Painting the Bond Between Mother and Child

 Painting and family – the keys to life?  Bill Barrell thinks so. 

The Mother and Child
Mother and Child, 36" x 26", 1980

–  … I have two beautiful grandchildren, Ruby and Oliver. 

 One day soon after Ruby had been born, my daughter Liza brought her by the studio for a visit.  They were both exhausted and soon nodded off together. It was as if they were still attached while in their peaceful slumber. Forever tied together, neither letting the other one out of sight or touch even in their sleep. It was a very serene and touching moment that poured itself out later with great ease onto the canvas. 

“Mother and Child” has always been a favorite subject for so many artists. Mary and Jesus were favorites of the Rensaissance artists, but I am sure there are depictions of mother and child long before that.  It is a very touching moment in time to see the mother become ready to defend her newborn to the death and the father who now has to provide for the pair of them. It is a tremendous bonding time and the first step of building a family, a unit that comes together to be one of the many units of which the world is comprised.  

I have always enjoyed family life. I do not hesitate to take a page out of Picasso and Braque’s book to express my telling about the people and things around me. Much of my work has been about my family and everyday objects surrounding us and  I will continue to record their journey through life by painting my family. –

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