Dear Laura and friends,
This is my third year writing about being a mother and an artist. This type of post bubbles up in my mind every year as my children’s summer vacation starts. In speaking with a friend the other day about this very topic I was able to articulate that being a mother requires immediate attention of another human’s presence all of the time we are together. From the mundane things like making lunches to the important things like tucking them in at night (this is when they actually talk to me). Often those immediate needs will push back the not-so-immediate (my art) and next thing I know I have not created anything in weeks.
Being a mother certainly affects my artwork in multiple ways- why, what, and how I make my work, but this time of year it is the time I can give to my art practice that is most affected. In the past, summer means that I usually take on more of their care and my studio work gets moved to the back burner. Now that the boys are 10 and 8 years old, I feel that there has been a shift and time is not as much of an issue. They are getting their own life beyond ours together. It is bitter sweet.
This year they are going to learn how to sail, make art, play baseball, karate chop stuff at the DOJO, and spend some quality time with the grandparents. In between all that we will be doing our usual summer time beach and pool time. This means I have the gift of time I haven’t had for ten years during the summer. I will be teaching two classes this summer so my teaching prep will be a bit heavy, but I will definitely have some serious studio time.
What I did at the end of May was set up my studio so that I have ongoing projects I can step into at any time. Here are a few pictures of my studio today.
Well, it’s a good start. I will check in with you at the end of the summer to see how I have done with my studio work.
I completed this piece recently and it won an “Honorable Mention” at the Piccolo Spoleto Exhibition I was included in, which was organized by the Charleston Artist Guild. I was surprised because my work is so different than much of what is exhibited in this town. I think all we can do is chart our own path in this art world and make a choice to keep making the work, despite financial, time, or creative challenges. I know that is easier said than done, but I am in it for the long run.