Artist and Mom-Have It All or Give It Up?

 I've been so blessed to be a mother. My husband and I managed to raise an amazing young woman who we are so completely proud of. She will be 21 in a couple of weeks. 

She will turn 21 in the faraway land of India on a study abroad trip. She's remarkable to me, because at that age, you couldn't of got me on a plane to go anywhere, never mind halfway around the world, but then, she's always been the bravest person I know. 
Pregnant Artist 1994
Big Baby

When she was born, the idea of giving up being an artist was not something that ever crossed my mind. Over the years however, I have met lots of mothers who, upon seeing my art, told me that they had given up their art when they became a mother. 
The Land of Pez (Kayla as a Princess Pez)
That is something that I really don't understand how it is possible. For me, making art is like eating. I have to do it. I wouldn't know how to function any other way. Art has been a refuge and strength for me throughout my entire life. It is the most powerful way that I know to express myself and so to silence my artistic voice would be to silence my voice entirely. 

When my daughter was a baby I used to get up at 4:30 in the morning before she woke up and before I had to go to my teaching job to paint.
Flying through Life Together
 I guess that's how driven I was to do it. After I made the decision to leave teaching and stay home with her, I continued to work and pursue artistic opportunities in an effort to show her that you can be a loving and devoted mother and wife and that you can also remain a whole person with dreams and aspirations and accomplishments of your own. 
Little Artist Girl
Can We Play More? 
Granted, I had one child and the luxury of being able to stay at home with her.  
Mother and Child Sunflowers
                                                            Needless to say, she has been the inspiration for much of my art.

Mother and Child

Empty Nest
Proud Momma
I am not judging other Moms who made the choice to give it up, I'm only expressing what is true for me. If I had not been able to continue my art and be a Mom,  I'm not sure I would have been a very good mother because I think I would've been pretty miserable.

She is now a very talented artist and writer and musician in her own right.  At 20, she tells me that there will be no marriage and no children, but I'm hoping that that will change and that when she does slow down to raise her family, that what I have showed her about being a mom and an artist will carry into her life, so that she might live creatively and happily and fulfilled in all facets of her life.


Kayla's First Place winner in County Wide High School Art Show

Kayla's Riot Girl Series
Making Clay
Self Portrait