Monday, November 30, 2009

Art (almost) every day

Well, Art Every Day Month is over in just a few hours.  I wasn't fully successful at creating art every day - life got in the way a few too many times - but I made an effort, and that's good enough for me.

This afternoon, I showed a friend the "Strength of her hands" painting, and he marveled at how I find the time - with a demanding career (that involves travel), three active children (who like it when I show up for volleyball games, soccer games, and band concerts as often as possible), and all the other things that need to be done like housework, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. - to paint and write.

There are a few answers to that question. For one thing, I do as little housework as possible, and (sadly) it shows. Marcel does a fair bit (because he's home more than I am), and the girls are old enough to contribute, but we've grown used to living with "good enough" when it comes to housework.

For another thing, I find snippets of time when I can - while I'm doing laundry (it helps that my studio is right next to the laundry room, so I can sneak in there), when the youngest (and most demanding of my energy) member of the household is asleep, etc. - and I make do with that. Since I travel, I bank time now and then, and occasionally take a day all to myself when I can get longer periods for more concentrated work. The TV holds very little temptation for me, so most of my leisure time is spent with a book, a computer, or a paint brush.

This month, one of the things that worked for me was that I included Maddie in the fun.  She loves nothing more than to "do art with Mom", so she and I often disappear into the studio for some art fun after supper. She's getting old enough now that she can get absorbed in a project and not need constant care and attention from me, so it's working fairly well to do parallel projects with her (or sometimes we do joint projects).

The truth is, I know myself well enough to know that if I don't find at least a little time for creative activity, I'll go stir crazy. The longer I've been away from a creative project, the more I start getting agitated and grumpy and the people around me suffer. So it's best to find the time (even just 15 minutes here and there make a difference) and everyone in the household ends up happier.

I'm grateful to people like Leah who inspire us to try to be creative every day. Thanks Leah!

A few other art-related tidbits...
  • Bailey, you can scratch "The War of Art" off your wish list, because your prize copy will be in your mailbox soon (along with the piece of art I promised you in return for your contribution to my studio)!
  • I've been looking for an opportunity for Nikki to get a little more exposure to the world of fashion design (since she's not able to play sports until at least March), and today I got an email back from a local designer who's willing to have Nikki come into her studio to help out now and then.  Both Nikki and I are kind of excited about this!
  • Next week I'm flying to New Brunswick and one of the things I'll be doing is going to an art show and hanging out with the artist.  What fun! I'll post more about that soon.


Pamela said...

I think that is my answer. I need a place to set up. I don't have an "art place." So I can't just leave it forever and come back.

Julie Jordan Scott said...

People ask me a lot how I "do it all" and I tell them, "My house is never as neat and tidy as I would like it to be" but my children feel loved and creatively inspired and able to talk to me. That is more important to me than having a floor can eat off of...

I found this quote and it reminded me of all of us, plugging away together and separately through AEDM:

“There is magic in artist-to-artist contact.”

Julia Cameron


Leah said...

Hooray! You and Maddie totally rock! I'm so glad you guys had fun with AEDM this year and made it a perfectly imperfect experience. I really loved seeing how you worked together, it just made me smile and I so appreciate that.

And yay also for the good enough housework. I'm all about that. :-) hehe.

Thank you for joining in AEDM this year, Heather and Maddie. It was a pleasure creating with you!

Bailey said...

wow, great news for Nikki!
I do hope she'll share a bit about how it goes for her!