I’ve made some lovely Mother’s Day cards and a couple of mini canvas panels in honour of Mother’s Day (or any day really) that are now available in my Etsy shop HERE
But the journey to my very FIRST Mother’s Day series was the result of a long and challenging journey that I hope you’ll read ahead to. Maybe you’ll learn something more personal about me, and perhaps you’ll recognise some of these moments in your own life.
My Mum and Nonna are 2 of the greatest women I know.
My Nonna passed away in 1999, shortly after my Wedding which she was too ill to attend. She was humorous, cheeky and haunted. She came from Italy in 1958, already a Widow, with 4 of her 5 remaining children, on the promise by her oldest son that when things improved financially, they would all return.
He never, ever honoured that promise. So my Nonna never bothered to learn English, make any of her own friends or drive a car, because she held onto the promise of returning to her family home, fix the damage done by the Germans in World War 2, and go back to her life.
She taught me that even though your are in pain, you can smile, you can love and you can be the most delightful, funny person you can be. Despite your frustrations, you must carry on, love your family, keep them safe and love them unconditionally.
Nonna had a wonderful intuition. She planted by phases of the moon, brought some traditional Italian backyard practices to Australia and always, ALWAYS cooked amazing food without consulting a cookbook. Even though she was illiterate, you would never have known because she was also extremely intelligent.
NOW I AM A MOTHER and in some ways I feel our lives have mirrored.
My handsome boys
I have faced my own demons through Rainer’s Autism diagnosis and challenged working through (not with, THROUGH) a Health Department that has no treatment path for these kids and adults.
A husband that worked long hours and overseas. For 2 years we saw him 2 weeks out of 4, which made me feel like a Widow and honestly some of the darkest days of my life. The promise that some day, someone would find a magic bullet to cure Autism and that life would get better.
with Hubby 2010
Which brings me (in a very roundabout way) to Mother’s Day.
I never really enjoyed Mother’s Day as a Mother until recently.
Mother’s Day 2009
I avoided it. It felt contrived and forced and as a bit of an annoyance. Rainer was out of control. Hubby was pre-occupied with work (or not in the country at all), my oldest son Mackinley tried very hard to get some quality time with me, which was mostly hijacked by Rainer.
But that’s all changed.
Mum now has boundaries (yay). Mackinley and Rainer can play together without drawing blood or it escalating into a Rainer Meltdown Defcon 3. Hubby isn’t traveling or pre-occupied with work that didn’t care if they drew every last drop of humanity from him.
Some of the things I wished for, are becoming a reality.
Detail of canvas panel
So now I’m looking forward to my first REAL, relaxed Mother’s Day. I think that’s reflected in the Mother’s Day Collection. There is more joy in the palette, more peace in the intentions and a general sense of well being. Despite the baggage I had to clear while making this collection, I feel I’ve come through it a better, stronger Artist and Mother … a maturing!
Congratulations for reading this far. It’s quite an epic tale that I’ve only lightly recounted. My Nonna was a brave and strong woman who I believe absolutely loves what I’m doing. My Nonno was quite the Renaissance Man and loved painting and drawing on the walls in their home.
My Nonno : a true Renaissance Man
My Mother deserves a post all to herself.
Spread the love around with the cards. They’re good for any occasion, not just Mother’s Day – that was the intention. You don’t need one day to tell someone how much they mean to you.
Detail of canvas panel