Friday, January 04, 2008

Art Room

This has the potential to be a long and boring and personal post, but as it is part of my history, I suppose documenting it is fine. When we finished our basement there was no question that there would be a studio for me. Bryan has always been extremely supportive in anything I've ever wanted to do. My amazing dad finished it off for me and it really has been a room that not only I and my kids want to be in, but other kids as well. I want it to be a place they can relax and create and have no artistic limitations.

My reason for wanting the environment to be the way I've made it is that many years ago I realized that if I wanted to continue painting, it would be kids alongside me, so it needed to be welcoming to them.

With the need to work thus far in our marriage (darn those excellent medical benefits!!) I have to say art is about the last thing I have time for. And I'm embarrassed to say that a few years ago, I felt really bad about this. Almost depressed about it. I felt like I was really being robbed of expressing my talents and not giving light to all the ideas I have constantly going on in my mind and heart. Old friends would ask what I was doing with my art and I felt so embarrassed and ashamed to say "nothing". (SO silly, I know). However, being "deprived" of this has actually been a blessing, but I only see it as such now.

I think for most of my life I place a huge importance on art and the role it was to have in my life. So to not really be able to do it was sad. But in it's place I found that I was adapting and finding other ways to "make" - I found I love cooking, sewing, and other things that I can do to beautify our lives just as much. I'm still finding ways to channel the need to "make". I feel like I have a healthy perspective on art now in it's relation to my life - I really truly feel that if this is /was some important work to do in this life that I would have the circumstances necessary to accomplish it. I also realize that while God gives you talents and you are supposed to nurture those talents, that I have much more important talents to develop - patience, kindness, compassion. And more importantly, creating a wonderful life for my family is ultimately the most important work that I will do. What has been great about Bryan is that he once very bluntly told me that what attracted him to me were other qualities I have that are purely about how I deal with and love most people, and that made me realize I have other important talents.

Many, so many times, I hear that you have to "make" time for things and that if it was important you would "make" time for it. Sorry, but working 40 hours a week, plus trying to cook, clean and be a good mother leaves me with -40 hours as it is. The one and only show that I did about a year ago was a terrible strain on my family, not counting the many people who babysat so I could do it.

I'm not belittling art at all. It obviously enriches my life every day and is part of who I am, but I'm really happy to be at a place in my life where I realize that if it ever is to be, great, if not, great, but I don't ever think I will have a perspective of thinking its the most important part of me again. I have enormous respect and awe for Cass and Emily for making it work for them. Their paintings hang in my home and are a constant reminder of women making it work, and therefore an inspiration. I do think one day to be a Minerva Tiechert and be mom 8 - 8, painter 8 - midnight is a viable option.

At the moment I am incredibly happy going into the art room filled with kids crayons, paints, coloring books and van Gogh dolls and helping them figure it out. It's really a great place to be.


bjean said... mom went through the same thing...but as I look back on my's just like you said...she found ways to express herself artistically in the home. We were surrounded by it and it has without a doubt influenced us all for the better. She used to say that we were her greatest works of art. Your kids are lucky. :)

AkuTyger said...

This is cool. It makes me sad we don't have basements here.

I always said I could never do my art for a living. If I had to make money at it, I would start to resent it, and then it wouldn't be an outlet of expression for me. It was one of the main reasons I never pursued music in college and why I don't do craft shows for jewlery now. But then again, I majored in Spanish in college and I haven't been using that much either....

cathy said...

I love that you have the room and that you let Kella come over and use it. My artistic abilitites are limited, but all of my kids love art. The boys get their fair share through the after school art program, and Kella loves to come over and use your room. She talks about it constantly. You are amazing at expressing your talents through many different means!! You are a constant inspiration!

pamo said...

becky - you're mom is an amazing example. the last time i saw her i confessed to not missing painting too much and she said "you're kids are your works of art now." she's great.

akutyger - jewelry? yet another thing that lingers in my mind as something i wish i could do. show it on your blog!

cathy - as i have the fortune of watching you up close, you encourage your kids in just the right way - they are lucky! and don't worry. scissors are out of the art room!

Kate&Van said...

pammy, i love you. you have always been so talented & creative. your children are very dynamic pieces of art work & you & bryan do a great job with them. i think your greatest talent is that you're a mini mary ruth, what greater talent could you ask for?

katie rich said...

pam. i love reading this. the first time i ever saw your art was when i first met chip and in the hfac he had me choose my favorite, of about 20, paintings displayed. yours was the one and chip agreed. we know of your awesome artistic talent, but whenever we talk about you (which is often) it is always about how kind and patient and fun and real you are. that is really why we love you. seriously, when you were here i felt like i was with one of my sisters, which is amazing and something i almost never feel outside of my own family.

Keely said...

My kids would trade me for you in a second, an artsy mom along with this great art room, your awesome Pam.