Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

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 did. I went to the library and found several good books. The one I’m really excited about is: ” The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide for Fitting Creativity into Your Life ” by Shona Cole. She gives several ideas for projects and step-by-step guidance on how to create, but what I really loved most of all are the passages she wrote about creativity and motherhood. In her introduction she writes about, how when we as mothers allow ourselves time to create, we actually become better mothers.  I really like this theory! I do think I’m a sweeter mother, more patient and forgiving, when I’ve had the paintbrush in hand for a few hours, than when I haven’t taken that time to myself. I’ve learned to let the laundry hang a little longer on the line, and the dishes to sit by the sink, because later after I’ve painted, I can recruit the girls to help me get those little chores done. And I’ve found the girls enjoy helping out, so it’s really a win-win!

“What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.” -John Updike

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I was commissioned over the summer to create a painting with the theme of two siblings. I did several sketches and I was stuck on another idea for months, that I wanted to “make” work, but it just didn’t. Then I came up with the idea for the painting below and the painting just happened!!! There was no struggle only pure painting JOY! I love when that happens!

Copyright 2011

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Self-doubt creeps into my mind sometimes, this weekend was one of those times. I felt so critical of all my paintings! Looking at them I only saw what needed to be changed, some I just wanted to paint over. It was not a good mood to be for painting, the paintings annoyed me! Who do you think you are anyway? Why do you think you can paint? Those kinds of thoughts will kill creativity anytime! So I let the paintings be and I went hiking and read a good book instead.
Then Monday night, my husband Dion decides to grab a hot dog @ Target and when I join him, Lisa (the “other” face painter) and her husband (the balloon guy) are at the next table just inches away. I excuse myself for interrupting to see/hear if she remembers me.  Her face lights up in a smile and yes of course she remembers me, in fact she was just at the Art Center where her and Steve, her husband, had seriously thought about buying one of my paintings! “you have really mastered your style” she tells me and “your color scheme.” “Thank you” I reply, “you have no idea how good that is to hear!”
Then the next day @ Michael’s I go in to check out their frames because they are having a sale. “Seed of Life” is the piece I brougth with me. The middle age woman helps me pick a frame, and figures out how much it would cost with the discount. Then she confides in me that she really likes this painting. “You are onto something really special here” she says to me. I thank her and she says “you should do more on this theme.  Wow I think to myself another affirmation!
You would think that would be it, but then a lady @ the book store falls into conversation with me and she wants to know if I sew. I tell her not really, I atually paint. She asks which gallery I’m in, and I tell her about the Two Rivers art show and hand her one of my business cards. She tells me I should think about teaching workshops and /or classes for kids who are homeschooled. By now I’m smiling to myself, it is almost like it’s too much! All these affirmations to keep me going…
I pop in to see what Caole is doing @ Planet Earth and the Four Directions Gallery, she’s remodeling, but says she is so glad to see me, and that she has been thinking about me since she saw my paintings at the Art Center. She said she was drawn to them!
So there it is! All these affirmations left me feeling warm and inspired to paint! Yes, I will keep painting!

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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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This year I decided to participate in the Sketchbook Project. All the sketchbooks will go on a tour around the USA to major cities. The coolest thing about this is that it is not juried so people get really creative! I wanted to try to follow the theme that they have you pick. My theme was “The Greatest Story Ever Told” and for me that was becoming a mother; birthing, nurturing, guiding and loving unconditionally with my heart wide open.
Here’s a glance at my sketches…

to be continued….

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When my daughters were little they would say “Hold You” when they wanted me to pick them up. I wanted to capture that feeling of their small arms around my neck as I held them. The two older ones I can barely pick up off the ground! The youngest is getting heavy so I wanted to have the visual memory of this feeling. Does a Mother ever forget? I don’t think so, this one sure won’t:)

Hold You

         All rights reserved.  Copyright 2010 Maja Sommersted                                                          

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