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My first thread...finding/making time to work

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
OK I'll start....Hmmmm.....Uhhhh....Oh shoot I can't think of anything to say now that I've put myself out there

When do you work? My babysitter just moved away (she took the boys 4 hours a week so I could paint) and my dh is busy working/studying every chance he gets. Now the only time I have is when the boys go to bed but I am finding it hard get motivated. I'm not anywhere near being a professional but I do want to continue to express myself creatively. I'm just not doing it enough and I feel frustrated and then discouraged.

Any ideas? Advice?

post #2 of 39
I have to be honest.... I'm a single mom and I have painted ONCE since I got pregnant.
I truly want to start painting again but lack of time/energy hold me back.
Not to mention lack of money to buy supplies.
post #3 of 39
I am down to mostly keeping sketchbooks. I haven't a babysitter. I keep my watercolor supplies in an artbox so I can take them out and work some nights. I haven't much uninterrupted time...
post #4 of 39
I was painting when our sitter came a couple of times a week...but just last week we've decided to move to Portland, so all sitter time is now dedicated to packing/cleaning...

BUT...in the new house, I'll set up my studio again and get another sitter and start...

I used to paint a lot during the night...now I'm just too exhausted...but it's a priority for me, so I'm going to make time for it soon and stay with it...I have 7 paintings I want to finish...and many more in my head!
post #5 of 39
I ended up renting a space at a cooperative studio, and I go there a couple of hours almost every evening. I had to decide that my art was a priority to me and that I needed to have the time and space to make it. I could not do it at home because everything else required my attention from children to housework to my students. By getting a space outside of the house, I have a place where my attention can be focused and I am quite productive for someone that has to be creative on a schedule.

My husband supports me as an artist, and I also make sure he is able to get some time to himself to meet his needs, too. If I wait until my children are older, I would lose myself, my knowledge, and my skills. Plus, getting out of the house has been a wonderful way for my dh to connect with our children. I do not feel he would have the same relationship with them, if I was here with them all the time.
post #6 of 39
Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of being able to afford a sitter or a studio. Nor do I have a husband to watch my child. So, I'm really going to need to be creative finding a good block of time to paint.
Knowing how I work, I need at least 2 hours of uninterupted time to paint.
I could possibly do it on Saturdays but that day is usually filled up by me doing errands upon endless errands. heh. These are the errands that can not be done with ds with me because of his tantrums and sensory issues.

At this point, I do wonder if I have lost my ability to paint well.
post #7 of 39
lizc, I need at least 2 hours of uninterrupted time to work as well. I do have a husband, but not a studio out of the house so I need to work when he takes the kids out of the house.

I usually end up being interrupted and so have taken to focussing on sketches and prep work for paintings- I haven't done an actual painting this year only lots of sketches, pastels, watercolors.

I do figure the kids will only be young once and I will hopefully have many years to work after they are too busy with their friends to give me the time of day.

I have to do some art or I get seriously depressed. Making art is part of who I am and I need to honor that.
post #8 of 39
Originally Posted by lizc
At this point, I do wonder if I have lost my ability to paint well.
I bet you 8 million and fifty gazillion thousand dollars you haven't.

I went through that for years, picked up a paint brush and after a few REALLY dodgy starts got going with the painting.

My kids are 2 and 4, I am really lucky, they actually play together. I have explained to them that Mummy paints for a few hours a day, they actually respect (or tolerate) it and I do get a few hours here and there. I'm so determined that this is a part of my life that they seem to accepted it.

They know they are number one, I will drop anything for them.

I guess I'm really lucky to have kids that will play by themselves for two/three hours at time.

I had my paints set up in the bathroom...needless to say they spent a LOT of time in the bath

I was reading about great American women painters the other day; one mother of eight ran a farm, raised her kids and still had some time to bash out some really good paintings....blergh
post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 
Just came back to this thread...wish I would have earlier. :

Thanks lisa72, even though I know it was to me, you encouraged me. It's so cool that you can do that. My boys play well together too. I should try it. God knows I spend enough time dawdling around the house doing stupid things. I should try using 'independant play time' for something more important. I guess I feel a bit guilty sometimes and think I should be more responsible with my time, but why don't I feel that way when I sit in front of the tv? I guess I'm not thinking then...

Well, I'm on mission to change my life patterns and I think this, making time to be creative, is a central part. Thanks for the ideas and encouragement.
post #10 of 39
Euromom I realised I spent WAY too much time on the internet when I could be painting or drawing, I wish I could do it at night too, but I'm too tired and want to slob around. I think the more I do the happier I am.
post #11 of 39
Thread Starter 
I do the same thing, I go sit in front of the computer or do housework then at night I do more housework and slobbing around. But I know I am much happier and feel more focused, or purposeful, if you know what I mean, when I make time to be creative. I guess it's because I'm doing what I'm meant to do, along with mothering.

Today I pulled out the oil pastels (one of my favourite mediums) for my son and I to use together. He's not much for art projects (which is a struggle for me) but he really enjoyed the newness. He liked smudging them around 'making flames' and I enjoyed the chance to do some free drawing. It felt great knowing it didn't have to be good or a progression from previous work. I turned off the negative voices... as my art teacher would say. I think I will try this again.
Also, I'm working hard at being better at managing my time, with the help of flylady.net, so I hope I will soon get into a routine that allows for housework, art time and slobbin' around.
Lisa when do you do housework? I'm interested in other peoples routines. They don't come easy for me.
post #12 of 39
Oh this is wonderful to find this! I've been lurking at MDC for awhile (mostly in the homebirth/diapering topics). I'm not sure how I overlooked this forum!

I'm a potter with a two year old daughter and a neglected studio : I'm also 3 months pregnant with our second child. I've been swapping favors with a local mom that runs a dayhome so that I can have a day or two a month with 'free' childcare. I just can't get into throwing on the wheel unless I know I have an un-interrupted 4 hour block in front of me.

I'm trying to commit myself to certain Christmas shows and farmers markets so that I FORCE myself into the studio. I love working in the studio once I get into it but I'm really missing being in an artistic community for feedback and such. DH is a help since we met in art school but I miss sharing studio space.

I'm a bit nervous working around some glazes and glaze chemicals being pregnant, even with a proper mask and such. I find I've just been avoiding working and it frustrates me.

Of course I'm a very disorganized soul to begin with so that doesn't help in the time-managememt area.

Looking forward to communicating with all of you artsy mamas!

Stacy @ crabapple clayworks:
post #13 of 39
Thread Starter 
Welcome Mikomum! Glad you could join us!
post #14 of 39
MikoMum! You probably didn't overlook this forum because the Fine Arts sub-forum is brand-new! (Thanks again, powers that be!)

I haven't even kept up with sketching let alone any big projects. I have one beautiful drawing I did from life of DD sleeping at 5 months. She's 3 years now. Ugh!

I am trying to at least start drawing again before I go completely bonkers. I've taken several of these "sabbaticals" over the years and I'm always amazed that after a few scribbles, I can still draw. And you know what? It feels pretty good! Then I wonder why I haven't done this for so long.

OdeToJoy, I bet once you get back in there and start playing around with your art again, you'll be surprised that your skills will come back to you.
post #15 of 39
hello! Glad to have found you ladies--i haven't really painted since i became pregnant with ds2 (5.5 mo now)--pregnancy turned my focus to nesting type stuff, diapers etc. with ds1 (now 6 yo) i used to set him up outside with a big sheet of paper and his paints and paint with him on my own canvas--and when he'd get bored, he'd turn to diggng in the dirt or kicking around a ball. We started that when he wsd about 2 and I got quite a bit done that way, and for me starting a painting is the hardest part. taking a community college class is another way to stay in touch with your art while also adding to your skills....
post #16 of 39
I am so glad I am not the only one with that problem. I hav to stay up after the kids go to bed and I am exhausted by that time. It is worth it though.

post #17 of 39
Thread Starter 
Hi Artsy Mamas! Glad more of you could join us.

Unfortunately, I don't have more work to show (it's all still in my head : ). But we're moving back to the USofA in about 4mo and my first goal is to rope my mom into watching the boys for a few hours a week so I can take a class and/or work on my own each week!!! I found going to a life drawing session once a week to be very helpful; I hope I can do this again right away.

Do any of you set goals for yourselves? My art teacher said she used to do this. x amount of paintings in x amount of months. I'm looking for something that will push me over the edge. Once I start I'm really into it but I tend to drag my feet with everything and without an external deadline I'm finding it too easy to say tomorrow I'll start...every night.
post #18 of 39
Hi fellow artist mamas!

Believe it or not, now that I am a newly single mom, I have found the time to paint. I need to right now, in order to express the turmoil in my head. I was a SAHM until recently. I got a studio in March and have been trying to slip away when possible, usually after the kids and dh were in bed. Needless to say, it was exhausting. Now I have the girls in daycare while I work. I go paint on my lunch break (only 1 hour) and on the evenings that the girls stay with their dad. I was so scared that I had lost it, but am thrilled to find I still have the ability and the vision.

My studio is completely *my* space. When I go there and paint, I become breathless. I would have to say it is a passion. This is the reward for taking myself seriously.

Does anyone else get this way? Breathless and crazy?
post #19 of 39
I remember Toni Morrison being asked this question once. She related a story of holding one of her children while she was writing on a legal yellow pad. The baby threw up on the paper, and she said she just had to keep writing or she would lose the though and never get it back!

I have kids, ages 22-6 and I spent the first 10 years as a single mom. I've pretty much learned to do everything with them underfoot. By taking the dining area of the house, I was much more likely to do SOMETHING if things were easily available. My creative juices seemed to stay flowing better. When I've taken a break, thinking that when the kids were older I'd do more, I really lost momentum.

This is one of those areas in life where I believe something is better than nothing. I've also really gotten control of the household tasks, so very little time is spent doing that stuff. No TV, but the computer can be a big time waster for me. Somehow, as the kids get older they need more of your time, not less, so staying with something you love is important.
post #20 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thank you for reviving this thread I needed to hear this...again.
Autumschild, you know I get breathless or excited or warm sometimes just thinking of ideas!!! I thought that was just me!

Unfortunately, I sometimes get really doubtful of myself since I don't sit and work regularly, but I have to realise my creativity comes out in so many different ways. Right now I'm really interested in fashion. I'm kind of redesigning myself. I'm having a blast going to thrift shops and clearance racks searching for interesting peices. I think I might take a sewing class when I return the States. Other times it's been photograghy or decorating. It's in us and we can't deny it, can we?

Your right oldgirl,newtricks. Something is better than nothing. I'm going to dust of those sketch pads right now so I can always have them on hand.
Thanks Artists!
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