Brand Consultant & Illustrator


Branding, Identity, Graphic Design and Illustration stories and information by Joe Barsin, Brand Consultant, JEB Design, Inc.

New Mother’s restaurant features murals by Joe Barsin and Charles Lawrance

Artists Charles Lawrance, left, and Joe Barsin flank Dave Rather, one of three owners of Mother's Peninsula Grille on Ritchie Highway in Arnold. Lawrance and Barsin created the artwork on display in the restaurant. Photo by Wendi Winters

This article and photo appeared in The Capital, Novemebr 10, 2012. By Wendi Winters.

Artists Joe Barsin and Charles Lawrance like hanging around Mother’s.

They love the brand spanking new Mother’s Peninsula Grille that opened recently in Arnold, directly across Ritchie Highway from Fishpaws Market Place.

Owned by brothers Dave Rather and head chef Adam Rather, and general manager Mark Boyd, the Mother’s Peninsula Grille is an airy, open, comfortable yet modern space.

The two artists love the food, especially the Bayou Jambalya, Mom’s Meatloaf and the more than 20 varieties of wings and burgers. But, they also enjoy looking up and seeing their artwork on display.

Joe, an Arnold resident, graphic artist and computer illustrator, was excited when he learned the owner of the restaurant, a legend on Baltimore’s Federal Hill, were opening a second location in Arnold. Eva Barsin, Joe’s wife and business partner, contacted Dave and emailed samples of Joe’s work. Impressed, Dave asked Joe to create special art for the new restaurant.

“It was kismet,” said Joe. “He liked my crabs.”

Millions see Joe’s artistry every day on the highways: he designed the Maryland Bay plate affixed to the rear of thousands of Maryland cars (read blog post on bay plate design). He designed the 2010 Eastport Lights Parade poster (read post) and developed this year’s montage poster, too (read post). His website is

Joe Barsin with his sons below his 3 large murals at Mother's Peninsula Grill.

Charles’ studio at 214 West St. is called FinAnnapolis after his former studio in the FinArt Building in Fells Point. He’s known the Rather brothers for over a decade. Three years after Mother’s Federal Hill Grille opened, he created a mural for the restaurant. When the Rathers purchased a vacation home in St. John’s Island in the Virgin Islands, Charles painted a 70-foot mural in the house depicting a surreal underwater scene. To produce it, he spent a week underwater with a camera. “I’ve done large pieces before,” the 1994 MICA graduate said nonchalantly. “The sides of buildings in Baltimore.” (

He has an art show Friday through Sunday at 49 Spa Road in Annapolis.

Joe has three large paintings above the bar at Mother’s, and five smaller ones lining a wall in the main room. The iconic Maryland flag is featured in Joe’s works, as are a giant crab, a purple Raven and an Oriole (see work at

The first thing you see when you walk in Mother’s front door is Charles’ mural, a three-dimensional work. It features a sculpted heart emblazed with the Mother’s logo, framed by a huge pair of wings. The wings do double duty: painted with a slate-like surface, the daily specials can be chalked on them. Behind the wings, a colossal outdoor party is happening. A blonde in tight jeans looks over her shoulder at the viewer. A guy with a Mohawk has a red heart tattooed on his head. Another fellow is playing a sax.

“Charles did a cool floating heart for Mother’s in Baltimore that customers can push around on a runner,” said Dave. “I give him two thumbs up.”

He added, “Joe has really cool artwork, too. I really like it. It fits in with our motif. Our colors are those of the Maryland State flag. His work looks really good here.”

Drop by Mother’s and have a look.

Outside Mother's Grill with "Citizen Crab"