Motherhood Hit Me Like a Train  

In this series artist Rachael Grad reverses the ubiquitous toy train and turn it into a paintbrush.

Type of Exhibition: Art

Motherhood Hit Me Like a Train paintings by Rachael Grad (detail)

Motherhood Hit Me Like a Train  

by Rachael Grad 




Rolling a toy train across my artwork is a not-so-subtle metaphor for being a mother and an artist. Motherhood hit me like a train. When I became a mother, my art changed course. Toys overtook my home and artwork. In this series I reverse the ubiquitous toy train and turn it into a paintbrush. To express motherhood in body and gesture, I use small toy trains to make fluid marks across watercolour paper. For the paint colour to show up on the paper, I must heavily press down on the toy train during the entire rolling mark movement. This sweeping motion is unexpectedly tiring for my arm and back, like the physical aches experienced when mothering newborns. I must work in short bursts and take many breaks while creating this painting. Resting alone and respite from one’s own kids is also highly recommended when mothering.  




Rachael Grad is a Toronto artist and mother who left practicing law to study painting at the New York Studio School and New York University before transferring to OCAD University. Grad graduated OCADU as the Governor General Academic Medal and Mrs. W.O. Forsyth Award Winner. Trained to paint and draw from life, Grad is graduating from the MFA (Visual Arts) program at York University. Grad combines her experience as a mother and former lawyer into her artwork. Creating work based on parenting moments, current series include “Motherhood Hit Me Like a Train” works on paper that use trains as paintbrushes.  


A MNjcc International Womens Day exhibit. 


March 5-27, 2024 


Time to Yourself: An Art Making Workshop

Partake in the practice of play! Parents and caregivers are invited to explore and create while taking time to reflect on their lives and roles. Bring your most and least favourite toys to draw, paint and collage with. Facilitator Rachael Grad

March 21, 7:00 pm – 8:30pm


The Miles Nadal JCC, 750 Spadina Ave 

Room 318, third floor 

Presented by:

A Kultura Collective Member

Start Date:

March 5, 2024

End Date:

March 27, 2024

M-F 6am-10pm
S-S 7am-7pm

Downtown Toronto

Miles Nadal JCC
750 Spadina Ave. (at Bloor)


If accessibility options not listed, please contact the venue to confirm


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