Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Balancing Parenting and Painting - what works for me

Photo of Ruthie splattering liquitex white gesso over a canvas
(I was hoping she'd paint it smooth but this parenting thing seems to be  all about letting go....)

I had someone  in the comments section of this blog a few weeks back ask me how I balance parenting and painting so I wanted to speak to that in terms of what works for me and how I create time for my creativity and mostly single parent my daughter!

The first big thing I would suggest is have your art project(s) out in a place where you can see them regularly. Even if you're not working on it, your brain will be while you're busy doing other things.  Ahhhhh the power of the subconscious. This is actually a very powerful way to work. Put it out there and let the answers - that next layer, brush broke, collage piece - come to you.

I just recently moved and converted the living room of our apartment into my studio workspace. I purposefully leave paintings around so that when I walk by in the morning making my little girl's lunch, breakfast, dinner, snacks, cleaning up her lunch, breakfast, dinner and snacks I always have a good view of my paintings in progress. That way I am still 'working' on them.

Which brings me to bridging a concept which I've written about in previous blogs. Basically its a fancy word for being set up. Make sure you have your work area totally ready to go so when you have a moment - the kids finally takes a nap or gets absorbed into a game or is invited to a play date at a friends house (hallelujah), you can start working immediately. Have you water, paints, brushes, tools, notepad, canvas, paper all easily accessible and ready to go.

I have a stock pile of ready to go projects set up for her ahead of time: play dough, water colours, stamping box, kitchen play, water play, sorting coins and buttons, cutlery, making kitchen stuff - she likes mixing flour, eggs, water & spices, her own 'creations', stuff set up for making her own collages with stickers, glitter, colored construction paper, books, music, you get the idea - and this is really age dependent, but you know your child's needs best.

Sometimes I even let her paint on my paintings! ugh! This is not my favourite thing but it is sometimes necessary to let her in on the fun. In the up and coming 'Pure Abstraction' video about my work, techniques, beliefs and new Pure Abstraction paintings, there is a scene where I let Ruthie come and paint with me. It's a double edge sword because she looooves it but also I have to completely let go of what I was working on. My ego hates the loss of control!

(Stay tuned....video will be released in April along with the new website)

Above are my core methods of balancing parenting and painting and then there are the obvious ones such as:

- do small projects  that you can do anywhere in small amounts of time (Personally, I have a hard time with this one as I'm a sucker for big paintings and big projects!)
- set boundaries and let them know this is YOUR time
- hire a sitter
- off load children to willing friends, play dates, grandparents, sister, aunts uncles, etc (I envy those of you with  local and helpful relatives!)
- get up early and paint when they are sleeping! 
-put them to bed and paint when they are sleeping!

And... I've got  number of artist friend with children - Rosemary Gara-Hill, Desiree Davidson, Russel Young, Amy Roemer. So I will ask them to add their thoughts, comments, tips too. 

Good luck!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Art & Autism: upcoming book and art show this Saturday

Went to get my hair extensions out last week... what an ordeal of chemicals, hair pulling, and several hours later....luckily some hair still remains. I miss the long hair but not the work to upkeep it. Justine, my new and great up-and-coming stylist recommended a new look so I went for bangs. Fun. Anyways, 2 1/2 hours later we told each other our life stories and I learned her brother, Kevin and mother were also artists and by the by he was having a show this upcoming weekend...

This Saturday at the Palm Lofts Gallery in Carpinteria is a very art special show by a young fourteen year old man, Kevin Hosseini and his artist mentor Steve Richardson.

Kevin, a prolific oil painter, along with his mom Debbie, were recently featured in a documentary By Keri Bowers entitled "Arts: A film about Possibilities, Disabilities, and the ARTS" . 

Debbie is also working on a book connecting art and autism called Artism ANew - Shattering the Myths of Autism through the voice of Art . In telling me about the book she says; "The book takes myths about autism, such as people with autism have no feelings or emotions, and presents visual counterpoints to that myth.  Artism Anew features 55 artists with autism or Aspergers (a form of autism).  Each artist has also given Debbie poetry or quotes for the book. Its a full-colored coffee table book and is very beautiful."

Debbie explained to me the relationship to autism and art is that 10 percent of people with autism have a savant skill, such as math, music, or art.  This compared to only 1 percent in the typical population. In her opinion, they are able to tap into the Creative Force much more easily than normal people. They are also able to immerse themselves in the work creating true, unaffected paintings.  Kevin's art mentor Steve Richardson says that kevin has a natural looseness in his painting that many trained artist strive for.

Personally, I have no experience working with or being around autistic people. My experience is limited to Rainman, however I have a friend from high school whose son is Autistic and I truly can't wait to hear her comments about this concept that perhaps autistic people do have easier access to the Creative Force, as Debbie calls it.

I do  think though that one of the biggest things that typically stops adults from being creative - painting, writing, etc - are a lot of their thoughts and beliefs that don't serve them. Perhaps autistic people don't have the mind chatter telling them they can't or shouldn't or aren't good enough and are therefore free to create and be in process more easily than the rest of us mind entrapped beings! 

Your thoughts? Please comment below.

For more information about Debbie's soon to be published book  Artism ANew - Shattering the Myths of Autism through the Voice and Art of Those on the Spectrum  please contact Debbie Hosseini at hosseini58@cox.net or (805) 259-6879.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Do you know any movie stars who buy contemporary abstract art?

The new website is in process....yeah, yeah, yeah  JM I can hear you voice saying it's only been over a year!!! But when its done you can show all your movie star friends. (ha!)

Anyways,  here it is, my ultimate career success vision board of the dream painting studio - lots of light, wood, high ceilings, surrounded by trees and nature and quiet, lots of time to paint, play and create with additional space for teaching. 

Surrounding the studio is where I envision my work selling - to collectors including movie stars  and exhibiting in galleries all over the world - NY, LA, SF, London, Toyko, Vancouver, Paris, and Reykavik ( I need an excuse to get back to Iceland!).

I also made a dream vision board for my homestead and family life but there are a few more images I want to find and add...So i'll post that when I'm done.

Vision boards are a fun way to create and attract what you want in your life, just like they talked about in The Secret movie. You made one lately? Do share! ( I just changed the comments settings so anyone can share, you don't have to have a google account :))

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Patchwork Paper ...paintings are photographed!

The eight Patchwork Paper series paintings are back from the photographers and since they are all quite similar I thought I'd show you three of the eight. The rest will go up on the new website, which is currently being re-done, so stay tuned for this!

All the following art works are available for sale and several of them will be hung at Via Roma Boutique Located at 17215 Ventura Boulevard, Encino,Ca, 91316 Contact: Lizette Aaronson, Ph (818) 386 - 0736, Email viaromaimports@sbcglobal.net, Website http://www.viaromaimports.com.

Patchwork Paper v, viii, and i
Patchwork Paper Series
(c) Deb Chaney 2008
30 x 23 " 
Mixed Media, Acrylics, Various Collage Papers on 300 lb Paper
Dark Reds: Feng Shui Recommendation: Fame and Reputation. To enhance this area of your life, place this  piece directly opposite the front entrance of your home or doorway.
Pinks: Love and Romance. To enhance this area of your life place this piece in the back right hand corner of your room, office or home.
available for sale, debchaney@live.com 

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

What do you most want to know about living the artists life?

OK, it's your turn....please tell me what you most want to know about my life as a professional artist. I want to share as much as I can that will inspire your life, support you, motivate you and contribute to your life masterpiece however you 'paint' it.

What would you like to learn or hear about from this blog?

Do you want to know more about products, processes, techniques?
About my work habits? What I do when I'm not painting?
About handling business of being an artist?
About parenting a 5 year old  and making time for my work?
About what inspires me and why I do this?
More photos of new art work? More photos of the studio, art works in process?
Other artist I love and admire? Teachers I've studied with and loved?

Dear reader, I thank you for subscribing, reading, following my journey. Knowing you're there keeps me going when I'm on a low. Please let me know how I can return the favor. Please write specifically below in the comments section on what you'd like to hear about from me that will add value to your life. Or, if you'd like to remain private, please email me at debchaney@live.com ---Thank you so much! Deb

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Filling the spiritual well...nothing like a beach walk

Some photos from a wonderful blustery beach walk in Santa Barbara, CA. Nothing fills my well and rejuvinates my spirit than a walk outdoors near the ocean or in nature.