Recent Honors ~ My First Painting *GASP* and the Story of How it all Began: this Painting Motherhood stuff…

Posted by katie berggren on

Gasp…* I’m going to show you my first motherhood painting… beware… personal vulnerability is coming…

Recently, throughout the last week I have been unbelievably honored in a variety of ways.

The Leaky B@@b
The Leaky B@@b is an online “pub” where we can “let it all hang out.” Honestly supporting any and all amounts of breastfeeding and those that support breastfeeding with a splash of humor. Shaken, stirred, on the rocks or frozen, no matter how it is served up it’s the real deal with personal stories and experiences. Striving to be a safe place, The Leaky B@@b has a no-tomatoes policy, tomato-throwing will get you bounced faster than you say “bash.”
See the blog post!


Jessica generously hosted a giveaway for a print, and I was shocked and happy to discover 95 had people signed up within just 1 hour. Thank you Jessica!

The Birth Project
A self-published magazine that strives to normalize pregnancy, birth, and the entire “childbearing year.” Through too-often traumatic depictions in popular culture, birth has been turned into something that scares many. We often forget that we ALL have in fact participated in the birth process, simply by being born… not to mention the fact that women have been giving birth to babies throughout the entire history of humanity. read more at The Birth Project’s website

Within The Birth Project’s Issue XIV, I was honored to have Star Crossed printed along with Angela Seeling’s emotional and beautiful writing. Read Angela’s Twin Birth Story

Thank you Jenna!

Stones Of Healing Blog

Cara is a mama making beautiful, sturdy, healing nursing necklaces and other jewelry for mamas! Check out the Stones Of Healing Etsy shop!

Thank you Cara!

SO, as I am reading through the very kind notes from each of these generous mamas, including the comments from the 95 entries (thank you!) on The Leaky B@@b, as well as this lovely testimonial from a recent buyer:

“Your art defines some of my most intimate and magical moments as a mother. Every day, I walk my four year old and one year daughter to the park in the same way you have painted. I have never bought a piece of art before. I’ve seen beautiful art but never art that inspires and touches my soul the way yours has done. You are truly gifted. Thank you so much for sharing this gift with my family.” J.C., Hillsboro, OR (see more touching testimonials )

(thank you J!)
…I am thinking non-stop of May 2006, when I was knee deep in creating motherhood (and other)-inspired colored pencil pieces and dead-set on becoming an illustrator (for magazines and such), and NOT a Fine Artist. I had a literal slap in the face when inspiration struck. I was painting a mural on my son’s bedroom wall and realized what I was meant to do ~ set the pencils aside (and what I had worked years to become as a commercial artist) and begin painting again, as a Fine Artist. I had painted before, but the painting motherhood thing was new and obvious.

One evening my baby boy called to me and as if I’d been waiting, I ran to him and we meshed. This painting was born the next day – I Needed You, Too.

I was getting ready do an art fair down in town (Kalama, WA, my artist friend Marie Wise was with me) so along with my colored pencil illustrations of birds and boats, I took this, my first motherhood painting (painted on Plexi glass because that is all I had handy that was large enough). I set it out near my table and referred folks to my New Painting! And How Excited I Was About It!

The title I Needed You Too made such perfect sense to me.

I received mixed messages about this first painting from customers and passers-by. One message stands out to me though: a woman said the colors were wrong for her decor…. hmmm.

This week, seeing the amazing feedback from those who believe in me, I am thinking non-stop of this painting, and how I created it then took it directly out into the public for feedback. How this painting spoke to me emotionally (though maybe not technically or color palette-wise) it felt *right*, it felt vulnerable and it fed me in a strange sort of way. This painting began it all… and I feel such gratitude for that moment when inspiration slapped me.

That was my only painting for May, and uneasiness was probably to blame for just one painting created in July 2006 (none in June) and only one in August 2006. Revving up, though, September brought 6 new paintings and October brought 12 (only 3 of these 18 paintings are still available: Every Pure Cell, Unadorned and Despair 2: See Unadorned and Every Pure Cell in the Etsy Shop).

I have been unbelievably honored in a variety of ways throughout the last 4 years, utilizing inspiration and techniques I was honing for illustration, I do not look back on anything as a waste of time – a graphic design career, a pile of digital and colored pencil illustrations aimed at advertising, and many many small acrylic paintings (because acrylic paint felt safe around my babies) painted on board. From the moment I knew I wanted to be an artist (at 6 years old, I suppose!) up until this moment, the path has been perfect.

Thank you for coming along this portion of the path with me! And to many of you who have been with me nearly the whole way!

Love & Sincerely, Katie

Related Images:

[See image gallery at www.paintingmotherhood.com]

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