It’s my time

Earlier this week I got my time to paint. It was wonderful I had great plans and… they all went kaput.

I have to work on guarding my window of opportunity.

In the interest of protecting my time, I declined a get together with a friend with whom I’ve been trying for weeks to get together with. I felt bad, because I really wanted to see her, but I passed on the invite and felt pride that I didn’t give into the desire to blow off work and play.

Later I dropped N.C. off at my friends house for our care-trade and left a bit distracted. Not because of anything she did, I just had a busy brain. My busy brain is both a true asset to my art and a major hindrance to it as well.

I got home and just had to follow through with a few of my thoughts to get them out of my head. Then I ate a little something (something I try to do before I drop off my daughter so it doesn’t eat *pun intended* into my art time). By then it was a good forty-five minutes into my two hour painting window. This knowledge made me really fail to focus. When I know I won’t have enough time, I struggle to get into the project. Top that with friends, who I also have not talked to in forever messaging me, the day was shot in no time.

When N.C. was napping I tried again to paint, but instead I just kept thinking about how mad I was that my precious time got wasted. Then I realized, this is life. It’s part of the human condition. We cannot be “on” every second of every day. Most days it works out, that my work window is productive and goes well, others not so much. But rather than allow myself to get too upset about it, as I used to do, I now try to turn those feelings around and look forward to putting my best into my next work window.

Negative thoughts start a downward spiral that my whole psyche will follow if I allow it. It has kept me down for so long, making sooooo many excuses on why it just isn’t working out. When I find the vacuum pulling me down, I try and think back to when one of my teachers gave me the best advice ever, “just paint”. Forget about all of life’s speed bumps and issues, and try and remember to just make art. It doesn’t matter how little or much time you have, how small or large the piece is, if it has deeper meaning or none at all, heck, who cares if it even looks that good. The act of making art alone is the goal. Because if you can learn how to work through the speedbumps and bad days you can do amazing things on the good days.

Don’t worry if you have enough time, or if everything is perfect, just paint. Just create.


Does painting my fingernails count as painting?

I am THE WORST when it comes to self-care. For example my old roommate would celebrate with me when I announced “I shaved my legs today”. Fast forward to many years later and add a kid, self care is even lower on my “Important things to do” scale.

When you run a household, hold down a part-time job, take care of a kid, and try and paint, self-care seems to go out the window with the bathwater. But what I have learned recently is that self-care can help me with all my other tasks. “How?” you may ask, well, when I feel good about myself, I am energized, and when I am energized, I can do anything! Maybe not everything, because I have to wait for my nails to dry, but I can do somethings!

By prioritizing myself and caring for myself both mentally and physically that has given me so much more will to do everything else, especially paint. Painting, like child rearing, is a drain on the soul and body, you need to put time into recharging yourself. So, may I suggest, take care of yourself, you deserve it.


So many of us fall… get back up

Baby is napping and I am getting lost in the internet. It’s ritualistic. Baby goes to Sleep and I “escape” for just a bit to think about grown up stuff.

Frequently I do laundry, cleaning, bill paying or mostly my part-time work from home job, these are the things that typically steamroll around in my brain stomping any and all creative thought. But recently I have been making an effort to steamroll the other crap. Dedicating my mind to certain tasks/thoughts for the day has been helpful, or I just will auto-pilot to thoughts of the mundane.

The past two days have been for thinking about art. I’ve done some creative thinking about what I will paint for the Swain’s Christmas Miniature show that I signed up to be a part of this winter. I haven’t been able to participate in this show the last two years due to moving then having N.C.. But I have also been working on my website and Facebook. I try not to go on social media while N.C. naps because its a vacuum! You can get sucked in and then your precious nap break is gone, all gone. However, for work purposes it has to be done.

Anyway, to the point of this whole post, I stumbled upon a profile of a woman I went to school with who got married, had a child and seems to have stopped producing art. Typical story. I know, I’m there now. Now I say this with no judgement to her, because I KNOW. I know how easy it is to fall into the pattern of life. I know that we want to enjoy our families and art takes a lot out of us, so sometimes that’s all you can do. I know. I want to say to her, and to any one else going through the same, I know, I see you, and I want to make sure, that at least sometimes, you think about art. THINK ABOUT IT. Don’t even worry about making it. Think about it. Keep at it, don’t quit. You can fall into this routine, but GET UP. I say this because I need someone to say it to me sometimes.

So, get up and think about it. Please.

The “care-trade”

One word, “Care-trade”.


(E. and N.C. enjoying the beach while I watched them both.)

A girlfriend and I have girls the same age. We both are creatives who work from home and are struggling to find time to work with our little bundles of energy around the house. So I suggested we do a care-trade. No money exchanged, two days a week (that’s the goal, right now its just one) we drop our baby off at the others house for a few hours, each person takes a a turn with both girls. Then, the free mom goes home and works! It’s genius and free. I painted uninterrupted without a care in the world for the first time in FOREVER. I may have cried some tears of joy.

Make a friend, and do it. It’s good for you. It’s good for your kids. It’s good for your friends.