I have it ladies, the secret to being an artist and a mother: You get a babysitter/nanny/ask-your-husband-to-take-time-off-work. There is no other way. Children need attention, and the under 5 crowd needs it, apparently, every four minutes.
So, an enormous thank you to two people who made this happen. My husband, number one. He works crazy hard so I can have the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom. Having him take off a few days of freelance work so I could do this painting felt borderline criminal, but he cheerled me all the way. And to my sister, a mother herself, who took a few hours away from her children to pose for me. I feel like my husband and sister deserve tons of praise for helping me do this.
My sister was so courageous to share her story and struggles with me for this painting. She is going through a bit of a rewrite in her life, and shared some thoughts with me that I wrote into the work.
This painting is exhibiting right now at the Rio Gallery in Salt Lake. The show opening is tomorrow, May 17th from 6 to 9. There are so many other fabulous artists that I have the privilege of exhibiting with, that you should see the show if you can.
With birthdays for fabulous husbands, presents would be great, but something memorable is even better. I really needed to let him know how awesome he his, how much he is loved, and how much we appreciate him. Here is the result - thanks to help from a whole bunch of family and friends! Thanks for helping me pull this off last minute everyone, he loved it!!
He caught first sight of it as he headed out for his morning run.
I am grateful for my life. I am circled on all sides by so many wonderful people who need me. It is such a blessing to be needed. I have opportunities every minute to uplift, speak kindly, and comfort. I may actually have too many. Right now, there may always be more people to help than I will be able to get to. But I love how these opportunities give me a chance to become better. Perhaps one day I will actually be as kind, charitable, and plain wonderful as my own mother.
Last summer, or maybe spring, I was invited to be part of an art exhibit with many of my old friends from college. I haven't done a show in 6 years, so, this is pretty exciting stuff. But here they are, the reasons, 8 or 9 months later, why I have yet to start this painting. The reasons that actually make my life as wonderful as it is.
In August I got to visit my brother in Oregon, for 5 days. 5 days of eating the best of Portland, hiking beachside trails, soaking up time with my parents and brother. I missed my littles, but being pregnant and might I add horridly uncomfortably pregnant, this trip was a pretty welcome shot of rejuvination.
And then, well, in summertime, all anyone around here wants to do is be outside, and since they are still pretty little, that means most of my summer was spent outside - talking with other moms while our kids biked, played in ponds, ate way too many popsicles, and really, hopefully, helped the kids have a great summer.
And then that painting I was going to do turned into everyone's dream Halloween Costumes. No painting would have made it worth missing seeing my son finally getting me to solve the dolphin costume, or my two year old dragon roaring.
And then my super super fabulous husband designed a new set of Christmas Stockings, including designs for our two year old and the new baby. And the excitement of trying to get these beauties done with all their hand embroidery postponed that painting again. But, no painting can replace how happy my kids were to see their new stockings, hours of careful detail and embellishment making them totally beautiful. And my husband seeing his designs executed? Pretty priceless as well.
And perhaps the best reason of all, the reason that 'that painting' may forever be done 'tomorrow' - adjusting to life with 5 (!) children who very, very much need me to be putting my 150% into attempting creating a good childhood. (Scary how being as lost in this role as I am, it's arguable as to if I am doing a good job!)
But that painting must actually be done. I am committed. Painting may take place between midnight and three in the morning, but it will get done. And I will probably love doing it. But even more importantly, there will be art lessons to teach in my sons classroom, costumes to make for my daughters musical production, and a four-year-old and two-year-old to keep from smothering their new baby sister with too much love.
Seriously, any ideas at all my friends who are mothers and amazing artists? You seem to manage! Secrets ladies, share you secrets!!
It turns out this blog has fans. Namely, my children's grandparents. And being that we have been divided by illness and will continue to be so for a few more weeks, blogs must be the new preferred means of seeing each other, until we can resume our twice weekly hang outs at my moms.
Oh yes, and I've had another baby since I last posted. We blessed her
yesterday in a small (remember all that illness?) gathering consisting
of pretty much the only healthy members of our families. (We missed you
so so much dad!!).
My oldest (and beautiful) sister and her husband.
Yep, this is as good as a photo gets with 5 kids under 9.
Those who blessed her.
And a family photo in front of what I am sure is the only cluttered part of my house.
I have been trying to come up with a way to improve my sons reading comprehension - he is a fine reader, but can't always remember details. We have also wanted him to have read the scriptures before he is baptized, so we came up with a plan to tackle both issues: Read one page of scripture each day together, have my son write 2 or 3 things he learned from what we read, and draw an accompanying picture. (It actually tackles so many things at once that I am ecstatic: drawing, writing practice, reading comprehension, learning the scripture stories, family time....the best in so many ways).
My daughter has joined in as well and I can honestly say this is my favorite part of each day. Their interpretations are awesome and even pretty funny.
By the way, of the various family scripture study plans out there....we have not felt too successful. What are your genius ideas? Please tell me what you do that works.
The kids got to this one. My little boy finished off the collar and buttons for me, and also drew his own version down in the corner. This is my mom when she was in second grade. I don't typically draw from photos, but I needed a break from my super wiggly models.