Creating & Mothering

Sometimes there is no time. Sometimes you are deliberating between being creative, having a nap, taking a shower, sitting still. When I'm in this bind I have been coming up with creative solutions, compromises. Can I use a warm soak in a bath as a reward? Can I challenge myself to make something in the time it takes to drink tea? Can I truly multitask when trying to walk the baby to sleep for a long overdue nap? I've been documenting these over on my instagram account but it's nice to compile them and I've included my captions.

Here are a few pieces of work which have tried to do just that...

This collection of work will continue to build over time. Random, thrifty, badly made, imperfect, unfinished, overly ambitious, ridiculous in its very nature of attempting to be superwoman.

How can we really do/have it all?

'16 Colour Palettes on a Tesco Home Delivery Receipt, Using my Daughters Colouring Pens and Pencils while the Baby Eats Fishfingers', 2021

A page from the only piece of art I made this week. Sometimes there's no time to get everything you want to do, done. Sometimes done badly is the only way. Sometimes children get sick and need to cling to their mum for a week. Sometimes there's an emergency at the childminder and sometimes it's the end of term holidays.

I wanted to make a beautiful sketchbook with lots of 3 colour palettes to give me some limitations or rules to work to and something to go back to when I'm next pondering where to start (did you know I'm also writing a book on creative prompts and starting points? Alongside writing it I'm testing the theory in my own practice so obviously it has to be perfect and work out every time 😂)

Well here it is! Isn't it stunning! I think this piece speaks to the absurdity of trying to be everything all at once. Does anyone else feel this 'you can have it all' rhetoric is a bit unfair and unrealistic? It should be true, but it isn't really always possible. You can have it all - at once. You can do it all - probably badly. You can juggle it all - you might fall over.

Sketches on a Nature Walk with a 4 Year Old

Very quick sketching at nightingale valley today. Looking at roots mainly but found some corrugated iron and I wonder if there's a crossover with corrugated card. A way to make them into large scale assemblages perhaps! Interesting contrasts between the growth and discarded materials, fallen fences, fallen trees, sliding walls engulfed by roots. Decay is just a matter of time.

These were mostly drawn while being poked in the leg with a stick and told to hurry up by a headstrong 4 year old, luckily I've never been too concerned with precision when I'm making impressions of a place.

Drawing shapes in the alley, in the time it took to walk my daughter to sleep, on the back of an envelope the postman handed me on the way out, 2021

Colours painted in watercolour on tissue and watercolour paper and some photos of the shedsperation

Drawing shapes in the alley, in the time it took to walk my daughter to sleep, on the back of an envelope the postman handed me on the way out, 2021

As many writing prompts until my tea goes cold (or I drink it), 2021

A moment of peace. Child 1 worn out from a run around a churchyard, happily watching pj masks ("I'm going to be a super hero when I grow up so that's why I need to watch pj masks to find out how.") Child 2 napping after 4th time at her new childminders house. Ah a cup of tea and only the sound of the slight whirring of the fridge. Moment of bliss.

[100] 45 Projects in the Time it Takes to Run my Bath, 2021

The first time in 13 months. Where I have been alone for 3 whole hours in a row. (It was supposed to be 5 but my lockdown baby wasn't really coping very well so I had to collect her early.) I read some books, listened to crap 00's pop music ("under my um-ber-ella"), sent some emails, and combined having a bath with artistic output.

I took on one of these challenges and walked down a long alley between terraced house garages and took photos of colour and texture. Interesting to observe the perfectionism of the manmade being destroyed by time, weather, growth. I think these colours and layers will inspire work tomorrow when I have just the 4 year old. And we're going to have our artist day.