A Day in the Life of an Artistic Mama Bear
Hello there follow friends! If you are just finding your way over to my little corner of the blogging world, let me give you a fast recap. My name is Anne, I am a military spouse, mama to two under three and a mixed media artist. I have been navigating through the hurdles of military life for almost six years now and just recently found the confidence and life direction to follow my dream of using my artistic abilities to help others. Recently, I decided to focus solely on my personal artwork in hopes of getting a collection into a gallery! (Typing that still gives me anxiety riddled with hope and excitement)
As I was going through my creative motions, I realized that people actually wanted to see HOW I create the things I do on a daily basis. So let’s take a glimpse into a normal work day for me. Keep in mind these videos show hours of work in about 30 seconds. There is a lot of stopping and starting, inside and outside work, and working around nap schedules but IT IS POSSIBLE! The key is finding what works the best for you and your schedule. What is realistic for your family? Even if it is a half hour dedicated to what you want to do, DO IT! Trust me. You may be surprised by the benefits of moving just a few baby steps toward your dream.
A few questions I have received are: “What kind of paint do you use?" “How do you get such vibrant colors in your paintings?” and “How do you do wood carvings when you have toddlers running around the house?” Lean in friends and let me tell you!
“What kind of paint do you use?"
Well, I use acrylic paint that I pick up from my frequent Michael’s store visits. (Lily bug likes that store just as much as me!) Liquitex Basic brand works just fine for my purposes. The reason I am in love with acrylic paint is because of how fast it dries. Especially now as a mother, I don’t have time to wait days for layers of paint to dry. Another wonderful thing about acrylic paint is that it is a water based paint. This means you can use it to layer on top of colors just by adding water! I use watered down paint a ton in my work. (Anytime you see me using a towel or my finger to smudge around a color, it is most likely watered down)
“How do you get such vibrant colors in your paintings?”
Having the foundation of going to art school and through a B.F.A program really gave me the knowledge of color theory that I still use today. Also, being a Graphic Designer by trade, I deal with color combinations on a daily basis. I would encourage anyone who wishes to create vibrant paintings to take the time and study Color Theory! Understanding how different colors react to one another helps you when you are painting or designing anything. If you are looking for a mainstay kind of book from one of the great artists with an in depth understanding of color read: Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color .
How do I do wood carvings when I have little ones running around?
Simple. I just do. I set up my station at the kitchen table where the baby cannot reach unless I carelessly leave something too close to the edge. Then I make sure all baby gates are up and cannot be knocked over. The harder part is trusting that you have baby proofed the room you’re in the best you can. We are fortunate enough to have a sort of open floor plan where I can be sitting at the kitchen table and still have view of the entire living room. Then, I get to work. Now this isn’t to say that I just ignore my daughter while she is being the little human tornado I have come to adore. I am constantly watching in between carvings making sure she isn’t finding something I may have forgotten about.
The best parts for me are when she shows an interest in what I am doing! As you can see from the more realistic video below, there are many a time where I have a paint brush in one hand and my baby girl in the other. Those are my favorite times; our special moments together.
So there you have it! A few tips and tricks of the materials I use and how I get work done with little ones running about. It is definitely difficult but it is something that when I do make time fore, I am the happiest mama bear in the world! Isn’t that what the goal of life is? Finding moments where you are genuinely content and happy? I think so and I cannot wait to see where all this time spent on my artwork will take me!