Art and Mothering

05 September 2011

I’ve returned to doing a bit of art again lately.

I’m on the third commission in a row now, and it’s been making me think about the parallels between art and mothering (especially as we explore Mumology: The Art And Science of Mothering in 2011).

Firstly you’ve got to know what YOU can do.  Not someone else –  you’re the mum, after all… or the artist.

Then you have to have the confidence to back your instincts.  You have to say what you think will work the best, or trust what you KNOW will work best, even when it doesn’t make logical sense (we are talking about kids and/or paint, after all).

Next you’ve got to come up with a plan and schedule.  I often keep the plan to myself. My kids have no idea about time, and thankfully can’t read clocks yet, and clients only THINK they know what they want.

Then you run with the plan.  Headlong, ‘cos there’s no other way with kids.  It takes so much energy to get the momentum moving that you can’t stop what you’ve started.  And art, well, if you don’t risk it all then you’ve nothing to show.  Each brush stroke could potentially ruin the artwork… but then again you’ve got a plan, and you know it will work…

Until it doesn’t, and then it’s time to jump ship.  Jump sideways, so as not to lose the aforementioned momentum!  Never turn back.  Always forward (even if it’s a different forward from before).  Change plans when change is needed. And mostly you’ll know when that is!

Most importantly – keep hold of your sense of who YOU are. Keep your identity separate from how your artworks turns out; how the client receives the artwork; how you feel the day with the kids went; how anyone else says the day went; how grumpy the kids are at dinner time; and whether or not your expectations were met.  And always remember that the value of the work you are doing, cannot be measured in dollars, should not be judged from a single viewpoint, and will only be known in the fullness of time.

And if all else fails? Sleep on it, and look at it again in the morning.

Grace McClymont

Publicity Officer, Christlife MOPS, Toowoomba Qld.

Grace is a full-time mother, wife, professional artist, and former picture-framer.  With her three little ones, she fills her days with learning, cooking, cleaning, tidying, more tidying, drawing, crafting, painting, and blogging at arthousemum.blogspot.com

2 Responses to “Art and Mothering”

  1. Miranda says:

    Beautiful!
    Thank you Grace, I really needed to hear this today.
    And, funnily enough, I really need some Grace today 😉

  2. cath says:

    Thanks Grace. I love the reminder to listen to our instincts, and then have the confidence to back ourselves. It’s so easy to compare what we do with other mums, and then worry that we’re doing it all “wrong” instead of trusting God and trusting ourselves!

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