Cover Photo: Cigarettes and Turpentine: An Ode to My Artist-Mother by Madelaine Lucas

Cigarettes and Turpentine: An Ode to My Artist-Mother

“The women I admire most are artist-mothers, who are able to create with pleasure and abandon.”


that’s when your uncle moved out of our home and I lived in the country; this is a painting I did when your dad was on tour and I was lonely; that’s a picture of you and me when you were little

Make workbecause then you’ll never be lonelyA woman needs to be able to spend time alone and be okay, because that’s what keeps you from settling for less with men.

I’m sorry I haven’t got dinner readyWhen I’m working, I forget about food. That’s why it’s hard to paint and have children—you forget to feed them.

Madelaine Lucas is a senior editor at the literary annual NOON. Her short story "Ruins" was awarded the Elizabeth Jolley prize in 2018, and her non-fiction writing has appeared in Paris Review Daily, The Believer, Literary Hub, Catapult and The Lifted Brow. A graduate of the fiction MFA program at Columbia University, she has taught workshops in the Columbia University Undergraduate Writing Program and Summer High School Program.