This painting is probably one of the most meaningful for me that I have done to date. I drew it after our second miscarriage. In total across all of our in vitro treatments, we have had 15 embryos, none of which have survived. The most likely culprits are my eggs. The rest of my body functions fine when it is pregnant and my husband has been tested and is in great shape. At the time I drew this, I wanted to capture my grief over losing my baby but also my grief over realizing that 0/15 basically equals a loss of my fertility.
I was frustrated with the drawing because my husband said the robin looked like a baby bird. I didn't want it to look like a baby bird. I wanted it to look like a mother who came home to discover that her 15 baby eggs were shattered! I let the drawing sit for months. I couldn't bring myself to work on it. Plus, it's a lot bigger than most of the paintings I've done, which made it feel more intimidating.
During the time when this painting sat stewing, we began to look into egg donation as an option for having a baby. We decided that this will be our new path and we will embark on an egg donor cycle this summer. Over the last few months, in addition to working on becoming a more mentally healthy person in general, I have worked hard to mend my heart and head after all of the losses we have suffered. In order to begin to prepare myself for our upcoming journey, my psychologist suggested doing some artwork that will help put me in a positive space. Given none of my artwork to date is very positive, this seemed so foreign to me. But I really wanted to start to do some more positively-framed pieces (in addition to my dark ones :)). Despite wanting to do this, I still had the mother robin masquerading as the baby bird with the smashed eggs lurking on my easel. I felt like I had to finish the painting before I could make a transition to a new kind of art.
So a couple of weeks ago it dawned on me. The robin is both grieving mother and baby bird. She represents both my heartache over my 15 embryos that will never be and the new possibilities that potentially will emerge from my shattered eggs. In this way, the painting represents where I have been and all that awaits me. Once I realized this, I finished the painting pretty quickly, understanding that in the mourning there will be life.