Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Best Made Plans... artist moms and summer!

School officially ended for my boys over a week ago, but last week they were busy with friends visiting for the week, and all four going to Lacrosse camp. The week was filled with camp, Disc Gold (totally cool and a whole sub culture I had NO IDEA about- we went to a fun course at Anson Nixon Park in Kennett Square), fishing, swimming, and lots of soccer. Yesterday was their first weekend that was NOT planned. At least for them.

I got up early, meditated and did my yoga by the pond. Then sat down at my trusty Powerbook and went to work on my calendar planning my day, blocking out studio time, appointments and other commitments. Wouldn't you know it- as we are making crepes for breakfast (ooh la la, Nate has a kids cooking book and they both were into it) One of our smoke detectors go off which of course means they ALL go off- and we can't get them to stop! Needless to say this went on for an hour, drove us all crazy and finally an officer from New Garden came out- we need new ones, thank you very much (rather find out this way, don't ya think!?) Now of course, it is WAY past my 9 am goal of getting to work in my studio... Which by the way.... I inherited a solid door and horses from neighbors moving out this weekend and decided to move my painting upstairs. The light is better and open. I will still work downstairs for printmaking and papermaking but I like being UP. I can also move the easel and big canvas I am working on OUTside to the deck to work from life and for better light. and yes we even had some sun yesterday!

Anyway, I would love to hear from other artists (of all kinds!) that also have young children and how they make their time to work....what do you do?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Which Wolf are you Feeding?

I have a new favorite parable that I got from Bonnie St. John's book- Live Your Joy. It's a story about an Cherokee Grandfather (and forgive me if I get the details wrong, it's the lesson that counts!) Anyway, a grandfather is teaching his grandson that there are two wolves that are at battle within each of us. The Evil wolf is anger, hatred, intolerance, evil, judgement (a.k.a. - yucky stuff) The Good wolf is love, kindness, compassion, humility, joy... After a moment the grandson asks"which wolf wins." Which ever one you feed, replies the grandfather. SO that is the question I ask myself on a daily basis- Which Wolf are You Feeding- whether it is about someone else (don't say it if it is not kind, true or helpful) or myself- and that is MY challenge. Especially in my studio the other day I was working on some new koi pond images and working with reflective light and getting frustrated.

The first quote from DaVinci came to mind (again a little paraphrasing) The supreme misfortune is when theory outstrips performance...or when the idea is better that than ability to convey it.
ug. sigh. bad wolf...

But then Van Gogh's quote came to me (yes, good wolf) When that voice inside me says- you are no artist, I quiet the voice by painting. So work, and that will feed the good wolf and put the evil wolf in its place. where ever that is. NOT IN MY HOUSE!

Last night participated in a art exhibition/ book signing at Kimmel Cancer Center in Philly-
as always met warm, wonderful, courageous people. It is heart warming to share our book
Butterfly Kisses and Wishes and Wings: When someone you love has cancer... a hopeful, helpful book for kids. There were two sisters- one, an oncology nurse and her sister, who told me how they wished that they had had our book when they lost their father to cancer.

That is our intention, to get the book to those who need it. Our Gift- it- Forward program encourages people to buy our book and donate it to a local library, hospital, place of worship or school- Wherever there may be a child or family who would benefit from the message of our book.

NOW tonight is 9th Annual Riddle Memorial Hospital Cancer Survivors Day. www.riddlehospital.org I am presenting at the ever. doing my speach/art talk/ slide presentation. I will try and post that once I put it in a format that I can use here. They are all on my website- www.nancihersh.com