I attend a weekly drawing session at the home of an old friend. We gather to draw a live model for four hours; the pool of models is consistent, so gradually the artists and models get to know each other. The mother in “Mother and Child” is one of our models, and the child is her baby girl.
Each time the mother came to pose for us, we would witness the evolution of her pregnancy — her burgeoning belly, her larger breasts, her visible excitement. My artwork deals with repetition and frequently revisits subjects — with this model I was able to realize my goal of knowing a subject better by re-creating it again and again. “Mother and Child” is the result of following this model through the course of her pregnancy, and having the privilege of portraying its lovely reward.
My work deals with repetition and renewal, and balances realistic imagery with conceptual intent. I often draw on oral folk tradition, particularly songs and ballads, for inspiration, as I believe they provide a metaphor for the obsession all artists feel towards their particular subject matter, and their attempt to know that subject through repetition. While my images are not overtly repetitive, I re-use certain themes, such as early American architecture, the Northeast coastline, and family and friends, in an attempt to understand their essence.
© 2012 Rachel Burgess. All rights reserved.