Thursday, November 20, 2014

Painting Parent - Katie Berggren

Katie Berggren is one of the first Mother Artists whose career I started to follow, while a very different style than my own work her paintings speak to similar issues of family and relationships. She has been a wonderful mentor always willing to help me when I have a question about art business and she has a real heart for mothers and children.

Carry On
How many children do you have? What are their ages?

My boys are 8 & 10 years old.

How did your artistic career begin?

I have always wanted to be an artist among other things :) doesn’t every artist say that? I started as a designer (in business) but kept doing art. Eventually, I said goodbye to design and decided to do art full-time. Being able to work at home was very important to me, even before I had children.

What is your Parenting/work/art situation?

During the school year I work in my studio/office while my boys are at school. I also fit in work in the evenings, sometimes, after they are sleeping. My time in the studio/office bounces strategically and crazily from canvas to computer and back again. Working on my own terms is good for me because I like to bounce from one thing to another when the urge strikes :)

Do your children get involved with your art?

My boys like to draw and my youngest likes to paint. They like to create comic books and such and sell them to me from their comic book studio (closet under the stairs). They help me with my business tasks, as well.

Close Knit
Do they inspire aspects of your art?

Most definitely. I get very inspired when I spend quiet time alone with them in the rocking chair or at bedtime. We love to read together (mama reading) so we get lots of quiet, cozy time together.

How has having children changed your artwork?

Before I became pregnant I was creating art featuring birds, nests, eggs, children, nature, bugs and such. After becoming a mother, my artwork turned to figures and couplets and families. I realize, though, that even early on there was a nurturing and earthy connection form to my work.

How does making time for artwork influence other household tasks?

Over the years I have pushed the scales toward artwork and business and family time being a larger priority than housework. However, I believe in a tidy home, so that means that over the years I have simplified our possessions and systems to make cleaning really easy. My family cleans with me every Sunday (my boys vac their own rooms and strip their beds, put away their toys and laundry) and my husband and I do tasks throughout the week. I make use of a basket at the bottom of the stairs for
misplaced toys that need to go upstairs, laundry areas/baskets so things don’t sit around on the floor, a basket for shoes at the entry way, and a basket for books in the living room. Everything has a place, and that makes me happy.

Currently I am willing to let a floor not get vacuumed if I am more inspired to paint. That did not use to be the case when my children were younger. I was much harder on myself back then. I now realize that no one is going to die if some dishes sit overnight, or if the garbage doesn’t go out in the eve.

Have different ages of your children been more difficult to make time for artwork and in which ways?

It was tougher when they were younger. Now that they are older, they are happy to be in the studio with me while I work, and they design computer games, create things with paper and cardboard, or play together on their computers.

Feed My Soul
How do you encourage your children to be artistic?

I’ve always kept a bin of “Might Come In Handy” stuff around, ever since the very beginning. When I would find something curious or neat, I’d throw it in. The big got VERY big and has since been simplified. But my boys know they can dig in it for string and plastic bits, craft doo-dads and such. This bin has been such a great tool at getting my boys creative and creating. It has been one of my saving graces over the years.

Do you feel extra pressure as an artist to raise your children to be artistic?


In what ways does being an artist make being a parent harder or easier?

It’s easier because they get to see me living my dream and doing what I want to do. It raises communication about how we can follow our gifts and dreams and desires and find a way to make a living doing them. My boys are both set on being entrepreneurs.

I think being a parent is “hard” all on its own for a variety of reasons, some of them self-inflicted. Being an artist doesn’t make it harder, I don’t think. Our creativity and resourcefulness comes in handy in teaching life lessons and our striving to make a living and work hard can come in handy in teaching deferred gratification and caring for others.

Do you think being a parent affects the way you are perceived as an artist?

Nope! But then I have an artistic craft that ties in very nicely with being a mother :) Being a mom is a good thing for my career. I suppose some folks might think that since you are a parent you have/spend less time on your business or artwork.
Katie m. Berggren ~ Could this moment be yours?
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Monday, November 17, 2014

Mary Untier of Knotts

Mary Untier of Knots
I was asked to do a commission based on the painting Mary Undoer of Knots, which is a favorite of Pope Francis.
"Mary Untier of Knots or Mary Undoer of Knots is the name of both a Marian devotion and a Baroque painting (German: Wallfahrtsbild or Gnadenbild) which represents that devotion. The painting by Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtner, of around 1700, is in the Catholic pilgrimage church of St. Peter am Perlach, otherwise known as the Perlach church, in Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany. Pope Francis saw the image while in Germany as a student and promoted her veneration in Latin America." - From Wikipedia
 This is the historical image I was working from. The size requested by the client dictated a cropping of the painting to focus on Mary's head and hands. I chose a model that had the look of a middle Eastern woman and sewed costuming for accurate references.
At first I tried to alter my references to more closely match the original painting but I quickly grew very frustrated with the anatomical exaggerations. I ended up restarting the painting completely and allowed the realism to be my focus.  The photographs of the painting were taken inside because it is currently pouring down rain so they do not have the best lighting but hopefully you can get the idea.


The full painting and Novena Prayer that is said with it.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cast Drawing

Cast Drawing done in my Atelier class, this drawing took 4-6 weeks to complete. I do not remember exactly when I started it.

We have been enjoying the Fall

I have been working on several commissions and completing a few. It is great to have so many commissions to work on but it gives me less to post because the projects generally take longer and I have to use discretion about what I can post.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Painting Parent - Sharon Pomales

Painting Parent -  Sharon Pomales

How many children do you have? What are their ages?
We have between us 4 sons (21-24) and 1 daughter (8), three are my husbands, two are mine, but she's the only one who lives with us.

How did your artistic career begin?
I've been drawing and painting since I was 8, my dad was an artist too so as soon as he saw I had talent he encouraged and supported me to develop it.

What is your Parenting/work/art situation?
I paint during the time my daughter is at school, I leave her there in the morning at 8 and at 8:10 I'm painting. I usually skip lunch and stop at 1:50 pm to go pick her up at school. When we get home I make her lunch and do homework, then, I go back to the studio which is in my house so it's pretty convenient, my daughter also has a space in the studio to sit and make art if she wants to. At 5 or 5:30 I stop again to prepare dinner before my husband comes home from work, and I don't go back to the studio unless I have a deadline, in which case I will work until 9:30-10:00.

Do your children get involved with your art?

My daughter likes to draw and paint, that's why I made her her own art work space in my studio, plus she is also my model for many of the paintings.

Do they inspire aspects of your art?
Mariana is definitely my muse, I know every part of her so well that I could draw her blindfolded, I guess it also helps that I love her Infiniti times Infiniti times Infiniti

How has having children changed your artwork?
Sometimes I think that I don't paint certain things because I don't want to embarrass or offend my children, specially the older ones.

How does making time for artwork influence other household tasks?
When it comes to household tasks, I established that I would only clean on Fridays.

Have different ages of your children been more difficult to make time for artwork and in which ways?
When the kids were very little it was definitely difficult to work. I also had a full time job until a few years ago so painting used to be part time. I never participated before in any competitions or were part of any art organization until last year even though I've been an artist for more than 20 years ( but that's another story for a different blog :))

How do you encourage your children to be artistic?
Mariana says she likes art so I get her all the supplies she needs and I'm currently looking for art instruction for her, something like an atelier or art academy. I also take her to museums and every opening for shows (mine or someone else's).

Do you feel extra pressure as an artist to raise your children to be artistic?
But I don't feel any pressure to raise her to be artistic, she'll be what makes her happy.

Do you think being a parent affects the way you are perceived as an artist?. I don't think being a parent affects the way I'm perceived as an artist, but who knows what others are thinking

Are there any other things about Balancing Painting and Parenting that you would like to share?

 Here I'm including only the paintings I've done of all our kids since the blog is about the parenting side of the artist. The last one is something my daughter did for a competition.