Summer

IMG_6586I always get nervous when school gets out for the summer. For some reason I worry that I won’t get into my studio to work as much as I’d like. This year has been different. My boys are willing subjects for a new series of paintings and we’ve been having a lot of fun exploring the woods, enjoying the sunshine, and the freedom of lazy summer days. They have inspired enough reference photos and sketches for a lifetime’s worth of paintings. They are the most fun and creative studio assistants an artist mom could hope for!

“Cared For”

Cared For, 24x36", Oil on Canvas

“Cared For” is one of the last paintings I completed in 2012.  I can clearly remember the moment, while helping my son wash his hands, that I felt inspired to paint this simple task.  I cannot even begin to count the number of times I’ve helped my sons wash their hands over the last eleven years.  Come to think of it, many of the things that have filled my days over the past decade have been seemingly small and simple tasks.  These moments are easy to overlook but added up over the years become something more.  They are something learned, something shared.  Now that I’m at the point where no one really needs me to help them do things like wash their hands, I can see how all this time added together has resulted in something greater.  We are at a point of transition now.  This shift intrigues me as an artist but sometimes scares me as a person.  My boys are becoming more independant and instead of fighting the tide, I too need to grow and change.  It takes patience and small steps, not every day can be epic, but after a while our effort can get us to a place we never thought we would reach.

Growing Up

Fritz at Ten, 28x24", Oil on Canvas

We celebrated my son’s eleventh birthday this past Saturday.  I am amazed at how grown up he is getting even though it feels like he was just a baby not so long ago.  I also began to think about how different I was eleven years ago.  I was blessed with a healthy, beautiful baby and also completely overwhelmed.  I had plans and goals that were completely unrealistic considering that I didn’t even have time to sleep.  Looking back, it was enough just to be able to find the time to paint a little every day.  Now I see that time as a gift I needed although I never could have known it at the time.  I was forced to slow down and re-order my priorities.  I had a lot of time to think about who I wanted to be both as an artist and as a person.  I wouldn’t have found the path I am on today without the experience of motherhood.  I thought I had so many things to teach, but ended up learning so much and being forever changed.

Bound

Bound, 27x40", Oil on Canvas

The inspiration for “Bound” came from a comment a friend made while we were both pregnant for the first time. We had known each other since our husbands were still just college boyfriends and now found ourselves becoming new young families. We had both worn white dresses and danced at big receptions but that all seemed so frivolous compared to the bond now being created between husband and wife. My husband, this baby, and I would forever be bound together.

Ferocious

Ferocious, 36x28", Oil on Canvas

“Ferocious” is another painting whose title has two meanings. The first refers to my son at this age, his love for these scary, carnivorous dinosaurs and his desire to be tough and ferocious despite still being a snuggly little boy. Secondly, I was overwhelmed by the ferocity of my love for him. It was a love whose intensity I didn’t expect before I was a mother.

Wonder

Wonder, 32x42", Oil on Canvas

The title of this painting, “Wonder”, refers to both the amazing experience of pregnancy and all of the questions and worries I had at this time. I already had one child and knew that very soon life would be a sleepless juggling act. Would I be able to handle the challenge? I was anxious to find out who would soon be joining our family and how our lives would change.

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