Saturday, December 3, 2011

i'm looking forward to this weekend.   i want it to be a slow, productive, quiet couple of days.   i have faith that it will be so. 

i'm big on solitude.  i can be by myself for long stretches and feel perfectly comfortable.  it's in those times my mind slows down and i am most creative.  i need a lot of space and time to reach my full potential.

i remember reading about some iconic artist who happened also to be a woman and a mother.  i thought it may have been louise bourgeois but i'm doubting this now.  anyway, this woman said she was perfectly comfortable in the studio working all day with her kids by her side.  even then, as a 19 yo college kid, i thought, phew, really??  sounds complicated. 

and now i feel like i have to make all sorts of qualifications out of mother guilt like, don't think i don't love my kids and i'm not saying i like working over parenting and if you, my kids are reading, i love you to all eternity so please don't misunderstand.

i remember back when my oldest kids were maybe 4 & 5 years old.  they were 20 months apart.  and i rented a small studio space to paint in.  my husband was in graduate school and i worked part time jobs and we were broke.  

i often had to bring my kids to the studio with me and it usually ended in disaster.  i was distracted and impatient and frustrated and they sometimes ended up crying.   i left feeling a failure at both.

complicated, indeed.

anyway, my point is, i'm a person, who spent the last 20 years mothering, who really really likes her solitude in order to be her best creative self.   this conflict and this conversation is one of the biggest in my life i think.  being both things, a born creative with a bent for personal space and a mom, and not knowing how to manage any of it gracefully.

did you know i had no intention or knowledge i was going to write about this when i started here??  goofball.  but there you have it.  i certainly welcome your thoughts in the comments.  i always read your comments, by the way.  and i suspect that many of you are moms and creative folk so this may resonate.

on the work side:
they're in stock and will ship out quick.

and i hope your weekend is whatever you want it to be.


Danielle P. said...

Liane, although I am neither a creative type (as translators go) nor a mother, I do need a vast amount of solitary space in order to function. I can only imagine the complicatedness of combining creativity, motherhood and solitude. Kudos to you for doing your very best over the past twenty years!

Anonymous said...

I totally get what you mean. My boys are still young, but the moments I'm actually creative or making things, is when they are in school, or managing to keep themselves busy (by themselves, which hardly ever happens at all) And my mom also kind of freezes my mojo, so to speak, at least for Christmas gift making.
I am a single daugher & have grown enjoying (and sometimes hating too) being on my own.
Not sure there is a real way to do things. It's always a matter of balance. (as usual)
Have a great weekend, my friend. oxox

Olivia Jeffries said...

I can totally dig it. As a creative person I love my personal space and time, just having time for me is so important. I don't have kids and I often worry that if I did they would ruin my ability to be creative as I find it hard enough now to get in the right state of mind to work. On the flipside I worry that if I don't get on and have kids now I will be a lonely old lady. It's a tricky one and I think about this a lot.

LINDSAY said...

I can totally relate. My girls are 5 & 8. We never did any sort of daycare, so I've worked from home with them by my side. For several years I managed pretty well, painting during naps and after they were asleep. I also had no creative space of my own, I mostly worked from the dining table. Eventually I became so burnt out of trying to balance the two. So I focused on parenting, and put my creative side on the back burner. Which of course was frustrating. But at least I felt I was doing a pretty swell job of parenting. This year they are both in school & I have a studio at home now. It's lovely to have a schedule and time to create, uninterrupted. On the flip side, nights & weekends are all about the kids. And since I only report to myself, I can make time to slip away and volunteer at their schools & attend all their functions. It's such a happy balance, I'm glad to finally have found it.

muster said...

Thank you! You just made me feel slightly more sane. I an 18 month old and constantly struggle with my love for him and my need for solitude. I basically stopped all creative pursuits when he was born (lack of time and space.) Only recently, I have realized how much I need to make time for that part of me. Without it I will go slowly crazy. I am secretly counting down the months until my son is in school and I can have some time to myself.

BananaSaurusRex said...

I hear you Mama. I love my little ones, but some days they go to school and I love those six hours of creative time. I have to protect that time from everyone else too.....

nicole said...

I wasn't able to have kids, which has been a great source of sadness in the past. But I too am someone who craves solitude, who desperately needs it to recharge and connect with my creativity. So I embrace the fact that life has led me down a different path. I feel blessed, even if it's not the journey I had expected or envisioned. It is the perfectly imperfect life for me.

forest and limb said...

Hi Liane,
It's Liz.
I'm so in this boat right now.
You just about nailed my current state of things of things to the t.
I'm at home daily with our three year old, our four month old and an intense craving for solitude + creating. or at least one Dora free day. it's making me absolutely nutty. (thus my absence)

Liane said...

liz- so glad to hear from you. in some ways i think it was a little easier to have kids so young because as much as my personality was established there was more flexibility in me then than now. also a sense of just accepting whatever came my way. it's harder for me at 44 to juggle and my youngest is 13. well, no not harder. but imagining being in my 30s+40s and having young kids i think i'd really have struggled. i know you are younger than me but can't remember by how much. anyway, i'm not trying to make you feel worse! i know some women really do find a peace in being themselves and being moms. maybe if i had small ones now i'd have some wisdom and experience i didn't have then and really be able to appreciate the mom experience and how heavy and meaningful it is.
i'm just thinking out loud, i know. but i'm thinking of you. miss you. believe in you! x L

Beth Twist said...

I am so totally the same. My kids are currently 5 and 3. I am in a constant state of be-frazzlement.

I NEED to create to stay sane. My best CREATIVE moments are when I am alone. I am NEVER alone. Quite literally.

I keep telling myself to enjoy these years while they are young, but I feel a bit like a Spring filly tied to a fence with an entire green pasture before my eyes waiting to be romped upon.

Graça Paz said...

I alwyas read your blog and i always find good music here, music that i like for myself but also de topics. I´m a paintor and a writer and i work with kids most recently in my life. I don´t like to say i teach them art because they usually theach me, but i help them find space for freedon of the expression they have within themselves, and because of everyday presure, like us it´s dificult for them to put it outside. Well, i´m saying this because like a paintor , a writer vand a mother but also a wife, and a working woman that needs to pay bills! i always worked with my kids all around me and i find space for them, but i also need very mutch my solitude. After i satrted working with art and kids both together i found in myself a completly diferent aproach in that topic because they bring me space intside of me that i din´t know i have, Sapce for work with them with an amazing pacience. But after three years of a long road that involved changing myself in respecting my needs and myself, and that involved a very hard marrige and a blessing divorce i respect now most of all that habity we must have to deal with our faillures, and bring out of them as mutch as we can. I respect know most of all solitrude and the blessing it can be. Kids are not OK if we are not OK! And thats final.- I wish you all the best and i congrat you on your work and blog. Graça Paz from Portugal Countryside :-)

vintage whisper said...

As the owner of many of your amazing creations Liane, I know you are one of grace and outstanding accomplishment as an artist and I am sure as a Mother as well!!! Ann...vintage whisper
Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Simple Dreams said...

My children are grown, daughter 26 and just married living in WV. My twin sons are 22, one lives in WV and the other nearby, in town. I love being a mother raising my children when they were little I was a stay at home mom that could close the sewing room door when they were active. I am glad I savored that time. After all the years of dividing my time/energy I am to the point in life where I TRULY enjoying my solitude. I went back to work when I became a single mother 14 years ago and still work a FT job. I just love coming straight home after work, getting a fire going in the fireplace and maybe take a short, uninterruped, nap. When I get up fix a bite of dinner then off to the sewing room, where I sew into the wee hours of the morning. I find that recharges me, is my "therapy" and the creative outlet keeps me from ever feeling alone. In fact when my phone rings I cringe and hesitate answering because my solitude is being threatened. My solitude is so precious and thoroughly enjoyed after all the years of raising 3 children. Creative solitude allows me to get up the next morning and go to work, all the while eager to get back home. home.....alone. Something I've always told my children when they were too eager to move onto the next stage in life is to "enjoy what you have while you have it". This afternoon my son came over to cut/split/stack wood for me, and to do some laundry. I had made a chicken pot pie ready to take home with him. We worked together on the wood today and then went out to dinner, he treated. He was the child that sucked the energy right out of me, all that is made up now that he is the one that makes sure I am taken care of with firewood, yardwork, etc. All you moms with children at home, no matter their age(s), enjoy....Lisa

=mew= said...

I think this post strikes a chord with many women, whether moms or not. I am a stoic self-described aloner, and I've not yet met anyone with whom I can/want to share my space. I admire you for being so generous and altruistic, qualities I constantly strive for. This post is a sort of celebration of your, and all womenfolk's, capacity for giving and self-effacement.

the textured leaf said...

This no only resonated but hit a very high note with me.
I am currently craving more and more space as I get busier and busier creatively and wasnt quite sure how to 'place' myself until I read this, thanks for your thoughts.

little part (jen) said...

for me, its when i am with the kids or trying to doing a million things around the house, that i really feel like making...creating, etc...but can't because of all that's going on...not to say that i don't want to be there in that moment with them, but that's when i feel it most...then, when its quiet and there is time, my brain freezes and i have to try to snap myself out of get back to that moment/feeling of needing to create...trying to work it all out still...