For as long as I can remember, I’ve made art. Doodling on birthday cards to family members, drawing cats and horses in Strathmore notebooks, and sketching ball point pen still-lifes of hands and feet in the margins of my Mead spiral notebooks during class. In high school, college, and beyond I made time for art on the sides of my life, until I didn’t. I began to forget about painting and making things.
Parenting small children reintroduced me to art.
One day in 2016, my first child and I were in the basement and looking for something to do. He was the age of hungry exploration, determined to find an activity with or without me. So I rummaged through boxes of tools and toys before finding my watercolor palette and paints from my youth. Watercolor, a medium that either painters love or hate. Watercolor, the easiest kind of paint to cleanup. Watercolor, a standard paint medium for children. I started to watercolor with my toddler, often working on our own projects together with our own paints, sometimes for only minutes at a time before the child was ready for something else. I swished my brush clean in a cup of water, moving onto the next playtime activity, and ready to pick up painting when we returned to our basement studio.
Five years later, I find myself rotating between projects and mediums. I’ve recently learned the basics of creating vector art and also rediscovered my sculpture work. I find for me, having fallow time is regenerative and practical. And children are great reminders of this for me.