In the 12th century Hugh of Fouilloy, a French Benedictine prior, illustrated Biblical texts. He felt that seeing a picture of the words would be enlightening because “what the ear could hardly perceive, the eye might take in.” As Mother’s Day approaches, we often give tributes and say eloquent words to mothers. Are the words we say heard and understood in the way we mean them?
Thinking about how pictures can illuminate ideas made us think about making WORD ART. For this Mother’s Day, instead of buying a card, how about making some word art instead? What meaningful words describe your mother? How could you illustrate them to describe one of your mother’s characteristics or show how you feel about her? For a twist, maybe you as a mother want to describe something about your child that makes you love being a mother!
When your appreciation for all that mothers do and are combined with your special words and pictures, you’ll have made a very special gift. Try collaging the words and images together around a picture of your mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, daughter, or son.
For inspiration, check out the ways that some artists have illustrated the many facets of motherhood.
Mary Cassatt, Mother’s Kiss, 1890-91, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
It’s heavenly when mothers experience the sweetness that Mary Cassatt captures in this artwork.
But there are times when as mothers we are the center of calm on whom our children need to rely, even when we feel trepidation ourselves.
Left: Norman Rockwell, Rosie the Riverter, 1943, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Right: Frank Holl, Peeling Potatoes, ca. 1880, Yale Center for British Art
Women could work in a factory all day, come home to peel potatoes for dinner and have supper on the table by six-o’clock.
Mary Cassatt, The Picture Book, (No. 1), ca. 1901, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Nothing can compare the joy mothers feel when their children are laughing and happy or snuggled in their laps reading picture books together.
Motherhood is a many faceted role. Your own special words and pictures might be a great way to share your appreciation for the mothers in your life.
We hope you’ll share your ideas with us. We’d love to hear from you! Happy celebrations of motherhood to you all!
Susan and Mary