Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cush show in CA and some other stuff :)

I have been feeling so non creative for about 2 weeks now.  I haven't painted much at all, and can't seem to finish the stuff I start.  Worst of all I think I have already hit my breaking point with the political season.  Facebook has sucked me in and I have been shooting my mouth off left and right.  This is never really a good idea.  I think the last couple of weeks with the bills being proposed in every other state to limit women's health has been the tipping point for me.  I will try not to go off on politics here, but I am so tired of religious extremists targeting women all over the world.  I am just now getting to the point where I realize babbling on Facebook is not going to change this.  As an artist though, I have a public platform...even if it is small.  I need to paint my feelings into my art.  I just, as of yet, have never been able to produce something that powerful that makes people even a little uncomfortable.  I am a lover of beauty and tend to have that as my theme in my work.  I am wondering though if this little lack of creativity and pissed off political phase I am in will help me take my work to a new level of social awareness that I would love for it to go into.  We shall see I suppose.
What is a little different now with this dry spell I am in is that I do the Totem Spirit drawings.  These are commissioned work, and commissions can not always wait until your creative urge comes back.
I have been working on a larger Spirit totem painting for a client.  In this work I am painting her actual face to go with the totem animals and symbols.  This kind of work is always a little harder on me because I get a lot more nit picky.  Plus I am trying real hard to paint on it when I have a clear mind that is not full of political garbage.  It has been slow going, but it is turning out really nicely.
I am super excited about the opening of the inner portrait show at the end of this month in Beverly Hills.  Here is the flyer for the event.  I can't believe how many of my favorite women artists I will be sharing gallery space with!

If you are lucky enough to live near Beverly Hills, please attend the show and send me some pics...I can't make it out there unfortunately.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A mother or an artist first?

Have you seen the movie "Who Does She Think She Is?"?  It is really inspiring, especially if you are an artist and a mother.  Actually every woman should see it because it touches on something for all of us as women.
I became an artist after I had kids.  I thought it would be the perfect way to stay at home with my children and bring in some income for my family.  I thought it would be easy....haha.  What soon happened was I uncovered my deepest desire was this need to create.  Images flood my head constantly and I needed to get them out.  I did not know how much this was a part of me until after I had my children.  In my twenties I was pretty aimless.  I was happy waiting tables to make money to go out and see live music and drink a pint or two of Guinness.  I didn't have the depth and wisdom I own now, and I doubt my artwork would have held much meaning then.
I can't say I am not more than a little jealous of female artists in their twenties who are often single, but even when they are not they do not have kids.  I imagine them locked in their studios all day painting away with no one tugging on their shirt sleeve asking when dinner is going to be ready.  I guess it is just my fate that I didn't discover this desire to be an artist until late, but also I had another desire that hit me in my mid twenties....I wanted to have a baby.
I had my first child at 27, and my second at 30.  I didn't start painting until my youngest was about 2, so only about 5 years ago.  I remember when she was 2 I was working in soft pastels.  She always wanted to (and still does) draw with me while I was working.  I set up a little easel for her in my studio next to mine.  I remember once I wasn't looking and she decided to add a bunch of scribbles with a sharpie to a beautiful angel with a dove I just completed.  I think that was the first moment I realized I had a conflict within me.  What was more important to me, my children or my art.
Now that may sound crazy and selfish.  Of course my children mean the world to me, they mean everything to me.....and yet, they are not all of me.  They actually do not define me as much as my art does.  I have known a lot of my mom friends that do define themselves by their children.  I have watched them deal with depression as their children grow and they begin to realize they need another definition or they are going to disappear.
So I have this art, and yet I struggle constantly with guilt.  Am I ignoring my kids to paint?  Yes, and no.  They get to see a woman following her deepest desire.  They get to see a woman who will give up so many things to follow her dream.  And also, they get to see me struggle inside when they ask me to play while I am in the middle of a painting.....and just as many times as I say "not right now", they hear "okay".  I do give up painting a lot for them, but I say no to them too.  It is a fine balance that I struggle with constantly.
So obviously this movie has me thinking a lot about us mom artists.  I am toying with the idea of creating some kind of artist collective of mom artists.  I would like it to be a group of really good mom artists that are really making it as professional show the world it can be done.  It's just a thought.  But for now I am thinking I might start a little group on Facebook and maybe start another blog.  I am not very good at writing in this one, so that might be too much for me.  But I would like to start a blog that highlights an amazing mom artist each week with an interview that touches on subjects like I just talked about above.  You rarely hear that kind of personal struggle in an artist interview.  Most artists interviews are full of a bunch of intangible philosophical dribble that really doesn't inspire you.  I think it would help a lot of women to hear how an artist struggles everyday to balance her life, and yet still follow her soul's calling.
So please let me know what you think.  Would you like to read a blog like that, or maybe be involved in whatever comes out of it.
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