I also found every card that I ever made for her; I loved making cards for my mother, for everyone. Maybe I worked at Hallmark in a past life. This one will bring me comfort this Mother's Day, my first without the need to make a card for "Mum." That's my sister, Bonnie, on the left, and me on the bottle.
My mother was a tough love kind of mother: pretty tough to please, but very loving when you did.
She appeared many times in my art over the years, even on envelopes.
I worked this same reference into an illustration assignment during college years at RISD, which had something to do with demonstrating a grasp of three point perspective, but perhaps shows quite plainly a family dynamic, with my mother at the top.
The scene above is of the pool at the motel where I grew up. Memories remain vivid of happy days there, but plenty more in the life chapters since then. In this illustration for The Plain Dealer, I tried to capture the benevolent acceptance that aging can bring. For some, anyway. My mum definitely mellowed with age, and my vision of her shaped this piece.
My relationship with my mother changed after my father died. She bounced back from that by checking herself into the hospital for a hip replacement, a sure sign of survival. She lived alone for several years, but stayed active with friends, and visiting our island.
Even though she won't make another visit, her mothering spirit must be in the air. Just days after her death, I was interviewed about the book by Ray Routhier for the Portland Press Herald.
I've lost my proudest fan, and the source of much inspiration, but her voice in my head will carry me through. Thanks, Mum, for all you gave me.