Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Balance, or the Lack Thereof

"Gothic Road Aspens"
Oil on Panel

Being an artist and a mom takes a lot of focus on keeping things organized and balanced - on a good day I struggle to get things done, but I seem to have completely lost my balance lately.

I'm due to have this little guy any day now, and the waiting game is about to drive me insane. I'm ready to have a cute little baby to snuggle and take care of, and to have my body back and start moving forward with my family and my career. Not knowing what day he's going to make his grand appearance is making me crazy, and I'm just trying to keep myself busy so I won't get too impatient.

This has been a tough year. I've struggled to keep up with the art side of things -between 20 weeks of morning (ALL DAY) sickness and a handful of minor complications that kept me heading down to Denver for doctor's appointments, I've just been trying to keep my head above the water and keep the few commitments I had made earlier in the year. I missed deadlines for a bunch of juried shows, declined participating in some other invitational type events, and haven't been providing all of my galleries with new work like I should. I managed to prepare for my two person show in August and keep up with demands for work from galleries that were selling well, and that's about it.

It's easy to beat myself up about what I missed this year, and worry about whether it sets me back, but I keep reminding myself that it's just a season, and that I have to stick to my priorities. Fact is, this is probably the last kid I'll have, and I want to spend some time enjoying him as a baby just as much as I want to make sure I don't miss a thing about Aspen as she grows up. My priority this year has been my kids, and as tough as it is to swallow, I know my art will be waiting for me when I get back to a point where I feel well enough and have enough time to really focus on painting again. In the meantime, I'm doing the best that I can, and trying to enjoy the process along the way. It's not easy, but at least it's always rewarding!


  1. I can appreciate your quandry since we're in the middle of wedding planning and remodeling our house, including a new studio for me. I've had to put some things on hold, and it's a little disconcerting.

    Your art career will not only be waiting, you'll probably experience a quantum leap in your work once you get back into it. Kudos to you for setting your priorities and taking time out to enjoy your family. You'll be so happy you did this for yourself and for them.

  2. Hang in there Stacey. Glad to see a post again. I actually told Donna last night that I was wondering if you had had the baby due to your silence. Sounds like you have your priorities in line despite the struggles. My son is now 22. I remember looking at him when he was 4 while going through a stack of freelance design jobs and working full time on top of that. I said to myself, "If I don't slow down I am going to miss him growing up." At that point I quit the freelance, focused on my primary job, and Donna quit her job to focus on caring for him. We don't regret any of those decisions. It's a blessing that you have a career that can allow you the freedom to manage your time to some degree. Take care and all the best for the little guy! /Lee

  3. Hey Stacey,
    Congratulations on the new baby. Good luck with the delivery. I really like your work. You continue to get noticeably better all the time. It's amazing that you can produce such great work and be a Mom at the same time. It's cool you got to go to the weekend with the masters. Those events are always so great. I just wanted to touch base again and let you know I've been keeping up with your work and I like it more and more all the time. I wish I had your kind of talent.

  4. a wonderful painting... and of one of my favourite trees: the aspen. i love the pure clean use of colour in the foreground and the purples in the background...
    i hope all goes well at the birth and you clearly have your priorities right. i only hope we still get to see a painting now and again (when baby is asleep) best wishes r.

  5. Your work is very mature..I am always just blown away by how advanced you are at such a young age. No worries, family comes first. Nothing is as great as being a great parent! It will all be waiting for you down the road

  6. Julie - I know how you feel since we've had construction going on too. Hope the wedding planning is going well!!

    Lee - thanks for the encouragement. Occasionally I'm envious of my peers who get to paint fulltime, but I know I get the best of both worlds by painting a few days a week and getting to be at home with Aspen. Just have to be patient - someday they'll be grown up and I'll have all the time in the world to paint and I'll miss the days when they were babies!

    Ryan - good to hear from you! I'm glad you see some improvement - I may not have a ton of time, but I've been trying to really think about what I'm doing with my work rather than just slap paint on the canvas. Hope you and Courtney are doing well =)

    Rahina - thanks - this painting is still wet and ready to ship off to a gallery next week. Hopefully I'll still be posting new work here occasionally, even with the baby!

    Celeste - thanks for the encouragement. I know it will all be waiting - I just have to make sure I'm never using that as an excuse to put off until tomorrow what I could be doing today. That's where the elusive balance comes in, I guess.

  7. Family first. I have no words to describe the feelings you must be having. I am sure you know what I am saying. My children are now 18 and 12. Over the last several years my wife has had over 29 surgeries (total knee replacement just this past Monday). In particular the two strokes over the past year and a half.

    Your art drives family is a part of you. The two make you who you are. I have learned over the years my art career is a journey, not a job, or a vocation. My art completes me; yet I strive for more because I feel the need to "succeed" when succeeding is not a goal it is a state of mind.

    You are are an awesome artist and no doubt an awesome mother. You juggle so much in your busy life. I admire what you've done as an artist.

    In a nutshell - your family must be very proud of you. Your art will always be there but your children grow up. Enjoy them...they will grow up way too fast. You will find time to paint.


  8. This is perhaps my favorite painting of yours. Gorgeous. God bless your new arrival!

  9. Well this is a lovely painting. Wait til after the baby then no time to paint.

  10. Stacy, I am in awe of what you are accomplishing. Nothing wrong at all with slowing down on the painting while they are babies so you can enjoy them. Before you know it they will be in school, you will have your days back and soon after that they will prefer time with their friends which will give you even more time. And what you learn and experience from being a mom will only bring more depth to your painting.

    But you already know that;)

  11. I really love the colors in this painting! It's beautiful! :)

  12. I'm a mom and an artist. Many times others will comment on how I do it! I parent them and am always there for my kids, 9 & 15 now, but there was a time when I felt resentful because there was no time for being "me, the artist". As the diapers became underwear, and the feedings became 3 meals a day, I often wonder why I wanted to rush through it all. Until recently, I realized that the time with my kids is THE FUEL for my work.

  13. This painting is lovely. I enjoyed seeing your work and reading your commentary

  14. Beautiful YOu are very talented.~T