I have my annual You, Me and the Sea Retreat in my studio next week and recently I painted a fun ocean themed mural that will serve as a backdrop for group photos. I filmed the entire process with a plan to share some tips and insight into working large (I'll save that for later this week) but my experience painting with Lucy by my side was too entertaining not to share!
Creating with a toddler by your side is NOT for the faint of heart and there are times when it is downright insanity and a big test of my patience. But the practice of allowing Lucy to create, play and go wild while I create is teaching me an incredible lesson in learning to go with the flow (both as a mother and as an artist). Painting while a toddler drips paint all over the floor, then wraps you up in paper towels, then runs around with an umbrella is crazy (and not for everyone) but at the end of the day, IT'S SO MUCH FUN and I want to have fun while I make art!
While it would be easy to exclude Lucy from my art making, I made a decision early on that I wanted to include her as much as possible. Because I made this choice, I've had to change the entire way that I go about making art. Sure, I could leave home everyday for my studio and create by myself (and there are days when I do) but I like to invite her to participate in my projects. Sharing art is a little like sharing my heart with her and while it makes no difference if she ends being an artist, I do want to her to grow up knowing the freedom, confidence and pure joy that come with the creative process.