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#1 of 39 Old 07-20-2006, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

Thanks!
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#2 of 39 Old 07-20-2006, 07:39 PM
 
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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.
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#3 of 39 Old 07-20-2006, 07:51 PM
 
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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...

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#4 of 39 Old 07-20-2006, 10:03 PM
 
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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!
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#5 of 39 Old 07-20-2006, 10:29 PM
 
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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.
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#6 of 39 Old 07-21-2006, 09:49 AM
 
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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.
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#7 of 39 Old 07-21-2006, 04:31 PM
 
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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.

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#8 of 39 Old 07-23-2006, 08:14 PM
 
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Quote:
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

Lisa: Homeschooling Mum of ds, 8 and dd, 6
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#9 of 39 Old 07-24-2006, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#10 of 39 Old 07-27-2006, 01:05 PM
 
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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.

Lisa: Homeschooling Mum of ds, 8 and dd, 6
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#11 of 39 Old 07-27-2006, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#12 of 39 Old 07-30-2006, 12:38 AM
 
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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:
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#13 of 39 Old 07-30-2006, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome Mikomum! Glad you could join us!
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#14 of 39 Old 08-01-2006, 03:14 AM
 
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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.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#15 of 39 Old 08-04-2006, 02:54 AM
 
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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....
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#16 of 39 Old 08-11-2006, 04:00 PM
 
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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.

Jennifer
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#17 of 39 Old 08-11-2006, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#18 of 39 Old 08-15-2006, 04:59 PM
 
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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?

"The best things in life aren't things."

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#19 of 39 Old 09-04-2006, 12:48 AM
 
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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.
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#20 of 39 Old 09-04-2006, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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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#21 of 39 Old 09-06-2006, 04:01 AM
 
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I am also glad that I have found this thread. I haven't touched my canvases since I got pregnant with dd1. I need at least 2 hours to get into mood to start being creative. That is no good when all I get is 2 hours in the evening when I am so tired I prefer to just kick back and relax at MDC.

I honestly hope that one day when kids are bigger I will be able to get back to it. I do have occasional moments of sadness that I am not actively involved in what seemed to be my passion at the time. However, now I feel that taking care of my dd1 and soon to come dd2 is my most important task. I had a short period of time when I started thinking of ways of organizing myself to start painting again but now with the second pregnancy my hormones are pointing me to a baby stuff.

Just curious, are some of you profesional artists, or just like me, self-thought artists? Here is a link to my website, this hasn't been updated in at least 3 years, and it contains just a small sample of my artistic endavours: http://www.monikaart.com
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#22 of 39 Old 09-14-2006, 10:35 AM
 
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I'm very active in the Birthing and beyond and Parenting forums, but just discovered Fine Arts.

DS is 2, and I have painted maybe 5 paintings in the last 2 years. 1. I obviously have less time. 2. With PTSD, I ended up using my creativity to write a memoir and research birth instead.

However, the five weeks before DS was born, when I had no children and 5 weeks of maternity leave before birth, well I painted upwards of 60 small/medium silk paintings! I figured I should paint every second, because I might never again. I was unfortunately right. www.abrosenlund.com

Today is my lst day of work - then it is 8-11 weeks of maternity leave before DD is born. Again I plan to paint like a madwoman. However, after the birth I suppose it will go back down to next to nothing. Maybe when they are or 5 or so, and have their own interests, then I can find a few hours again. But like many of you, 10 minutes here and there just doesn't work. It takes me a half hour just to decide color scheme and organise paints, then 2+ hours to get any real painting done. It isn't reealistic with a 2 year old, and even less so with a 2 year old plus a newborn.
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#23 of 39 Old 10-08-2006, 12:51 PM
 
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Good morning to all of you creative and artistic mamas! I am new here (well, actually introdcued myself many months ago on the main forum for art-- super excited that this one is up and going!). We just finished up having some studio space built onto our house, and I am so thankful that I have some space to create. My ds is 2.5, and I am going to try and start utilizing his nap time (about an hour) at least, and hope to start getting up early enough to do a bit of yoga and then some art before he gets up. That is hard, though, because he gets up at 7a, which means I will have to go to bed earlier enough that i can realistically get up by 5:30 (and it has been many moons since I got up that early on a regular basis!). I don't have any options set in place yet for other child-care, but am hoping to work on that. I, too, need to create to be balanced and feel truly alive. It is such a vital part of me, and feels great to be able to share it with other mamas who know what the heck I am talking about when I say that! I have found photography to be a quick fix that keeps my creative juices flowing, and one which I can do with my DS with me (kind of-- hard for macro work). I am really hoping to get into oils again, as well as other medium. THere is so much to play with and learn! Just wanted to say hello to all of you, and wish you time and space to create... Michelle
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#24 of 39 Old 12-01-2006, 08:05 PM
 
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I am very very slowly returning to art making two plus years since my DD was born. It is in the form of birthday party decorations and craft events for toddlers but it still feels creative. I have also returned to work pt ( around 28 hr/week) as a designer for a wallcovering company. My job involves CAD and I never get my hands in pant or materials but the problem solving, design and color development that I do still feels creative. My intentions when I graduated was to make handcrafted pottery. I have since sold all my equipment and given up my studio after holding on until my DD was 16 months old. I was afraid to expose her to the materials so I never went during my pregnancy. In fact I was so driven to find full-time work w/ benefits that I was hardly going at all before I even conceived her. I had attempted to start my own handcrafted tile business that could have gotten off the ground if I didn't have to work all the time just to make ends meet. I guess that this is what they mean by "struggling artist". I believe that we may work harder than any wall street broker that at least sees some compensation in the end.
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#25 of 39 Old 12-05-2006, 10:55 PM
 
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subbing, bbl to read.

me, wife to dh, the movie geek (7/01), mama to ds1, budding Star Wars geek (10/05), dd, budding princess of the dirt (03/08) and ds2, budding extrovert. watch out! (8/10).
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#26 of 39 Old 12-14-2006, 04:20 PM
 
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subbing, too.

The relationship between home life and work life (painting & drawing) brings up loads of very personal issues & feelings for me. I'll be interested to see how/if this forum develops.
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#27 of 39 Old 04-02-2007, 01:10 AM
 
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Hello artist mamas. I just stumbled onto this thread.

Do we not make a huge sacrifice of ourselves in order to raise our children! I'm a potter and have worked in ebbs and flows since dd 6 yrs ago. For a while she went to daycare once a week and I was able to expect that time to work (able to prepair mentally). Now I also have a two yr old ds. I have made almost nothing since he was born. Both go to a daycare for 3 hrs a week. I use that time now for grocery shopping and errands. I really feel that the only way to get creative and "in-the-flow" is to learn to work with the kids right there. When they sleep, I sleep or catch up on housework, or share time with dh
dh works alot and will occassionally take the kids for me. But why haven't I gone to my studio to work? Have I given up? I once found myself telling someone that I would get back to work once ds was in school. I have ended subscriptions to magazines that used to be inspiring to me. I've stopped sketching ideas. I'm preoccupied with other things, like cooking, cleaning, giving these my creative energy. Now that I think of it, my cooking has improved and its been fun, and my house stays pretty clean. Finding a balance, yes. I need to get back to the clay somehow. Even if I'm just pinching pots with the kids.
Thank you for this thread. I hope it keeps going. I'm subbing.
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#28 of 39 Old 04-02-2007, 01:23 AM
 
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Nice to see that there are ways to get yourself working reguarly again. I had hoped to do this before getting pregnant to have a nice, working, and established practice (after being wiped out for 2 years working evenings supporting my dh who was in school) and didn't get that done since I got pregnant and was wiped out by that instead.
I have my half studio/half baby-changing room now and don't get to anything once my dd decided she couldn't sleep anymore without me. So all I've been able to keep up with is a nice envelope labeled 'ideas' and I stick little sketches of ideas for projects/etc. in there so they don't get lost.
Sigh. . .
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#29 of 39 Old 04-08-2007, 01:39 AM
 
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most of the time i paint at night when DS is asleep. but since i use acrylics and my drying time is fast, sometimes i paint while he is up and entertained in his exersaucer or in crib playing with mobile or his feet.

I also have painted with him in my Moby wrap which is special because his energy is there too. He likes to watch what I am doing - mixing paints, moving the brushes, washing brushes, etc.
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#30 of 39 Old 04-09-2007, 02:12 AM
 
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Hi! I'm Kelly. I'm a potter like mikomum, and I've given this a lot of thought!

First, look hard at time suckers in your life. If you spend any time watching TV that you could spend at your art, well, that one's easy. If you feel too tired when the kids go to bed, my suggestion is, make yourself just get started. Promise yourself half an hour. "Fake it 'til you make it". Once you drag yourself to the project and get started, you might suddenly find you're getting into it and on a roll. (Kind of like married sex)

Or, head straight for bed when they do, and get up absurdly early with a fresh start, hot coffee and peace and quiet while everyone's still asleep.

Also, consider changing the scale or style of what you do, so you can work it into the life you have. Is there a way to paint small, or in several short sittings? A way to keep materials nearby so you can grab them during naps, or in those unpredictable magic moments when the kids play quietly somewhere?

It's hard to switch gears from life/mommying/interruptions to being able to focus on something creative, but maybe it will be a push into something new and different, like when our prof set a timer and had us sketch a model's poses for 60 seconds per drawing. It looked nothing like my more careful work but it had ... something, y'know? It was alive and kept my brain working, and worked its way into my later work.

I used to take a lap board and a bag of clay on long drives when dh was driving, and make little figures, roulettes, stamps, textured beads, mini teapots, etc. I carried a ziploc with a washcloth to clean up afterward and a diaper wipe box full of bubble wrap to transport my little pots.

Miko, when I was pregnant or nursing (like 7 years of my life) I wanted no contact with barium, lithium, cobalt, manganese, and certainly not mystery commercial glazes or unvented kiln fumes. I took to working with textured surfaces instead of glazes, colored clays and earthenwares, terra sigillatas and Lana-Wilson type stamped surfaces. At first I resented the limitation but those kinds of challenges took me in directions I might never have tried, and what I learned still informs my work.

(Eventually I discovered the book "mastering ^6 Glazes" -- all tested glazes by safety-conscious chemistry geeks, with leaching levels safer than EPA standards for drinking water.)

When I had 3 under 5 I emptied out a linen closet, lined it with tarp and moved in my potter's wheel. There was just enough room for a bucket and a chair and I kept everything dust-free with a fat sponge. I could throw during naps or late at night.

My mom says, "When I look back at my life, the time with little children was just a blink". Honestly, I don't regret a single moment of my life that was spent rocking babies instead of making art. My kids are 8, 11 and 13 now, very independent, and I am homeschooling them while commuting to another state to do an MFA in ceramics.

It all will wait while the kids are little... no experience is wasted for an artist and it will all be reflected in your work one day. But if your life is opening up a little from the needs of babies and you really want to work, you'll find a way.

That's my little pep talk for the day Sorry...

(my stuff is at primalpotter.com)
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