women
Tag Archive

Mothering takes Time

Comments Off on Mothering takes Time Inspiration

Mothering takes time.

Time is scarce. So often the balance between work, and taking care of family, can be stressful and exhausting. You often have to keep your resentments in check. Remind yourself, as mothers, that taking care of your child is rewarding and short lived. Does this sound ungrateful?

When I was a mother of young children, I spent my days trying to find things to do with my kids. But I also tried to find time to work. To create paintings that reflected the  fun moments of childhood. This time was a time where I just tried to survive. So much time of motherhood is about this.

Nostalgic for that time again

It now seems that I have the nostalgic yearning for young children. Conveniently, I have forgotten the torment and exhaustion. Now I exist in the sense of loss. That loss of time that I can just go to the park and hangout with the two year old.

All that is left in my memory is the cuteness, and fun, that I had with my kids. It takes my husband to remind me of the reality of that time. This is probably because my husband has some guilt in that he loaded all the childcare onto me.

And what is with this?

Time is the biggest gift

I have realized that giving time is the biggest gift we can give. This isn’t only about mothering. Most importantly, giving time is a gift in friendship, partnerships and parenting. Perhaps this is a piece of wisdom that can only be realized as we age. Who knows.

Mothering takes time and realizing this is the key piece to self care.

The past year has put an extra burden on many women. Mothering has become the juggling act of working at home, teaching your kids, and making life seem normal. There really is no time to just be. There is a sense of instability in mothers at this time. Many are feeling pushed to the edge, waiting for the end of this pressure.

Time is the gift that mothers are mostly appreciative of. Therefore, when you look at your kids, give yourself a moment to be kind to yourself. Realize that you are doing the best that you can with the time that you have.

To check out images of children that are available see www.memoryartgirl.com/home-sweet-home

 

Read article

How to Be a Mother

Comments Off on How to Be a Mother Inspiration

You have to learn to be a mother.

To be a mother is a challenge. When I first went home with my baby son, 25 years ago, I was in disbelief that the hospital trusted me to take this living, breathing human home without any supervision. How did they know that I could take care of this child? My husband and I, were on the same page. We had to make sure to keep this thing alive. Never mind celebrating the fact that we had a child. It was really just about trying to keep it eating, breathing and not crying.

The learning began before he was born. Of course, we tried to get as much information as possible to know what to expect. The reality is that much of this information becomes moot when the tiny thing comes home. It really is about survival.

Spring brings mothering into the forefront

With spring in the air, and newness around us there is a sense of the unknown. Mothering, and learning how to mother, are emotions that reappears at this time of year. As we build to the celebration of Mothers in May, this time is the beginning of this marking of this moment.

Understanding that the lifestyle choice of being a Mother is an innate human condition that balances between choice and obligation. What it means to be a mother can be complex and difficult. What “mother” means brings in a definition of sacrifice, strength, love, nurturing and power.

Men can fit into the definition of what it means to be a mother

Considering these are the definitions of “mother”, then men can take on this role. The concept speaks to being a central figure in the family structure that maintains the engine of support. This central caretaker, is often the one who runs the pieces; insuring that the children are fed, taken care of and nurtured. Mother make certain that opportunities are provided to educate.  That social change and diversity in experiences are provided. To just give love and nurturing.

It isn’t about mother vs. father. It is about how the role is defined and maintained.

Unfortunately, not enough men take on this role. As seen this past year, it was women who sacrificed their work and their own personal goals to insure that the children were ok. Maybe the reason was the economic difference, in that men could bring in more of the dough. Or maybe it was that the Mother was the woman.

Mothers are the first to take a step back from work.

Why do they do this? The reality is that mothers know that they have to sacrifice themselves to make certain their kids survive. Mothers ultimately know that this time will pass, and that they can find their track again and work. This past year has shown this.

Considering the role that mothers have taken this past year; it is time to really focus on what this means. Just saying Happy Mother’s Day is not enough. Understanding the importance of providing support to Mothers to succeed in their own life is a reflection of a culture that supports children. What does this mean? It means providing universal childcare, flex time work schedules, remote working opportunities. Just simple structural changes that enable women to provide for their families and be a Mother.

Creating Images of Mother and Children

This spring, a new series Mother’s Memories Project, will be presented that highlights the power of the mother. They will celebrate the sprinkles of happiness that celebrates motherhood.

Take a moment, enjoy the pieces, and think about how, without mothering, we are a culture of chaos and sadness. Most importantly, cherish the images to reflect your own value. Whether you are a woman or a man, being the Mother, means being the centre. These works will be a direct expression and result of this role.

Children and Mothers are part of my Home Sweet Home series. A group of pieces, now available as prints,  that looks towards the “home” where we connect, find our place, and be nurtured. Each piece from the Mother’s Memories Project will be part of this series.

To see full selection of prints see www.memoryartgirl.com

 

Read article

Memories and Childhood

Comments Off on Memories and Childhood Inspiration

 Reminding ourselves of Escape.

Memories of our children can be fleeting. Do you have moments where you look at your grown children and just think about them as young toddlers? Lately, as a mother of two young adults, I find myself in a space of thinking of when they were young. Memories and childhood are ways to find the warmth. To find the escape.

The moment passes quickly. Embedded within your mind is that moment. The moment when the sprinkler goes on, and she jumps. This type of memory is that moment of escape. A core piece that we witness our children go through that reminds us of fun; of life and of joy.

This is the marking the moment of escape. This cherished moment takes you to another place. Another time when the day consisted of trying to find time to work, and then find time to play. The search for daycare, the carving out of time to explore the city were all part of the day.

Motherhood without guilt

I remember when my day was spent walking through the streets of Toronto pushing a stroller. There was a this sense of “mom zombie” looking for others just like me. For some, thinking that motherhood is a walk in the park is just wrong.  Going to the drop in center to socialize my daughter. To just get around other people. These were the pieces of being a mother that was not the best.

But then there were moments of pure joy. Of going for a bike ride with my daughter being towed in the tailer. We would go to the park. Playing in the wading pool, or going to the beach and throwing in rocks into the lake. Little moments where there is motherhood without guilt. A way to think of memories and childhood that enables us to be in that moment.

Memories and childhood are the inspiration.

It are these moments that are the inspiration for my new series Mothers Memories Project. As my new series develops, these are the little moments that will be surfaced. To celebrate the escape in order to remind ourselves that escape is a way of survival. A distraction. Motherhood can be isolating but it can also be rewarding. Of course, it can. The goal is to isolate, highlight and celebrate these moments.

The best part about memory is the ability to choose the good.

Ways to Remember

In looking at memories and how they are formed; there are two ways that memories and childhood embed; individualist and collectivist.

The “individualist” are those isolated moments. It seems that the only way that these moments appear in our child’s memory is if we elaborate on the moment. Description of the colours, the events are described and the child is encouraged to remind themselves of this moment. This type of memory recall is not usual in our family, Lately I have been trying to find out if they kids have these specific memories and it doesn’t seem to rise to the surface. Yet I have them. The little moments of spending time with them when they forced me to think of something else than work.

The “Collectivist” memory has more of an impact. It is the sense of your family and the experiences that relate to the larger social responsibility. That which references the nurturing, caring and value of respect for others in the group. These are the type of memories that my kids have. They are very clear about how supportive, thoughtful and empathetic they should be. These traits seem to come through when I ask them about their childhood.

Looking at these two ways of “memory”, the collectivist would seem the best way. Yet those little individualist moments give me the escape place of warmth that I yearn for.

To just be back in that moment.

Read article

We have the Power

Comments Off on We have the Power Events and Exhibitions

A way to keep you going.

For the past year, I have woken up everyday and say the date. I mark the day, and repeat in my mind what is on the schedule for the day. What is my 17 year old daughter doing? Does she have a class in math? Has she scheduled her tutor? I ask my husband if he is going to work? There is so much uncertainty with the lockdown of work and school.  Our lives seem to have always been up in the air.

Yet, it has been a time to just keep going. Survival. Not enjoyment. Not looking too far into the future. To just live in the now and hope that the art will keep coming and everyone will keep something of their lives intact.

It is this context upon which a new show was created.
This show began with this first line in a story;

“As she jumped into the air, she thought I just want to be free”

This is the essence of the story for the Show “Be the Light” a series of originals for International Women’s Day on March 8th.
(As an added perk I will also be releasing a small 5×7 framed print of the highlighted image “Launching into Life”)

What is our future?

The goal nowadays is to be free from the restraints of everyday. Boredom, isolation, servitude and quarantine are just a few effects of our reality. However, this past year has been challenging for so many people, especially women. In fact, this time has been called a “shecession”- as almost 2 million women have dropped out of the working world. Most importantly, this time has set women working  back 30 years.

Of course, we all know why this is. The taking care of the family, teaching kids online, taking care of aging parents are all part of this. The sacrificing to make certain we survive is at the top of the list.

Along with this, is the exhaustion and the isolation. So many women are doing these things are their own. The mental state and understanding of that they are the one’s to help their kids keep going and feel normal is at the apex of this.

We are the Power

Knowing that so many are trying to persevere and be resilient, I decided to create 10 original pieces that speak to our presence. Each piece celebrates our power. As we are the power. Each piece is to help us remind women that they can get through to the other side. That side where kids go to school and are safe from the virus, that place where we can visit our parents without wearing masks or having a test. Or that place where we can go out with our friends or partners for dinner or a concert and revel in a moment of escape.

This will all happen again. Most importantly, it’s now time to keep the last piece of resilience and persevere to when life will be filled with the normal routine.

To look at the new selection of pieces for “Be the Light” be sure to check out the collection at https://www.memoryartgirl.com/large-original-paintings. On March 8th, this page will have the new selection of pieces that will be on Sale until March 12th.

Read article

Brighten Someone’s Day

Comments Off on Brighten Someone’s Day Inspiration

Think Beyond Yourself

How do we brighten someone’s day as we progress through The Great Pause? During this time we are reminded of the essentials of life. Family, friends, safety, kindness and freedom.  We are reminded that we must have the ability to step outside of our own plans and be in the moment. To trust that the future will return.

There is a great sense of loss, on so many levels. For so many,  this loss becomes about ourselves.  Although, the phrase “we are all in it together” has become somewhat trite- yet it speaks to the sense that loss has been shared by everyone. The question becomes how to combat this “woe is me” feeling. To step outside of the personal grieving of loss and empathize that there are others who are struggling as well.

Your Mother helps Your Sanity

The journey to find the end of this dreary time is the challenge. How do we equip ourselves to keep going on a daily basis? How do we get up everyday and step into some time of routine. How do we find the space where we can contribute to the healing and stopping of the Pause?

For me, my lifeline has  been my mother. Her voice at the other end of the phone, or to see her face on the screen, has been a calming influence. She has “brightened someone’s day” by just being a calm voice. Just by asking if I am OK.

As a mother myself, I have taken this sensation of calmness and tried to share it with my son and daughter who are both dealing with the anxiety and uncertainty of today. Just by saying it is going to be ok. We will get through these times. This will pass. Be angry, be sad, but be aware that life will return. Words that must be repeated and understood to keep the journey going.

These little moments of sharing is really what it is about. Step outside of yourself and brighten someone’s day.

The journey has included the making of the home as a place of perfection. Baking cakes, hanging out, are pieces where time is shared and peace seems to prevail. They also brighten someone’s day as there is a moment of distraction. A moment of escape.

Dream and life will Return

As an artist, mother and creator of visual stories, I have seen my contribution as not only one who maintains some kind of stability, in a time of chaos, but also to give people the channel to dream.

To dream of a time of freedom, to dream of escape, of happiness, of being in a place that we share the optimism and light. All pieces that will be pervasive again.

The glimmer of light is there. It just takes a moment to reach out and brighten it. To remind them that life will be good again and the sense of loss will evaporate.

Read article

Friendship creates memories.

Comments Off on Friendship creates memories. Inspiration, Uncategorized

Friends makes us Happy

Having a group of women friends creates happiness and memories. Friendship brings out the lighter side of life and makes us realize that life is to be enjoyed. To not be taken too seriously and remind you to laugh a little at the absurdity of daily life.

For many women, working, taking care of kids and parents, having a partner are so many pieces that have to be balanced and nurtured. Much of our time is spent insuring that everyone is good. Having friendship with other women is just too much. It takes time to be engaged. To reach out and celebrate each other. A piece that often get lost in the demands of taking care of others.

Yet by not doing this, by not taking care of the personal, the resource that gives so much is not renewed. That resource is You.

As an artist, I spend a great deal of time alone. I’m not lonely. I just don’t talk to people much. It takes a bit of effort and time to understand that by doing this I am not renewing the resource that produces the art.

Art can remind you of the joy of Friendship

Looking at vintage photos of women walking together, striding in laughter and fun, reminds you of the joy. This image tells you to stop- listen to your inner voice and step into taking life a little less seriously.  This is an important piece.

How can art play a role in your happiness?

This is a question that I often consider when creating a peice of art. What messaging does it hold that takes you to a place that reminds you of joy, reminds you of escape, reminds you of love? Pieces of happiness that are critical in our well being.

Creating images of women walking together plays into this realm. As an artist it is an image that reminds me of the value of my friendships with women. Women who share my frustrations with relationships, hopes for my kids and advice for my career. Pieces of shared moments that cannot be taken for granted.

Make certain you surround yourself with reminders of laughter.  This gives you so much more than that moment.

 

 

Read article

Power of Original Art

Comments Off on Power of Original Art Inspiration

The power of original art is everywhere.

We are surrounded by an enormous amount of imagery everyday. Images through social media, tv, streaming, news  all seem to blend into our minds. So what stands out? What makes an impression upon us? The power of original art is to make you stop, look and think.

When you look towards original art you should stop.  Think that these are One of a kind pieces of art that had time and thought put into it to create it. Remember that the image you are looking out was made out of NOTHING.  A person took a tool, and used a surface and made something from nothing. And what they made was about something. It had a statement about your life. It’s purpose was to register a moment that you take for granted. In many ways, artists are visual philosophers. They stop time and translate it into a visual moment. So stop the scrolling and register.

This moment is put in front of you and you are made to register.

As a viewer, and consumer of this imagery, you look at it. You think “what is this image and how does it relate to you”. On a broader scale what does this art say about the trends in our culture.  If it’s a piece about nature, the use of color, the brushwork, the technique capture the light and image. If it’s a figure, there is sense of  person, the story and the identity.

This is where my work exists. It sits in the realm of creating a story about the people in our life and world. They may have come from the past, but their influence is still existent in the present. Whether it is an image from an old family photo, or an image from an iconic figure that is well known, then the story evolves to relate to who we are today. The beauty and elegance of Audrey Hepburn inspires us. The iconic power of Marilyn Monroe is transformed into our own persception of female empowerment.

Slow down and stop. Be Mindful of what you look at.

The highlighting of this creative moment makes you stop and register. That is what I am trying to make you do. To slow down and absorb.

In our daily life of the saturation of images we just dismiss. We don’t stop. We just consume. We scroll past and not think about the time, the idea and what the image says about you at this time.

 

 

Read article

Resisting Delay of Creativity

Comments Off on Resisting Delay of Creativity Inspiration

Resist the voice that says No.

What does it take to create? To make something- a piece of art, a piece of music, a new business? The making something out of nothing takes an enormous amount of initiative, motivation and perserverance. Most of the effort is the resisting of creating that seems to envelop us.  Making a piece of art is no different. Having the ideas is one thing. It is thinking through the process that takes a n amount of time to understand and go through. As an artist I make plans. I think of an image, then initiate the process. However when doing it I have to let the painting, the piece of art take its own magic. The first step is the most important- initiating the work.

Life and Making of art are similar

Many of us live our lives this way. As we get older, we have our work, our families and we are busy. Focused on the creating of things around us. Then suddenly there is time. Time to think and time to share. Time to be. What to do with your time? There can be a tendency to resisting the risks. To take initiative and be adventurous . Take life into our hands and make it a piece of art. Travel, volunteer, play golf, play bridge- all things that use our minds and expresses what we love to do. Yet there are many of us who stop ourselves and say that we just can’t do this or that. That we do not follow through and grasp onto the piece that makes us happy.

Art and Stories about reality.

The choices we make as we live our lives can go through so many levels. The first is always- what do I want to do? What do I want to create? For me, it is what do I want to say about my vision of life. Many times I am confronted with the “resisting”. The action of not taking the time and effort to create.

Stories are my favourite focus. To put together images that relate to our own place of authentic experience is the core to my work. The connections to my family and partner, the experience of adventure and release are at the core of my narrative. As I create these pieces, I try to find the Universal message. That my experience is your experience. That my exploring the dimensions of living life, and creating an image of it, is something that you will look at and be inspired to do as well.

As in the painting highlighted, Weekend Glory, a piece of art that embodies the release. The celebration of the moment and inspiration of life. Two things we should think of on a daily basis. Two things that we can move with into our world and move through without registering that word No.

To see a collection of inspirational prints see www.memoryartgirl.com

Read article

Enjoy the Everyday Sounds of Life

Comments Off on Enjoy the Everyday Sounds of Life Inspiration

Sounds of everyday life can be taken for granted.

When my daughter was young, she would wake up everyday with a song. Singing in her childlike voice I would listen as I wake up and revel in this moment of happiness. Just to stop and listen. The other day I asked  my 14 year old daughter if she still wakes up with a song in her head. Yes she said. There is always a tune in her head. She dances through her life. The sounds of everyday life permeate her world and she registers this moment.

In fact, when she was younger, she would dance after dinner. Everyday. At home and when we went out for dinner. I called it the Dinner and Show time which was an inspiration for a whole series of pieces that focused on dance.  My daughter doesn’t dance after dinner anymore, because the music is still within her.

I don’t wake up with a song in my head. I wake up with a list of things to do. Not that this is a bad thing, but I have to remind myself to stop and enjoy life a bit more. Like my daughter.

Melody in Language can be Art

Recently I listened to an interview with the musician Meklit Hadero who finds melody in everyday language. The composing of music from language, repetition of sounds to make a song takes the everyday and makes it into art. But then that is the role of the artist- to highlight the taken for granted and elevate it. To walk into the ordinary and create a  piece that makes you stop, listen and look.

Designing Joy into your Home

Most importantly, this concept of registering the beauty of everyday relates to the healing power of beauty. Our homes, our places of refuge,  are the places that we retreat to and recharge. To ignore this place does not help you move forward in your life. In other words, it heals and gives you the strength to keep going. Yet the sounds of everyday life can take us into the pleasure of unnoticed.

Importance of the Circle

In the post by Ingrid Fetell who speaks to how joy can be designed into our surroundings, she speaks about how our homes and workplaces have to have a conscious awareness of healing and comfort. She highlights how the circle plays a major role in this design.

What does the circle do? How is it powerful? Many of my clients question my use of the circle and my repetition of this element in my work. I have always responded that I use circles as a way to elevate the feeling of the piece. However, this use goes much deeper. In fact, as Ingrid states,the circle has a psychological healing piece to it. It creates balance, a sense of wholeness and comfort. Sharp angles, rectangles and squares, have more of a sense of discomfort. Not surprising that this is the case. There really isn’t anything like polka dots.

Painting with Circles

In the highlighted painting titled Floating Fragrance, the use of circles is repeated in the structure of the piece. The end result is the sensation of these women walking on air. The repetition of the ladies, in a pop art style, gives a contemporary vision of a cityscape. Layers and the ephemeral light makes this piece full of life.

In conclusion, the goal is to look and listen at your world. Stop and look at a painting in your home. Listen to laughter and music and be aware of how it feels. Above all, register the joy that surrounds you daily!

Read article

Home is a Place of Renewal

Comments Off on Home is a Place of Renewal Inspiration

Renewal of the Home and Feng Shui

Your home should be a place or renewal and regeneration. The question becomes how? How does the design and flow of your home take you into a place of the positive. The theory of Feng Shui delves into this theory through the use of colour, symbols and placement of the interior elements to make a healthy happy place.

Creating Balance through art and colour.

In the article about the Feng Shui Use of Art, the author delves into the themes of imagery and symbols that creates and enhance the story of the room. For example, the introduction of feminine elements through the use of light colours, light fabrics and patterns.  The theory creates an outlook that emphasizes a happy energy into our space. It is all about health, balance and harmony.

There are five elements in the Feng Shui theory- fire, earth, water, wood and metal. Colours that range from the blue/ green delve into serenity of water to the red/yellows that bring in the theme of love. Symbols, colour and placement of furniture creates a flow of a home. The framework helps guide you to select the pieces of Art, furniture, colours and approach to creating a space that renews us.

Art is the Story and the Symbol of visualizing.

In the piece highlighted titled Life is Like a Song, the theme of the piece is about love and the colours emanate the celebration and intensity of the story of the piece. This piece, if hanging in your home, would attract love and celebrates the connections you either have or would like to have in your home. In fact, this piece was recently sold to a client who wanted Love in her life. She only had images of single women in her home. So by introducing the story of Love and the actual representation of this couple, enabled her to visualize how she would like to change her life.

How does Art play a role in this theory of Feng Shui? Choosing art can be challenging, but if you have a few decision guiding principles, then the final choice can be easier. Check out my Online Store  and see the options!

Read article