Life Cycle


This is a very old linoleum block print that I carved and printed over thirty years ago.  I was feeling my first pangs of motherhood, wanting to find my place in the scheme of life.  My awareness of the food chain was also evolving as I began to study nutrition and medicinal herbs.  It fascinated me that nutrients could be passed from soil to plant, from plant to browsing deer, and from mother to nursing fawn.

The animals themselves were inspired by the stylized, silhouetted figures I saw on ancient Greek vases in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The Met was like my second home in my late teens and early twenties.  I loved ancient art of all kinds, and the storytelling images on those Greek vases were so intriguing – both primitive and sophisticated.  I did countless pencil sketches of these endearing creatures.  I might have even directly copied this pair of deer.

The intersection of an inspiring artistic form or technique with an idea waiting to be expressed is a common occurrence in my art.  I walk around with all kinds of ideas in my head, waiting to be brought into form.  Then something comes along – an uncanny suggestion, an unexpected approach, a serendipitous solution – that cross-fertilizes the idea.  At that point, a block of time (or in this case, a block of linoleum) miraculously presents itself, and the gestating image is born.  This has happened so many times over the years, I’ve learned to trust that something will come to me, eventually, to help bring each of my ideas into form.  Every work of art seems to have a destiny – a marriage of inner idea and outer influence.

A good week to all!

D Yael Bernhard
Author / Illustrator of
LOVE IS – a unique crossover book for all ages
THE LIFE OF AN OLIVEExplore the life of a 2000-year-old olive tree
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN – A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the Sydney Taylor Award and National Jewish Book Council Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN – A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING – A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK – An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
– and more!
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