Saturday, May 14, 2016

Painting Parents - Anna Rose Bain

This weeks Painting Parent is
Anna Rose Bain

How many children do you have? What are their ages?  I have one daughter, Cecelia, 3 ½ months old.

"The Wait and the Reward (30x30")
How did your artistic career begin? I sold my first portrait when I was twelve years old, so I guess that’s when it began! I always knew I wanted to be a professional artist. I was self-taught and focused entirely on drawing in graphite and colored pencils, until entering college, majoring in art, and committing most of my time to the discipline of oil painting. After getting married in 2008 and moving from the Midwest to the Dallas area, my husband supported me in the decision to pursue a full-time career in painting. It started slowly at first (note the year: 2008!), but gradually took off as my name got out there and my body of work grew and improved.

What is your Parenting/work/art situation? My husband and I both work at home. My painting studio makes up 25% of our house and is the first room you walk into when you enter our home. There are pros and cons to this situation, as I can fully care for my daughter without paying a babysitter or daycare. I can also teach out of my home studio and paint at whatever odd hours necessary to get the job done. The cons are that I only get 20 minutes here, or an hour there, to spend focused on my painting. This makes for slow progress, and it’s difficult to get back into the “groove”, with so many interruptions.

When do you make time to do your art and do you have a regular art routine? My husband is able to watch Cecelia during the evenings and weekends, so I get a little more time to paint then. There is really no routine, otherwise. I paint whenever I can. I walk past my easel every day. Sometimes I paint, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I leave my palette and brushes out and make one or two strokes in passing—while holding a baby—after noticing something that could be improved…

"Cece at Three Weeks Old (6x8")"
Do your children get involved with your art? Considering my daughter is only three months old, YES – she has gotten very involved, by being my model several times already. It was easiest when she was a newborn and would sleep for two hours at a time. Now that she’s awake more during the day, I try to paint and sketch her whenever I can, but it’s a lot harder.

Do they inspire aspects of your art? All the time. As a commissioned portrait artist, I often paint children, but since having Cece, she has inspired a greater empathy and depth of feeling in my paintings. She has also been the subject of numerous alla prima studies, and I included her in a self portrait called “The Wait and the Reward” that went completely viral on the social media sites.

"Sharing Secrets (20x16")",
How has having children changed your artwork? I feel like my work has gotten exponentially better since becoming pregnant and having a baby. I can’t explain why, exactly, but there is so much more love now than ever before. Art was my first love – but now I have an overflowing love for this darling girl, and somehow it gets transcribed into my paintings. She is a permanent part of my world now, therefore, a permanent part of my art.

How does making time for artwork influence other household tasks? Well, the house is usually a mess. J I still manage to do dishes and a load of laundry here and there, but I’ve had to let a lot of things slide that I’m normally on top of. It’s a small price to pay.

"Lullaby" (22x16")"
Have different ages of your children been more difficult to make time for artwork and in which ways? Since my daughter is so young, I can’t really say yet. It’s harder and easier in different ways. For example, it was harder when she was a newborn because I had no idea what she was doing… but easier because she slept more. It’s easier now because she’s more predictable and I can read her cues, but harder because she’s becoming more alert and awake during the day.

How do you encourage your children to be artistic? Cecelia sees my paintings every day. She sees how much value art has in my life. She will be raised to appreciate art fully, and if she is so inclined, she’ll be an artist too.

Do you feel extra pressure as an artist to raise your children to be artistic? No, not necessarily. My husband is an engineer, so I feel that our family has a good balance. She can be whatever she wants to be, and we will encourage her to develop her talents, just as my parents encouraged me.

In what ways does being an artist make being a parent harder or easier? It’s hard because I have a constant battle in my head. I love my daughter, but I also love my art. I’m always wondering if I’m doing enough for Cecelia, but then again, wondering the same thing about my art. In that sense, it makes being a parent harder because I have to constantly check to make sure I’m giving enough of myself and my time to my daughter, without letting the art take over my life and cause me to become a neglectful parent! One good aspect of being an artist and parent… I’ve learned how to be patient!

"Elegant Lines (22x28")"
Do you think being a parent affects the way you are perceived as an artist? When I first got pregnant, I was very worried about this. I thought that students would stop coming to me, that my gallery would stop asking for work, and that collectors would stop collecting, because suddenly I would become “just a mom.” But I have found the reality to be completely opposite! My art has taken off, as students, collectors, and commissioned portrait clients now have a new way to relate to me. It’s like becoming a parent has made me more “real” and approachable. It’s also made my work better, and people recognize that.

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