Monday, May 2, 2011

be still my beating heart

here is the thing: 
usually i talk about how much i love being a mom (which i do.)

but also, 
just in case you didn't know, 
i am an artist.

not just an artist that makes greeting cards 
(although cardmaking is lovely and 
i am overwhelmingly thankful for the gift that freelance work has been in my life.
also i have met some very cool people through making pretty little cards)
but an artist that makes other paintings
that are not small enough 
to sign, put in an envelope, and mail for a birthday, anniversary or graduation.
but big paintings that 
somehow contain some other part of me-
the part that i can't quite put into words.
if i could this part into words, i would be a writer instead.

having babies impacts my artmaking process because i primarily work in oils, 
and you can't so much paint with oil paint and the related toxic materials 
if you are incubating a human or later breastfeeding it.
it is one of the costs of being built to both want children and to make art.
besides, it is often all i can do to stay up late at night working on freelance, 
much less work on paintings that take a little bit of my soul (not to be all dramatic.)

this is a season,
and i like my children more than any painting i've ever made,
but at the end of the day, i am an artist too.

and sometimes i really miss painting-
the smell of oil paint,
the moment when you make a single mark that redeems a painting that was disaster bound,
the end of the night in the studio when you take one last look at what you've done
 before turning off the light,
the process of mixing colors on a clean palette,
te fact that you can never quite put your finger on the moment you are done
(until you've gone too far and overworked a painting)


something deep inside of me rejoices when my daughter wants to paint.
especially when she looks so freaking serious and focused while making art.

bear with the onslaught of similar photos-
KILLS me how these pictures make me so happy:

by the way,
a public service announcement to parents:
don't buy your child lame (i.e. cheap) art supplies.
go to a real art store and buy them real colored pencils, paint & crayons.
cheap art supplies suck.
if you need some & don't want to spring the extra few dollars, 
i'm sure i can rustle some up for you from my reserves of art materials.


  1. And it just so happens that she is in a perfect place. Free art supplies, Free Paper, and knowledge from the best Art teacher I know. Seems like a win, win for Monrovia.

  2. i agree with the art supplies statement. a. soule writes abooutit in her book too. the better the supplies (within reason) the increased chance of success. kinda like new shoes too!

  3. so what art supplies should I buy? tell me, tell me, I wouldn't have a clue if I walked into an art store.

  4. Love the pictures! I still remember you painting with K in Paris what seems like far too many years ago--somewhere I even have the watercolor results ...

    & both K & Q have been awash in real art supplies -- my favorite place to shop in ME is the Maine College of Art & Design art supplies store!


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