From the start of this project - it seemed to grow legs and move on its own. Spreading like wildfire - the word got out and women from all walks of life and locations - unknown to me - have reached out about this project.
They all seem to sing the same tune- about how thrilled they are that I am speaking up. That I am following my heart. That this project is unique in that it speaks honestly and bravely about the truth about being a mother artist.
If I would have started this project a year ago - I don't think the outcome would be the same. The idea came, the audience was ready and I finally had the nerve to share what has been on my mind for years. I feel somewhat like a seamstress. I have a pattern, I have an idea, I have the fabric, the thread.. the machine and with each mother artist I meet- I am carefully stitching together a beautiful garment.
It takes patience on my part- as I have been known to move quickly because I am not the most patient person in the world. It takes focus and organization. It requires my professional side as well as bravery. However - I don't get hung up on any of it because my heart is truly in it. I believe in this project just as much as I believe in myself. It took a lot of years to get to this point.
I had many soaks in the bathtub thinking this project over. However, I didn't have to stress or strain about it because it was all there.. before me. All I needed to do was vocalize and capture what I was witnessing around me.
I have had the honor to meet and photograph five amazing and beautifully talented mother artists. I have twenty-eight other women who have come out of the wood work, contacted me and are on a "wait list" to be photographed.
Did you know that there are that many mother artists in your city?! I certainly didn't!
One of the artists - and I will tell you more soon- made me realize how small this mother artist circle really is. I drove all the way to Bloomington, IN to see her. I sat with her and we had tea and discussed art and motherhood. I photographed her in her studio along with her beautiful children. I was so pleased with how everything turned out and to top it off -I made a new friend. I got home and checked my Facebook to learn that she and I had actually gone to middle school together!
After all this time. Being friends on Facebook and meeting because of this project- we had no idea that we were once in the same health class together! It truly made me smile and made me realize how we are just dots on a map- we are all connected and the world is not so big after all.
This blog is to be a reminder that you are not alone in your thoughts or your situations. That somewhere - there is a mother much like you, sewing or painting or writing a song in the middle of laundry and changing diapers. I realize- No one could have prepared you for what motherhood would truly be like- but someone can remind you that balance is possible- thats my goal!
Mothering is one of the hardest jobs that we will ever have and the most rewarding in the long run. I now have a 15 year old son and he has watched me paint since he was old enough to sit up on his own. Yes, I cried a lot - longing for the days that I could paint without him eating the tube. Or long for the day when I could go to an art show without arranging a sitter. However- I quickly learned to be flexible. I was creative enough to make it work - so I worked with what I had. If he wanted to eat the paint, I gravitated to photography. If I couldn't find a sitter- I took him to the art show. I am proud to say- my love for art has rubbed off ..and he just had his very first art show at the Murphy.. not too long ago.
Art is therapy for me, and it can be the same for you. It is my voice when I can't speak. It makes me feel better and when I feel better.. people notice even my children notice and life seems to balance out.
Being creative - what ever that means for you as an artist.. is to get us through those times when we don't know what to do with all of our "out of whack" hormones. When we feel like a constant milk jug or a broken record. When we catch ourselves questioning who we are or what we are worth. When we don't feel like getting out of our pajamas. When we feel like no one understands or appreciates us ...and you know, this does happen. Art is an outlet.
With each new artist that I post here - I hope to create a circle. To bring to light - every mother artist that I possibly can and her story. Each story is unique yet we all are cut from the same fabric. We are all striving to nurture ourselves through our passions all while nurturing the family we love so much.
Let this be a place of inspiration.
Tonight I will be sending out my questions to the mothers I have already photographed. Once they return their answers - I will begin blogging their stories along with the beautiful photographs I have taken. This project will be on going - so please if you know anyone who might want to be featured here - please pass this along.
Until then - thank you for being so supportive!