By local artist, Meghan Cochran

Raising two little girls can be tough, especially when trying to live a full, creative life. I am a mom of two little ladies under three years old and had been searching for a way to include them in my creative journey.

One day, I was watching them as they were completely absorbed in doughnut-magic-love: chocolate faces, sticky fingers and sprinkles in their hair. I had a Eureka! moment. I should get on their level, abandon all of my boring adult responsibilities (at least for a moment) and start experiencing life with them. Going with the flow instead of against the flow has been such a lifesaving transformation for me, both as a mother and an artist.

My recent doughnut paintings (pictured above) stem from my childhood, when I was completely absorbed by the delicious idea that everything is magical. They represent my own wonderful childhood memories and the memories I’m creating for my daughters with a mother who is fully present.

Each of the doughnuts painted (as well as many more) were taste-tested and enthusiastically approved by my daughters. For the past six months, my husband and children have indulged my inner-child. We have spent our weekends going to far off places, searching for the perfect doughnut. It has been so much fun exploring the subtle differences between the cruellers from Lil’s Cafe in Kittery (best!) and Kane’s Donuts in Boston. We found that some of the prettiest doughnuts are sold at a hole in the wall (Donut ‘N’ Donuts in the Sullivan train station) and some of the most fancy, artisanal doughnuts were just a little too much! But the most fun we had was in being together, in sugar-induced comas.

While painting these treats, I couldn’t help but think of Wayne Thiebaud and his delicious ice cream cones, cakes and candies! I share his fascination for mundane objects because I enjoy exalting in the everyday, too. The Currier owns a print of one of his pieces, Dark Cake (1983), which isn’t on view at the moment, but I found when searching the Currier online collections. The fact that I can literally walk down the road from my house and see world renowned art at the Currier never ceases to blow my mind.

I hope these paintings will help you (even for a moment) rediscover your magical youth.

Collage of Wayne Thiebaud's Dark cake on left and the author with children on right.

Image left from the Currier Collection: Wayne Thiebaud, (American, 1920-), Dark Cake, 1983,
colored woodcut, 15 in. x 17 ½ in., Museum Purchase: Corporate Rental Fund, 1983.56.

Image right: the author bonding with her daughters.