Happy Mother’s Day

Bluewater Shore copyright 2020 Douglas Stockdale

Today is Mother’s Day, a day in America to celebrate all mom’s everywhere. Although she passed away many years ago, I still miss my mom. Mother’s Day is also about the celebration of women and all that they do, even if they have chosen not to be a mom. There are a lot of reason’s that can occur and of major course concern when a small group of individuals in America’s high court can decide that a woman has to be mom whether that is in her own best interest or not. A hot topic for another day.

The image above is from my artist book Bluewater Shore. It’s a painting, acrylic over pigment ink, based on a photograph by an unknown photographer. I have to assume it might have been taken by someone in my family since it did end up in my family archive, but it may have just have been photographed by a close friend of the family. Nevertheless, I have a small print that dates from sometime in the middle of the 1940’s just after the end of WWII.

This and another archive photographers from this same period were the images that inspired the idea behind this artist book. When reviewing Laila Nahar’s artist book, I Have Been Here Before, I wrote how her artist book reminded of Sean O’Hagan’s article about Roland Barthes’ unseen photograph known as the Winter Garden Photography: “Like all family photographs, indeed all photographic portraits, the Winter Garden Photograph is essentially a tantalizing glimpse of the irretrievable, a cruel reminder of “what has ceased to be”, and like them it evokes a past we often have no lived memory of, but also a sense of our own encroaching mortality.” And similar to Nahar’s artist book, Bluewater Shore is an earlier time in my own’s mom life when I was not present while it thoughts about the missing conversations and events I did not hear or experience. Rather bittersweet since my mom has passed over twenty years ago.

While creating this painting I was working on the idea of fading memories, thus the details of my mom’s features, as well as those of her sister and two friends, were not rendered in ‘realistic’ detail. When I painted this, I was also realizing that since her passing, the many detailed experiences of my life with her were also fading and that there are still moments that a past experience is crystal clear, those moments are becoming fewer and fewer. Time is a memory bandit, which is one of those good news, bad news aspects of our life. Thus, photographs can become precious talismans as these prompt memories of pass events that we wish to continue to treasure.

I also find appealing that this more ambigious painting can now be representative of every woman who might be preparing for a new adventure with her friends.

Happy Mother’s Day. Every day. & vote Blue for ’22 to protect mother’s rights everywhere.



New artist book: The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow

Pre-publication Sale: Artist book $50.00 USD & Artist Special Edition (book + print) $100 USD, plus CA taxes for US sales and shipping. Message me (doug@douglasstockdale.com) or singularimagespress@gmail for shipping details and PayPal invoice. Your name will be listed in the book as one of the supporters! Thank you.

Book publishing details here and book portfolio here.

List price after publication is $60.00 USD and for the Artist Special Edition, $125.00 USD. 

An artist book made in the USA.


Book Workshop:

Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC): Developing a Creative Photo Book, a virtual (Zoom) workshop I will be leading on: May 14 & 15 – 21 & 22nd, 2022, from 1PM-4PM (Mountain Time). More details and sign-up available now at Colorado Photographic Arts Center.


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