Nothing can prepare you for parenthood, being a parent is one of the most difficult and challenging endeavors in one's life, however, I have no doubt it is the most meaningful. As an artist, I am influenced and inspired by my everyday environment. In this new series of artworks, I aim to highlight, and capture the beauty of being a parent, (from what I've experienced) as the richest time in my life. This series aims to speak about my triumphs and struggles as a mother. It deals with the ideals of motherhood, its morals, and its priorities. It is an exciting series that revels in a mother’s time with her child.
I would like to begin by establishing that I rarely like to bring up, or to discuss the subject matter of losing my mother in 2014, being that it is emotionally painful. I lost my mother, my beacon of wisdom and love, my sense of home. After a brief fight with lung cancer, my mom passed, I was six months pregnant at the time with my first child. I found her death to be beyond life shattering. Devastatingly I lost my “home”, the constant in my life. Though her values and way of life are entrenched in my every day, I still long for the sound of her voice, and cling to the dream of her meeting her grandchildren. Her meeting them for even a minute, to see how amazing, beautiful, and smart they are, those thoughts are the most heart wrenching for me. There is no doubt in my mind that my son Gus and my husband Carly saved my sanity in those trying months following her death. Gus was my focus, and Carly was my strength. I learned in that trying time that a mother’s love for a child is an insurmountable love, and I now know how much my mother loved me.
That experience and shock of death awoke something in me. I had a new thirst for life. Nothing scared me anymore. Nothing could be more painful than losing my mother. You will not get the things you want in this life by not taking a chance in the first place.
“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or
failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Since the passing of my mother, my life has kicked into high gear. Time is our most precious commodity and should be spent on the things that matter most: Family, love and one’s passions. Moments are fickle and fleeting; I have endeavored to make the most of mine. I refuse to lock myself away in my studio alone and not include my children in my passion for the arts. I want to show them the beauty of mark making, dancing, and expressing yourself with a brush stroke or a splash of paint. I want to teach them that it’s ok to make a mess, “YES Gus you can step in the paint, squish it between your hands, and no Finn, you can’t eat it”! My 2-year-old son Gus and I had the most amazing time together painting this series; I hope the unique artwork can even scratch the surface of the significance of our time together.
The paintings consist of a series of portraits, the subjects for the portraits are mothers and fathers I personally photographed. The intention of portraits is to project strength, integrity, love and the struggle of what it takes to be a parent. This series is a celebration of motherhood, parenthood and the sheer innocence of being playful. The mindset and mood of the artwork is to project the incorruptible freedom of a child’s open cognizance, and zest for living life in the moment.
Since the birth of my second little boy Finn in January of this year, I decided I needed some one on one time with my 2 year old son Gus. I also really longed for that quality time in my art studio. As most of you know, time is not something you have an abundance of with a newborn. With all that in mind, I started to paint with Gus in my studio every Sunday. To my surprise he took to it (because believe me I've tried to make him paint with me in the past). I loved all the fun quality time we had together on these projects. I posted a few photographs us painting on social media, and now wherever I go parents and friends approach me. They tell me how much they love seeing Gus paint with me and how they want to do the same with their children. So for my fellow parents here is a post with tips and tricks. These will get your toddler to really enjoy and take to a painting project, while having fun and making a memorable quality painting as an end result.
TIP number one:
Tape your paper to a flat surface. This is important (it is called stretching paper): by taping the paper down and letting your painting fully dry after you have your fun, it will ensure that the paper will come out ripple free! The paper expands when wet, and after a few hours will shrink back down flat when dry.
What you will need for your underpainting first (WET) layer:
Optional Supplies: Get creative!
Take look around your house for absolutely anything they can scrape, dab, dip, mark-make, or paint with!
These are great for arts and crafts or outside totally resistant to pretty much anything. I prefer to just go with stripping Gus down to his diaper because everything I am using is non-toxic.
Now throw on some fun tunes, get messy, and channel you and your child's inner artist!
If you have any questions please contact me I will be happy to help!
As part of my art series “Cool kids” (instadentity) show at The Rouge Gallery, January 2017, I painted icon and activist Lady Gaga, she is an activist for many causes, one being sexual violence. In support and to raise awareness of victims and survivors in our community and surrounding area I will be donating 100% of the proceeds of my Lady Gaga Prints on paper to The Lloydminster Sexual Assault & Information Centre. Please help this cause by commenting or sharing.
The Lloydminster Sexual Assault & Information Centre’s role in our community is to provide violence awareness, education, support and crisis intervention services. They work closely with community organizations to deliver the best possible services in a responsive, flexible and professional manner. They foster change within our community by creating sensitivity, knowledge and skills to respond to the needs of the children, youth, adults and families coping with the trauma of sexual abuse, sexual assault, family violence and bullying.
The Lloydminster Sexual Assault & Information Centre provides crisis intervention and counselling services both at the Centre and via outreach support. Education and awareness is provided through group programs, presentations, workshops/trainings, fundraisers and events. Services also include the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) supporting survivors of sexual violence at the Hospital or the RCMP Detachment as well as court preparation and accompaniment.
You can find The Lloydminster Sexual Assault & Information Centre Lloydminster Sexual Assault & Information Centre on online or on facebook:
“This cause is close to my heart. I believe it is integral in our community that there is somewhere to feel supported. In doing so, I hope and trust that this small donation can make a difference in either raising awareness or support in our community.”
Prints are available on quality press print on fine art paper. 11x14" for $50.00
Step 1: Needed Supplies here’s the list of supplies I used.
Laser printed photo
Wood cut to the same size as photo
Gel Medium (must be an acrylic gel medium)
Brush to apply gel medium to wood
Ruler or a flat instrument to smooth out print onto wood
Step 2: Finding A Print
I find this to be the fun part almost any picture will make a great print!
Step 3: Getting A Print Made And Getting Some Wood
If you work in an office most of the printers there are laser so you are set, if you don't have an office hook up prints are very cheap at Staples running from 1-5 dollars. You can usually just go to the hardware store or a craft store and they will provide several options for you! Make sure your wood is unfinished!!
Step 4: Apply Gel Medium To Wood
In even strokes with your paint brush apply an even white coating of the medium to your wood.
Step 5: Smooth down the bubbles
right away before it dries, you do not want bubbles, having bubbles will mean the picture does not adhere to your wood surface!
Step 6: Remove Paper From The Wood To Reveal Print
This is the really fun part! Don't get too discouraged this takes a bit of patients but the more patient you are the better quality print you will get as an end result.
Step 7: Finishing the Print
Apply a nice layer of the acrylic medium to finish your piece off and protect it! If you want to tint your picture if it is black and white you can add a small dab of colour to your medium to finish for example brown or yellow if you want a vintage touch to your black and white.
Here is a quick link to a great Youtube video example:
In light of recent events I have decided to post a few of our day-to-day activities to inspire a few others who are not used to having the little ones at home. I was initially freaking out, until I realized today that I have been actually doing pretty much this for 5 years plus. I am just upping the fun (so we can think about anything else in this terrible time for the world) and get off of our devices (which is adding to the anxiety). The boys are having such a blast, I'm loving reading everyones ideas, and am genuinely looking forward to experience more with my kids! MY AIM is for them not to remember that we got hit by a virus, but to remember it as: that time we were home with our MOM with no school and it was the BEST STAYCATION EVER! LOVE to everyone!