Image of the Week
© DURGA YAEL BERNHARD
Moon Daughter was originally commissioned as a fine art painting. My neighbor Debbie wanted a unique gift for her daughter upon the occasion of her coming of age. Anya was my own children’s babysitter at the time, and a lovely young woman, full of spirit and endowed with compassion for others and wisdom beyond her years. Today she is a practicing doctor, a wife, and the mother of a beautiful little boy.
When Anya was a child, her father threw a peach pit in the yard, resulting in an unexpected peach tree which thrived and went on to yield hundreds of peaches each year – unusual, for our northeastern climate. The tree is rooted in all the activities of our mountain hollow – people playing drums by the stream, as several neighbors liked to do, along with a sweat lodge, vegetable gardens, and neighbors who were more like family. Anya grew up in a loving country home, ripening along with those peaches into a beautiful person in rhythm with the cycle of the moon and the seasons.
I painted the image in gouache, using a white outline technique which was perfect for the subject. I thought of the circle within a square as one piece of a quilt – that of Anya’s life as she grew up and became a woman. I liked the idea of a spacious world in the roots of the tree. I hope this image has served as a source of inspiration and comfort for Anya.
Long after the painting left for college along with Anya, Moon Daughter become one of my most popular images. It has been licensed and published several times, and is one of my best-selling posters. Something about the girl with the long brown hair intertwined with the branches and trunk of the peach tree, strikes a resonant chord. There is nothing quite like the hope and potential of a young person on the cusp of life.
Commissioned art at its best brings forth images that the artist never would have created otherwise. For that I’m grateful to my neighbor. It was a gift for me, too.
Order Moon Daughter as a POSTER this week, and get a free greeting card (of the same image)! $10 for the poster and card, shipping included. Order your poster here! (Note: to get the sale price, fill in the name of the image in the blank at the top of the poster page; do not click on the poster image, as that will give you a fixed price of $12).
Wishing you a good week, and happy Spring!
D Yael Bernhard
Author / Illustrator of