Alicia Stewart

Magnolia, September 2020
White Charcoal on Black 100% Cotton Paper
8 x 10 in
Not Available
Social distancing has been really good for my art, and it's provided me the opportunity to do some soul searching as to what I would like to do with it. So I opened my art business and began taking clients and creating work that is meaningful for me. This piece is part of my first ever collection, Motherhood, a series of five works on black watercolor paper which contemplate motherhood and what it means to be a mom.

The story behind this piece is quite special to me because not only does it signify a huge personal leap I've taken in dedicating myself to art during quarantine, but it reminds me of the early days of parenthood. When my daughter came along, especially in the early weeks of colicky crying, I NEEDED my daily walks to get out, soothe my daughter's little baby self to sleep, and have a few moments of peace and connectedness with her that wasn’t filled with stress.

In my neighborhood there are multiple magnolia trees of all types, but the ones that were in bloom during this trying time were the Southern Magnolias. I looked forward to seeing them for the short span they were in bloom, and they remind me of those peaceful moments with a baby so beautiful it made my heart hurt even during all the craziness of colic.

They’re blooming again, and I look at them now with a smile, even as they bring back memories of those trying times. The hard times make the good times even more beautiful, and motherhood has plenty of both.