Getting back into printmaking has become a calming therapy for me. I love how the tools take on a life of their own and give my vision a whole new life. The way the ink interacts with the linoleum and layers onto the paper to create texture and depth to the image further pushes my love of the media.
This specific print was inspired by one of my sons favorite books, Llama llama red pajama. He loves asking us to read it as he just repeats "LLAMA MAMA? LLAMA MAMA?!" over and over. It is the sweetest! In this book, the mother llama puts her baby to sleep and when she leaves the room, the baby llama begins to panic and worry that his mama will not return. He goes through the stages of weeping and whimpering to screaming at the top of his lungs! All while llama mama is downstairs doing the dishes, picking up the phone and working on keeping a home. All of the same routines I go through overnight after my son Declan goes to bed.
As soon as she hears his painful cries she sprints upstairs to calm her child. Explaining and telling him "Baby Llama don't you know that Mama Llama loves you so? Mama Llama's always near, even if she's not right here." This is what being a mother is all about. We are the reassuring and comforting nurturer that helps our children grow more independent. No matter what obstacles have come my way during a day, as a mother, I have learned how important it is to push it all aside to call on my inner calm and patient Llama Mama and in comforting and teaching my baby boy how to be strong, he has shown me so much strength as well.
This print is a homage to the strength within all mothers. The strength to remain calm and patient and be an inspiration to one another. There is a balance in such strength and I am constantly reminded of this each day. In order to be the best self for my son, I must balance and take care of myself personally, professionally and physically. These three elements are what help me remain calm. On the days when I am not my best self, I know it is because one of these elements is out of order. Lately, in these days of winter, I have been unable to spend as much time as I would like exercising. Today was a beautiful day in New England- almost 60 degrees... in January! I enjoyed spending the day outside walking with my family with my camera by my side and capturing these fleeting moments.
So, to all of the strong mothers out there who have to call on their inner Llama Mama. I hope that you are making sure to keep your balance and remember, in order to be your best self for those that you love, you need to make sure you are doing your best to take care and love yourself as well.