Where am I in “motherhood”?

Many artists’ journeys follow this classic tale: They “know” from an early age that they want to be an artist. They draw as kids, they are encouraged by a high school art teacher or someone they respect. It’s what they’ve always enjoyed. And then years later (like 30 for me!!!) they finally step into their creative passion and have the confidence to call themselves artists.

What is really fascinating about these journeys is how life has a way to gently guide us to our fulfilled lives through our greatest challenges.

False Role Model” 2017 Oil on wood panel 36″ by 36″ (91.5 cm by 91.5 cm)

In 2011 I became a mother for the first time. The year my son was born I did the most craft fairs I had even done. These shows were a way for me to see if my work was appreciated and to become part of the art world. It was a big, fulfilling year! It was a personal success and financial failure (which caused years of questioning).

And then…motherhood.

An intense inner pull to selflessness that the bond with a child brings. I did what I had to do. Living in a state of suspended ‘now’ (perhaps similar to Covid times…). As I tried to figure out my career I felt all the frustration of not having ‘my time’. With my husband’s support I decided to go back to school and do a BFA. I was a mature student in my 40s surrounded by 20 year olds. I had nothing to fear but being dishonest with myself. It was the perfect setting for me. It’s the safe container I needed to come out of myself.

It all started with a painting (the one above). At first my journey into motherhood felt like I was mourning the loss of my alone time. My time had become the family’s, my son’s. But through this painting and subsequent others I quickly came to realize that I hadn’t lost “my” time but that I had in fact no idea of who I was.

I had found myself missing from my own life.

I had lived from the role of ‘daughter’ to ‘student’ to ‘girlfriend’ to ‘partner’ to ‘mother’ and then to ‘home maker’. Trying to live up to my upbringing and perhaps society’s image (Hello Pinterest đŸ™‚). I had preconceived ideas of who I was suppose to be (that I wasn’t even aware of!?!). I struggled to ignore my individuality and resign myself to trying to perform those roles well. Through art I was allowing my own truth to speak. The lost part of me that felt it didn’t have a place in this new world of motherhood started to emerge.

Through a series of paintings I came to understand that motherhood was a relationship I had to work on not only in connection to others but to myself. You can see the full (to date) Finding Yourself Missing collection HERE.