Play – Messes, Laughter & Motherhood

McKenna Woolleyart0 Comments

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“Play”  – Motherhood Series of 7 – Painting Four
Acrylic and Pastel on Rives BFK paper on wood panel
20×20 inches

The Background:  
I had a very distinct vision for this piece which can be a very risky thing. Often having a vision will lead you toward a total mutilation of that vision until you surrender to what the painting really wants. Luckily what the painting wanted and what I wanted worked and in turn created something better than planned.

When I began researching for this project I sent out a survey to various facebook groups and friends asking for anonymous volunteers to answer a series of questions relating to motherhood. Many responses described the playfulness and the messes that are a part of life as a mother. This was the root for this artwork.

I hate to say I have a favorite but this one is just entirely sentimental for me because it incorporates my 2 year old son’s handiwork. I allowed him to take a wet pastel and just go, and go he did. At one point I knew a bit of restraint was needed, I told him, “all done!” and quickly removed the piece to examine his line work. I begin to blend and diffuse some of the lines so they became more incorporated with the surrounding elements. I was enlighten to add in his footprint while I was cuddling him to sleep one night. It was nearly a last addition and the need for it’s placement was obvious. When added it fit so well it became something a viewer would happen upon rather than a distraction or obvious addition.

The Symbolism:
I give you the symbolism so you know what platform I based the entire series on. This give you the keys to unlocking your own meaning in each work.

In this series, all are done on a square panel. Each piece depicts many symbols that are significant across many cultures and religions. In each square I’ve superimposed a circle. For each painting the circle or Enso will mean varying things depending on color, placement and application.

– Pink, symbol or love, caring and tenderness
– Orange, energy, balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrancy
– Yellow, joy, happiness, hope, the sun.
– Lilac, compliment to yellow, symbol of grace and femininity
– The circle is sacred and divine, often a symbol for the woman, earth, eternity, or the womb. A union between heaven and earth.
– The square is often symbolic of Christ or of the man, a symbol for stability, unity, balance, the four elements, four cardinal directions, four phases of humanity. In Islam the square is a symbol for the heart.
– Seven is a symbol of perfection, the days of Creation, the eternities.

Looking at the details:
The circle is made of a small indistinct shapes, similar to shapes of toys or piles of scattered messed. Some of the colors of each shape bleed into one another and layer on top of each other. All four corners of the square are different, the orange spilling into nearly everything, a reminder of what my house looks like often. 😉 There’s a sense of harmony in the piece held only by color pallet most everything is fractioned and splattered. Overall it is light airy and fun.

Experience:
My friend Jessica Tiek described this aspect of motherhood so beautifully, “Motherhood is: Every color. Every angle. Every shape. It is the very definition of a roller coaster of emotions and actions each and every day.

“One second it may be peaceful and sweet and feel like a big warm pale pink fuzzy, plush blanket and the very next it’s like walking through a lion’s den full of fighting monkeys and razor sharp Legos with rainbow fingerprints on the walls and sounds of incessant whining and pouts with perhaps less frequent, yet perfectly priceless, spurts of giggles and squeals.

“It’s a raging variety of jagged zigzags in blinding 3D interspersed with those prescious and priceless moments of looping curves and smooth, melodious waves.

“Motherhood is flocked with moments of regret and inadequacies yet freckled with brilliant tapestries of quiet perspective and elation. We are every type of person with a million job descriptions and demands weighing on our time and a soft pillow on our bed that is calling our name. Being a mom makes us crazy but it is a colorful, dynamic, magnificent masterpiece of a beautiful crazy life!”

McKenna Woolley ART - Motherhood Series - Play

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