“Motherhood has taught me more about letting go, being in the moment, unconditional love, grace, wisdom, joy, patience, and sacrifice than yoga, Buddhist meditation, Sufi dancing, Christian prayer, and psychotherapy combined.” - Elizabeth Lesser

Turning One

Release, Mixed Media by Lisa Kagan

This February, the Art of Motherhood Community Gallery is celebrating its first birthday! Hungry for stories and art born out of the experience of early motherhood, I created this online gallery to showcase original visual art and writing created by mother artists and writers exploring the universal, yet simultaneously highly personal and private experience of motherhood seen from the inside out, inspired by mothers’ own experiences. Throughout the last year, each month we have featured new work inspired by themes and questions central to the early years of motherhood. This collection is rich with compassion, wisdom and inspiration. I have been honored to collaborate with such a dynamic group of women and I invite you to explore highlights from our first year together by clicking on the links and images below. I am looking forward to adding more voices and stories to our community in the year to come!

Our Growing Community

As our community grows, I am excited to expand our network of mother artists and writers throughout the country. In that spirit, I am happy to announce that my painting “Release” (shown above) will be included in the upcoming annual issue of the Mom Egg Review (MER) coming out this spring. MER is a literary journal about motherhood. MER promotes and celebrates the creative force of mother writers and artists through publications, performances, and workshops.

From the feature "Wonder," Paper-cuts by Anna Garwood

First Words
By Dawn Thompson

You roll through the world,
a tumbleweed of windy arms, hilly legs.
You are all mouth
until you arrive at the magazines.
Then you are only hands
As you drag them, one by one,
each as heavy as a suitcase,
out of the basket.
You rip, tear, crumble
until the carpet is a lawn of disembodied language
you put in your mouth
words already forming on your tongue.
Da Da you croon.
Ki Ki you chant to the cat.
Ah, you sigh deeply,
your first two teeth,
the ones on the bottom
flashing like new letters.

Check out Dawn’s feature “The Miracle of You” for more original poetry and art…

Origin, Mixed Media by Kristen Larsen featured in "Full Circle"
Collapse, Mixed Media by Kristen Larsen
Loneliness, Mixed Media by Kristen Larsen
Hope, Mixed Media by Kristen Larsen

brochureimage2_low_webThe “Mothercare” Movement by Dayna Kurtz

As a new mother, every day presents innumerable moments to grow into the parent one hopes to be. With each of these moments also comes the challenge of finding a balance between the needs of the child and the needs of his mother. Though the birth of a baby happens in a matter of hours, the birth of a mother is an on-going, evolutionary process. As a baby explores the new world around her, a mother is similarly exploring and growing into her new role. How does one reconcile the woman she once was with the mother she is becoming? How can she be not only “good enough,” but also thrive…

Read Dana’s complete feature…

The Most Mysterious Place, Painting by Sally Foster Rudolph from the feature "Lotus Flower"
Drawing by Veronica Flinn featured in "Crossing Boundaries"

About the Gallery Curator

Lisa Kagan is an artist, writer, educator and personal historian. She believes in the transformative nature of the creative process to heal, empower, challenge, inform, and awaken the human spirit. Her business, Family Heirloom Arts, is dedicated to helping people celebrate their life stories through the creation of illustrated heirloom books. She is also the founder of the Art of Motherhood program, offering creative writing and art programs for mothers of young children. Lisa has published a book of her original poetry and art entitled EmergenceSelected material from the work shown here will also be featured in Lisa’s upcoming illustrated book, the Art of Motherhood Anthology, which is currently underway. This anthology is a collection of art and writing by mother artists and writers from around the country exploring themes central to the early years of motherhood. Lisa lives with her husband and their four-year-old son in Portland, Oregon.