Pardon the sporadic posting, things here are, as ever, *full*.
I’m finishing paintings and Art Dolls to be exhibited in a group exhibition, with 6 others, next Thursday in the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise, Co. Laois; and work for exhibition the week after at the Athy Art Group annual exhibition.
This has been a very interesting time for me. I think most mother-creatives will empathize with the ongoing feelings of guilt, yet at the constant need to create. I have (sounds so stupid, I know) given myself “permission” to switch off from being A Wife and A Mother and to tune into creating my art. It has been fraught with anxieties, because, naturally, I feel guilty for disappearing into my (temporary) studio, plugging into headphones, and losing myself in what I am doing; rather than doing all the other things I could be doing around the house. And despite doing this when I get the children to bed at night for the few hours before I drag myself to bed, in a time that should be “mine” I still feel guilty. Sigh.
But, that’s changing. Every time I feel a twinge, I silence it. I feel like I am suddenly expanding within myself, glowing with the sheer joy of expressing something just for the utter pleasure of it. For me. I am so proud of these painting that have been, at times, so bloody difficult to resolve. I am so delighted that I am carving out time, regularly, despite the fact that some nights in the midst of making a complete shite of a painting, I want to run out of the room, close the door and pretend I don’t paint at all. I am, as an inspired tutor once told me to do, “painting myself out of it”, as in, when I get stuck, I just keep digging, keep painting, keep having (not so minor) panic attacks… And suddenly, (most of the time) I arrive out the other side. Oh, it’s glorious.
And I have had several illustration commissions in the past few weeks, and am working on a few more, which is such an honour. I tend to be able to work on these, and plan and sketch for the paintings during the day in the kitchen, with the little ones around me (“helping”).
The older boys have been fantastic over the past two weeks as the deadline for the exhibition looms closer, taking the small ones for an hour when I really need to finish something. And while food remains the top priority in this house, no-one has really complained that I am only maintaining a certain just-above-feral level of cleanliness (yet). Which is a relief. (Quite possibly because I have never maintained an overly above-feral level of cleanliness, ever. I need a cleaning fairy who sees the need to clean).
And so, here are the paintings, scattered throughout this post. I am working on three more, and two Art Dolls. In two weeks I will be starting the illustrations and designs for Journal 2017, which I am very excited about. Tonight, I taped up the backs of the framed paintings (so exciting!!!), am working on a dedicated art website, and of course, writing this blogpost, which was to be only a line of text and all images… but I couldn’t help myself
Oh, and I just wanted to mention this. I have started listening to podcasts while I paint, and wow, I am enjoying them so much. I follow The Jealous Curator (who has, possibly the best tagline ever: “Damn. I wish I thought of that”!) on Social Media and am working my way through the many many “Art For Your Ear” podcasts she has produced, interviewing an enormous number of diverse artists. It is beyond fascinating and inspiring, and I have “found” so many new artists and their work. If you are interested in art at all, I cannot recommend this series highly enough. It’s brilliant.