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I had to share this photo. I just love seeing my three beautiful girls with my belly casts in the background. I made one for each of them, knowing that one day they would become part of an exhibit.

The four years after becoming a mom, I barely did any art. I sketched every now and then and that was about it.  Here are a couple of those quick sketches capturing moments, like gestures.

        
With two young ones, there really wasn’t much time for art, except coloring with them.  I made sure they always had crayons and paper available, and I enjoyed seeing the girls fall in love with colors, and the motion of their hand holding the crayon. They were all about process, not product, although they did like to see their art hung up on the fridge.

The girls inspired the artist in me, in a way that no college class or workshop ever has. The pure joy they colored with, rubbed off on me and soon I was coloring along with them, on scrap pieces of paper and in coloring books.

Having studied art in college I had become so focused on the end result that I had forgotten to enjoy the process. My girls helped me find that joy.

With the pregancy of my third daughter, I started to paint again.

I set up my easel in a little corner in our dinning area, where I could back up far from my paintings to get a good look at it from a distance (I like to work big) and I set out my paint brushes and a basket for all my paint. I had always loved to paint with oil and discovered a waterbased oil paint that did not have all the toxic fumes, but that same buttery feel to paint with.  So when my babies napped I painted.

I painted for about two hours a day, and the result was the series on motherhood; pregancy, birth and the nurturing of my three little girls. Caring for and nurturing my girls was an all encompassing task for a while, but with great rewards; not only did my daughters remind me to paint with joy and pure color, they inpsired a whole new series of work based on the amazing experience of becoming a mother.

My first motherhood painting was Giving Birth which I painted at the end of my pregnancy with my youngest daughter. It is a very personal and intimate portrayal of the experience of birth. I wanted to convey the feeling of this incredible strength that came over me, from a place hidden deep within. There is pain but also beauty and elation.

This exhibit was a dream of mine for several years. Working with the local nonprofit BirthSmart the first obstacle was finding a space that was receptive to having a show as intimate as this. When I approached Caole Lowry at Planet Earth she welcomed the idea with open arms. Caole Lowry owns and operates Planet Earth & the 4 Directions Gallery here in Grand Junction where she sells vintage and curious items from around the world, as well as provides an alternative space to show art.
If you are local and would like to come and check out the show, it will be open for the First Friday Art Hop tomorrow night, and the show will be up until April 17th.  Please feel free to leave us comments about the show here or in our guest book at the gallery.

Thank you BirthSmart, Planet Earth & the 4 Directions Gallery, as well as the artists who contributed and helped with the exhibit.

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I’m really excited for the member’s show at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts. The exhibit opens with a reception this friday night and the exhibit will run until the 24th of February. I’m always so excited to see all the artwork. Last year there were over 400 entries! This year Camille, the curator, told me she has all the galleries reserved for the show, so there is room for even more? I can’t wait!

See you there for the reception Friday, February 3, 7 – 9 p.m. or peek in there during normal gallery hours before February 24th to see what creative minds have been up to here in the valley.

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Tonight we have the First Friday Art Hop happening all over the Grand Valley. I’m particularly excited for this one because the member’s show will be up at the Art Center. I have two paintings in the member’s show, and when I dropped off my pieces I saw a lots of work getting dropped off. It’ll be quite the opening tonight.
I also have art at the Frame Depot (the frame shop at the back of Artist’s Haven). The show is titled Art from the Heart, and I put in a piece that is titled: “Listen to Your Heart” a watercolor collage.

“Drifting Off” Oil on canvas. This painting will be at the Art center tonight!

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