The Gift of Love

This painting is about the special connection that develops between a mother and her infant child through nursing. This painting was inspired by "Exhibiting You."

When I started to think about the value of women, I immediately knew I wanted to paint a mother nursing her infant while exposing the natural beauty of her body. I was inspired to paint ‘Mother and Child' because women all around the world share the ability to bring and nurse children into the world.

When I nursed my own babies, I fell in love with them. It made me realize how fragile and yet how strong and wise these small humans are. It made me into a mother and they into my children - it made us a family. This is truly a unique gift that only women can give to their children and children can give back to their mothers.

In the painting, you can see that connection as the mother looks at the child and the child in turn looks into the mother's eyes and touches her tenderly. There is a hormonal release of endorphins - known as the feel good "love" hormone - that occurs in both mother and baby during nursing. In the baby's brain, it is making that connection that "my mother makes me feel good" and it is anchored in there for life. For the mother, nursing forces her to take a break from her duties, where she can concentrate on this baby: its soft skin, its smell, the baby's sounds and all of these are now anchored in the mother.

This painting is of my sister-in-law, mainly from two reference photos. It has taken me two months to complete, because I'm not able to paint every day.

There aren't many other relationships that begin with this sense of peace and love. Yes, it is truly a different bond. At the same time, it is shared by women in so many different parts of the world.



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