Saturday, March 7, 2015

Being a Mother and Being an Artist

Rambling thoughts on life's journey

Climbing Those Rocks!   Watercolour  Ruth Hayes

    Perhaps it is a cliche to say that life is a journey but it is such an apt description. What is even scarier is that it often brings you back to where you started. Starting out upon graduating with my degree in fine arts I realized I needed to discover my own voice separated from the voices of the instructors that had filled my head for four years. Within a year however my arms, my heart and my mind were filled with the arrival of my first child. I was entranced and with it came a renewed burst of creative energy. Instead of life models in a studio I had this tiny perfect being inspiring me to sketch and paint her amazing little form. It wasn't what I had envisioned as being an artist but I committed to painting what was around me in my environment. The next few years brought a challenge to find time to paint as well as raise two children but they became subject matter for many paintings. My decision to paint what I loved opened doors, and galleries and opportunities for which I am grateful.
 All artists must grow, and certainly my babies did. Time passed and I reached a point where I headed back to school to complete a master's degree in Expressive arts therapy. For me it was a journey that explored the great Mother, the dark Mother, the black Madonna and more. I went deeper and learned and grew. My painting changed. I changed. I felt I knew ART in a new way. I hold a deep reverence and awe for the power of art to heal to touch and bridge all the many realms of our human experience. I continued to paint, exploring abstraction, symbolism, myth, nature and whatever else. Years have passed and still someone will find me and inquire about a painting of  a child on a beach they bought. Am I that artist? I live in Toronto on the Beach and participate in the Beach Studio tour and this Spring as a theme they have chosen Mother's Day as a focus because our tour takes place the week before. I smile, yes, I can do Mother,  still do mother but not the sentimental aspect associated with the day set aside.  Mother, that great creator  in us all has been the inspiration of my life's journey.
   May 1, 2, and 3 are the dates of the Beach Studio Tour this spring. It would be a pleasure to see you if you care to drop by.