Mother/Artist part III

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.

Olin Sailing in the Charleston Harbor

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.

Ongoing drawings


Ongoing Mixed Media work


Some inspiration...

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.


2010 Mother/Artist Post

2011 Mother/Artist Post

"Unknown Portrait 8" by Tina Hirsig
Related Posts with Thumbnails

3 thoughts on “Mother/Artist part III

  1. Tina, I always love hearing what you are up to both at home and with your art! This series is wonderful and it is fun to look back on the past two years and see where you are. I am presently working on my teaching re-certification and keeping this blog was part of the goals in my “Master Plan”. It is fun to see all of the areas we have grown both in our artwork as well as ideas, techniques and artists we have discovered along the way. I am SO PROUD of you for winning an Honorable Mention! CONGRATULATIONS! For a long time I didn’t think my art quite fit around here as it is so different but I am learning that is what makes it stand out, just like yours. Always stay true to yourself! xoLaura

  2. Good Morning, Tina! So enjoyed reading you post on motherhood. Not having had the motherly urge, it’s hard for me to comprehend the time you don’t have to yourself but do understand the commitment that it takes. I remember reading an interview with Julie Taymor years ago after having seen The Lion King on Broadway and the interviewer asked her if she regretted not having children because she missed out on that experience. Julie responded that she did not have regrets because people who had children missed out on all the experiences she was having by not being a mother. You seem to be able to have a reasonable balance of caregiver and artist. I applaud you. Creativity exists all the time even if we aren’t actually producing something creative. Fortunately, the mind can see and create in our mind’s eye … fodder for future projects.

    Being a lover of feathers, I loved seeing them in your photos and that you’re incorporating them in your current works. Looking forward to seeing them when complete.

    Be well …

  3. Thanks for you comments Carol. Yes, I do believe that creativity exists all the time, even when I am parenting. Creativity is all about coming up with novel ideas and problem solving- imagining how two ideas may come together to create something new. I truly believe that the world is in desperate need of the creatives/designers/artists/collaborators/etc. So any of the experiences we have as Broadway producers, parents, or artists in a small town are all contributing to this need. VIVA la artist revolution….or something like that!

    Laura- you are right that we stand out in our small towns. Seems like that is a good thing huh?

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