Unity – Fatherhood & Motherhood

McKenna Woolleyart, motherhood0 Comments

Unity‘Unity’  – Motherhood Series of 7 – Painting Five
Acrylic and Pastel on Rives BFK paper on wood panel
20×20 inches

The Background:  
As many other paintings in this series I approached this piece only with a set color in mind. I began with a wash of gold. As I added more layers I had a few moments of panic because I didn’t really have a direction or feel for the next needed step once that layer was added and dried. I believe it was the night before, or a couple nights before, my critique that I finally had a vision of where to take this one. My thoughts turned toward the square. I had not yet given attention to a very important aspect of motherhood, the Father.

I actually took this painting to the critique thinking it was far from finished, that it needed more contrast of value, it needed depth. Though once I began to explain my concept behind what it was, a comment from my friend and artist McKenzie Jones indicated this piece was exactly as it needed to be. My professor also mentioned it’s feeling of completion and that the subtlety was eloquent, which surprised me.

The Symbolism:
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.

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

– Gold has a masculine energy and is linked to the power of the sun. It is also the color of success and achievement. Gold is optimistic and it illuminates all that surrounds it. For me gold is also a symbol for the heavens and of Godliness.
– Yellow a symbol of joy, delight, warmth, and is associated with deity.
– White is symbolic of purity, cleanliness, innocence, equality and unity.
– 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:
In this panel there is a distinct emphasis on the square that surrounds the circle. The colors are a variation of gold, and warm and cool yellows with small hints of chalky white. There is little distinction between the circle and the square, they may be different shapes but the circle and the square are the same color, each appearing as one cohesive color with minimal variations.

This piece for me is very spiritual. It is a depiction of the deep unity a couple must share in marriage and parenthood. The mother and father may have different roles but each should be working towards the same goal. I believe that stability in motherhood and family is found when there is a supportive father along-side. Sometimes that father may not be physically present, wherein the Square, or rather Christ and Father-in-Heaven can provide that stability.
My wonderful friend Kali of Kali Poulson Photography describes how important her supportive husband is in her life of running a business and having 3 beautiful children.

My husband goes above and beyond when it comes to being supportive. He was the one who pushed me to start my business. He was the one who said “why not?” when I thought it was just an impossible dream. Now that we have children, he is right there helping me in a different way; watching the kids when I have shoots, entertaining them on the nights I need to edit, but also emotionally, he has always been so great at reassuring me and lifting my spirits when I feel inadequate as a mother. He reminds me of all the things I’m doing right.

“We are in this together. Parenthood is hard. It’s overwhelming. It is complete chaos when we are not on the same page. When our relationship is in the right place, everything else comes easier and runs smoother. I think sometimes it’s easy to focus all your attention on the kids and forget about the relationship you have with your spouse. We are in no way experts on this, but making time for each other only makes us better as a couple and, in turn, as parents.

“It is okay to ask for help. It is okay if I cannot do everything by myself. As much as I would like to, spreading myself too thin does nothing for my family. I have a babysitter that comes a couple times a week and it gives me the break I need to work and get things done, but my kids also love having someone to play with. I’m so over the mommy-guilt and I’ve embraced the extra help whole-heartedly. It has done nothing but relieve some stress and make me a better mom.”


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