A few months ago, I decided that I would start sharing more of my art work. Sketches, works in progress, good, bad, I am sharing it all. I am at a place in my life where I have many obligations. In order to fit art into my life-which more often than not it is in the form of sketching-it must be accessible. This is why I have decided to invest in a new sketch book, scraps of paper will no longer do! My sketching seems to serve different functions, much the same way writing does. Sometimes it acts as a quick note to someone, or expresses an emotion that am feeling. For example, the sketch below, was done on an envelope. I sent it in the form of a text, to a friend who has a fairly new baby (two months to be exact). I did this in order to show my
solidarity support, i.e. it looked like she was in for a long night.
When I really think about it though, there are always obligations, the scenery and people may have changed, but I still have to practice time management no matter what stage I am in my life. I think what is really happening though, is that I am both reclaiming my art practice as a mother, and becoming aware of the new way in which I practice art. Seeing it reflected back to me in the growing number of sketches, somehow solidifies that this is not merely an “in between” but rather a new way of practicing art.
Prior to motherhood, I always viewed my sketching/sketch book as a draft or an annex. Now though, I consider my sketches (within the scope of my practice) as complete. Some of these pieces may evolve, but most will stay as is. And even though I am not exactly sure where all these sketches are going, I am at least moving forward, one sketch at a time.
In my art work, elements from my [real] life converge with my dream life and time is non-linear. Representation in art can be a mixture of different memories and events, both real and imagined. Art can act as way to explore or ponder other possibilities or ideas for both the artist and viewer alike. Art can be a way of dreaming, which eventually filters over into one’s way of being. While this particular vignette is a mixture of the real and imagined; it is, in essence about the soul of motherhood.
If you are a mother, can you see yourself in this picture?
This past summer I started working on a couple of oil paintings, mostly during little M’s nap time. I painted outdoors, devoting an hour here and an hour there. The work progressed slowly to say the least. Then for a time, between moving apartments, and building a website, and of course taking care of little M, the paintings sat for a month, then more. Now these paintings sit in storage.
I have come to the realization that a proper studio is imperative especially with a busy toddler. Oil painting is too labour intensive for this phase in my life, as it requires more time and energy than I presently have. Although I have many other creative interests, there is a meditative aspect of painting that I miss.
It recently occurred to me that my water colour paints might be a good fit for this time in my life. Unlike oil paints, water colours are easily cleaned up and require only a small work space. With this in mind, I excitedly rummaged through my art tool box, past the oil paints, where I found my neglected water colour supplies. Once everything was assembled at the kitchen table, I sat down and began to draw and paint sketches about motherhood.
Most evenings now, after little M is asleep in bed, I make myself a cup of herbal tea, take out my water colours and spend a couple hours immersed in my art work. I truly believe that it is important for mothers to find a creative activity which nurtures their soul. For me, drawing with pen and ink and painting with water colours is a calming and meditative way to relax after a busy day. A wonderful way to nurture my creativity and my soul!
*Please note that the above artwork is my own work. All artwork and photography shown on my blog is my own work, unless otherwise noted.