Grounding myself in motherhood
Behind the Scenes of the Vast Views Collection
It’s 8:30 am on a Friday morning and I’ve already cooked breakfast, sang and danced, played restaurant, painted, and made a huge mess of my living area alongside my two girls (and two large dogs). We are busy over here—and by “we” I mean me—I’m busy wearing many hats. It’s just as I had hoped for, more than I ever could have dreamed, and also can be a real struggle to keep up with. Sometimes I feel like I’m 8 years old treading water and a little too far from the edge of the pool. I was never a strong swimmer. Other times, I’m in complete awe of how I can find rest by looking into their eyes, I can ground myself by caring for them, and I can find presence by being present.
My girls are 1 and 4. They have reminded me of the little pleasures in life that fill my cup. Finding a grasshopper, discovering a new plant, soaking in a beautiful view, dancing when no one is watching, singing in the shower, goodness, even digging for worms can be exciting. I’m calling these simple pleasures into my life right now and drinking them in like my first cup of morning coffee because they ground me in these early years of motherhood. Motherhood in combination with running a business, nurturing a marriage, and fulfilling my own creative desires feels near impossible some days (notice I said nothing about a social life!). I paint the feelings I want to experience, I ground myself in the practice, and I sincerely want to create that sense of grounding and the ability to mindfully connect with the present moment for those that collect my work.
This year I’m bringing back the mini watercolor landscapes for the 25 Days of Minis project with presence in mind. When I was a child, I would walk to the highest elevation on my parent’s property and climb a large tree that had a limb hanging over the fence row, overlooking the valley. I would walk out to the edge of the tree limb and sit there absorbing the landscape. It stirred up a well of emotions in my heart—excitement, hope, possibility. I think about how truly present I was in those moments. Free of cell phones, work, expectations, you name it. I was free to daydream and that is exactly what I did there while I looked out over the vast view. It was in those moments that the abundance found in nature seemed completely accessible to me.
The best compliment is when I witness a child absorb my artwork. I’ve seen my one-year-old giggle when noticing a ladybug in a pattern I designed, my 4-year-old is constantly trying to procure paintings for her bedroom gallery, and when children that aren’t part of my family appreciate my work, my heart literally sings a little tune. It’s a song about daydreaming into the present moment, finding joy in the smallest pleasures, and soaking in the moments that we are in, right now. My hope is that this work can serve as a visual reminder to focus on flourishing, see the beauty and magic in the present moment and that the wild abundance that exists in nature is also accessible to us.