be homebound for a day or a week. These small incidents can wipe out whole days of work for me; but they are part of every mothers life.
Hence, my challenge will to be manage my time so I can keep painting and set aside enough time to create the book prior to my deadline. Ufff, I will have no holidays this year!
- (30 days)