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Embracing What Is

August 10, 2011

Shift - Collage, 5x7"

There comes a time in every artist’s life when the life part takes precedence over the artist part. This is one of those times for me. I’m not complaining. My life is my art — and vice versa.

For the past week we have been taking care of the needs of my Dad’s last remaining sibling, who is 92 and has been in the hospital. Taking care of the elders in our family was one big reason we relocated to be near them. My aunt is doing extremely well since being taken to the emergency room exactly a week ago. She is now in rehab and will more than likely recover to the point that she can be back in her home, but with 24/7 care.

So when things like this come up, naturally they are more important than anything else. I accept and embrace these times, even if we feel the earth is shifting underneath our feet.

We artists are accustomed to fitting our art around whatever else is going on in our “real lives.” That is completely OK and to be honored.



13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2011 7:20 pm

    i can so relate … and it is always a wonder to me how things connect across the universe – that thing about being universal. i was so pleased to find your post this morning as i have been dealing with similar issues and wondering how to impart it on my blog as i know people are wondering why i have not posted in ages. thank you for that and my warmest wishes to you and yours during this time. >>> GINA
    ps … read you and some others avidly even though i may not be posting.

    • August 12, 2011 8:04 am

      Gina, thank you. I think sometimes we forget that we are persons first and artists second.

  2. August 10, 2011 7:29 pm

    I am in the same boat on the other end of the spectrum, trying to figure out how to paint while taking care of my 2 year old and prepare to go back to work part time. I have added an online course to all that I am doing now. I have been thinking about a post like this on my blog as I struggle with time management and my responsibilities to my family and the mortgage company. I wish to sign off for a while and focus on things that are consuming my mind.

    I wish you all the best with your family and thank you for putting in writing exactly how I am feeling.


    • August 12, 2011 8:54 am

      Kathleen, I’ve been there too with little ones and a job and trying to keep being an artist. Family is everything, and has to be the focus sometimes. It’s amazing how one’s art can continue to grow and develop, even when it takes a back seat for a time.

  3. August 11, 2011 6:00 pm

    You have poignantly stated what we artists go through, as well as what all family members eventually struggle with . I do hope you have some time, often, to reflect in your work how you are feeling during this time of transition and care.

    Your work is wonderful, especially this piece.

    Wishing you and yours all the best, always.

    • August 12, 2011 9:08 am

      Thank you so much, Melinda! And especially for the reminder to reflect on my work and feelings about it during this down time. That seems perfect right now.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    August 11, 2011 6:13 pm

    glad you squeezed in enough time to make the ”shift” margaret

    • August 12, 2011 9:08 am

      Margaret, I’m an old hand at squeezing art into whatever time is available. But you knew that already!

  5. August 11, 2011 7:04 pm

    You know I understand totally how it is. Time with our elders is such a blessing; not everyone gets the opportunity, and not all those who do ‘get’ what a blessing it is. Hugs to you and yours. Written as my, now legally blind, 87 year old mother works her way slowly through the morning newspaper in the next room, picking out the highlights to get a sense of what’s happening in the world…

    • August 12, 2011 9:12 am

      Cath, it’s so wonderful that you have your mother with you. Neither of my two aunts had any children still living, so we all do what we can to fill the gap. I marvel at the wealth of knowledge and life experience stored up inside an 87 or 90-year-old person’s head. There’s never enough time to learn about it all.

  6. August 12, 2011 11:04 am

    Oh, Martha – It’s often hard to hear people talk about taking care of their loved ones at the end of their life. They are really fortunate to have you and hope you will be able to cherish the time you have with them.

    Best Wishes. Jennifer

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