Mothering the artist

I've just returned from an inspiring two days at the Women on Fire conference in Chicago. I arrived on Thursday and took a walk to help shift my thinking from my pile of responsibilities to a focus on that baby artist who keeps poking at my heart. I didn't plan a destination but found myself at the Museum of Contemporary Art's a video of the work that glued me to the sidewalk.

The next day, during the conference, I made a promise to an incredible group of women to nurture my imagination and the ways that it manifests from my hands. I also promised to share the results with others. Some of the words I heard included something like this: "Comparing yourself to others creates hell on earth...comparing yourself to yourself creates opportunities for growth and limitless possibilities." That's not exactly what Rob Berkley said but that's what I heard.

So...just for me...I'm going to commit myself to some imaginative and hopefully creative expression every day and we'll see where that goes. I promise to do my best to avoid comparisons to the countless brilliant artists I know (that's going to be hard as hell). 

My mother was (is) an incredible artist...winning a major competition in Washington D.C. when she was still in high school...but she wasn't able to continue her studies and instead created six children in only ten years...starting when she was a child of 18 years. Yikes!

I remember the heartache of watching her paint or draw beautiful creations and then, throughout my childhood, she would tear them up in a fury. I've decided to stop destroying that little artist inside me and instead will work on nurturing her in the same ways that I love to nurture the imaginations of all the wonderful young artists I meet.

So...I may be  rambling but I'm also going to allow myself to do that 'cause what the's for me (and...maybe a bit for my mama in hopes that she'll also start to paint and draw again and let them live).


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