This is a watercolor painting that I created as a type of visual mantra that reminds me and brings me back to finding peacefulness and balance during my pregnancy. The actual process of painting is an important step in bringing this peace to my life, for it brings me back in touch with my creativity and my Creator. Of course, it's never quite what I expect. While I was working on this painting, I took a short lunch break and came back to find that my five year old daughter had "helped" me with my painting, drawing in permanent ink over the sketch I had created. This was a true test to find peacefulness and a creative solution to fix the problem. I calmed myself down and then made another quick sketch of the same painting for my daughter to draw and changed my drawing around to include some of her "help."
Ruhiyyih Khanum was an important figure in the Baha'i Faith during her lifetime and strong and independent Canadian woman. She traveled to almost every country of the world bring messages of unity and peace. While I was traveling in Israel several years ago, I happened to be in her city at the time when she passed away. The beauty, love and inspiration that was shared during her funeral touched me so deeply that I felt inspired to paint her portrait. It took me several months to paint this acrylic painting on canvas because each time I would sit down to paint, I felt an overwhelming sense of her presence and it would often move me to tears.
(my side note...I wanted this picture, because when I saw it, I thought it personified what a mother is to me. When I read about who this women was, I feel like she definately held the traits of a mother, whether or not she had born children).
Erika Hastings graduated with a B.F.A., B. Ed, and M.A. with a research thesis entitled, "Creating Art as an Act of Prayer." She has a passion for the spiritually transforming power in art, creativity and motherhood and explores these topics on her blog athttp://mudspice.wordpress.com. Erika's art and writing have been published and exhibited internationally. She has worked as an art and foreign language teacher for over a decade in Canada, Mexico, Honduras and Brazil. She currently resides in Vancouver, Canada and is a full-time mother for her two (and very soon three) children.