A new painting

Things are moving very slow. It has been a month that Ethan wouldn’t go to bed in the night. He is too young to understand day and night. Sometimes I feel his day is not 24 hours. One day it’s 20 hours, another is 18, then a following active 48 hours. I slowly adjusted myself to follow his schedule with music, movie, painting, and tons cups of coffee. Not much reading.

Overall he is so lovely. He already starts to call “mama”, “papa”, “oh pa”, “oh ha”, “ah boo”, “moo moo”, etc. etc. He can flip to his tummy and stay playing toys in tummy time. He loves to use his legs and feet to attempt standing and jumping. Also, he loves to observe anything everything.

It’s unfinished. I was very anxious about painting slowly. I know stuck on one piece for too long will lost the feeling of it. However, when looking at Ethan, I enjoy every little step of advancing he made. Therefore, I want myself to enjoy every precious time I saved for painting too, instead of wasting my mind on worrying. Also I believe as long as one really be there and remains there with ones work, the sense will not be lost so easily, and the intuitions and insights will be approached eventually.

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The First Painting

Time flies. I checked the calendar and saw I posted almost a month ago. No doubt I was very busy. However, things are getting into orders and I, finally, finished first painting.

It seems that I can’t get enough time for sketching and planing. So I just go ahead and pick up my oil brushes. The good thing is because I am thinking about drawings and paintings all the time, and I am observing Ethan all the time, so I “sketch” in my mind all the time, which might help.

Now looking back to when I started the Artist Residency in Motherhood, reread the qestionnarie I did, I feel things are getting better. 🙂

Here attached my manifesto for myself as an artist @ARIM.

In the past, many artists told me that I should not have children if you want to be an artist. I understand why, and partly I agree with them. However at the same time, I disagree. Because becoming a mom is also one of my dreams. I do not think my dream of being an artist is against the dream of being a mom. I want to be both, and I want to be good at both.

Now, with my son in my arms, there are moments, I feel so calm and confident, like the time stopped, like the whole world did not exist. I feel so powerful and so insignificant at the same time. I hope time flies and time freezes at the same time. I am so exhausted but so excited at the same time. I am grateful to life and awed by life at the same time. For all those feelings, I believe they can help me become a better artist, a better painter that I wish to be.

Therefore, I will undergo this self-imposed artist residency in order to fully experience and explore the fragmented focus, nap-length studio time, limited movement and resources and general upheaval that parenthood brings and allow it to shape the direction of my work, rather than working against it.

Qing

09/06/2017

More paintings are coming. :))

The divergent week

This week I got less time to do watercolor sketches, because of job hunting, finding daycare for Ethan, contacting galleries for exhibition opportunities, and the last few steps of our moving.

However, I got more time to think. What is the direction of my new works? Yes, I want to paint baby, not only because of Ethan. I have this wish for a long time. It starts from a painting by Gerhard Richter  Moritz by Gerhard Richter.

There is something, now let me roughly say it is half-human half-animal, of a little baby. Not saying it is the direction I want to go to, painting little animal-human, just it catches me, and stays. I want a real model, like Ethan, not some photos, to observe, to paint from live. The close observation and spending time with is so important that it is the only way that I can bring out truth.

So happily, at least now, I think I got the sense of what direction this is leading to. I will be upset and depress soon, as soon as I start to sketching for the paintings. But at least now, let me enjoy one flash of happiness.

Next week will be Ethan’s first week in a daycare. I feel very sad and very guilty about it. I want to be with him, especially when he is so young, only two and half months old. However, at the same time, I understand that a better career, can bring him much more than what I am giving now. And I need time to paint.

Wish he will understand and forgive me one day. I love him so much.

Reading while Breastfeeding

Recently, I find that breastfeeding is a good time to read. I have a kindle, which helps a lot. You can use one hand to manage everything, read, turn the page, highlight, quote, even share it online. Ethan enjoys a quiet time to have his meal for usually 30 to 45 mins. I enjoy a quiet and not short time to read, can finish several pages, and mark all the information I need. Both of us are relaxing and happy. 🙂

From today’s reading:

“I always thought, that an artist’s was the hardest life of all. Its rigour – not always apparent to an outside observer – is that an artist has to navigate forward into the unknown guided only by an internal sense of direction keep up a set of standards which are imposed entirely from within, meanwhile maintaining faith that the task he or she has set him or herself is worth struggling constantly to achieve. This is all contrary to the notion of bohemian disorder.” – says LF from Man with a Blue Scarf.

Q.Song @ Residency in Motherhood

After having Ethan, my son, in late June, I was anxious about my career as an artist because of those huge changes happening in my life. I looked for help and was introduced by a friend to this self-directed, open-source artist residency for artists who are mothers – An Artist Residency in Motherhood. After some research, I feel this residency idea is beautiful, helpful, and inspiring, and decide to take part in.

Therefore, here I am, starting and structuring A Residency in Motherhood for myself.

Qing @ Residency in Motherhood will start from Sept. 11th, 2017, and end till June 27th, 2018, when my little Ethan is one-year-old. During this residency, I will “fully experience and explore the fragmented focus, na-length studio time, limited movement and resources and general upheaval that parenthood brings and allow it to shape the direction of my art work, rather than working against it.” (Residency in Motherhood manifesto)

This blog will be my residency working diary, in which I will weekly update my thoughts, plans, sketches, etc. And here is a rough weekly goal for Sept, 2017:

  • 1 working diary;
  • 3 painting sketches;
  • 5 drawing sketches;
  • finish the sketches and start the first oil painting in Sept.

Okay. 🙂

Talk to you later.

And here is an inspiring article you might like too: You Can Be a Mother and Still Be a Successful Artist, By Marina Cashdan.

Ethan, Sept. 9th, 2017

Ethan, Sept. 9th, 2017