Eagle, Where do we go from here?

Free time has been almost nonexistent for painting and design lately. Both of my kids are cutting teeth and neither is sleeping very much, which means my husband (let’s go with Lion for his animal persona) and I are not getting sleep either. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster of exhaustion and powering though for the past week and a half.

When Lion offered to take little Panda out for a boys morning this past Saturday, I jumped at the offer with desperation. I get a little (ok, A LOT) grumpy if I am not able to have some creative outlet after a few days go by. As the door shut behind them, I hastily grabbed my supplies and began sketching away at this eagle. I snapped this photo at our local zoo on my iPhone.

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I wasn’t planning to use this photo for detailing so the contrasty lighting worked for me. I liked how the grass kind of layered a nice composition and the placement of the eagle on the fallen tree branch set a nice line for the eye. I am not very traditional when it comes to wildlife though, so I had this idea of a more floral pattern in the background and a modern pattern through the eagle feathers.

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About twenty minutes into working, little fox woke up from his nap and allowed me to lay some light layers down while nibbling away at baby blocks with with his one tooth. An hour after, the boys returned from their outing to present a little fashion show of new summer shorts they picked up. I set the paints aside to dry.

Throughout the rest of the day, I kept stealing away for a few minutes at a time trying to get the dark background painted. When I got to a point of needing to detail something other than solid color, I ran out of my creative leash and set the paints down for good that day. It was time for full time Mom to return.

Things are feeling very incomplete, and I obviously need some time to sit down and build more of a plan for the direction of this painting. Part of me wants to just file it away since I know I won’t have time this week to really play at it. I can’t see the end result, and it’s tugging at me at the same time that the laundry, dishes, kids, gardening, dentist and doctor appointments, and other much more important tasks are. Clearly the balance is lost, and it’s frustrating.

I guess I’m seeking some advice. Have you been in this situation? How do you restore the balance. How do you save your ideas so that you won’t lose them before you get a chance to paint them…if you ever get time to paint them? Also, how do you keep the inspiration and the spirit of the painting going in the space of time it takes to come back to it? Help!

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10 thoughts on “Eagle, Where do we go from here?

  1. Being a creatively, productive mom, while balancing sleep deprivation from Panda and Fox is a tall order; but, it’s possible. It’s absolutely essential that you keep your “heart full” in order to be the best mom and happy marriage between Penguin (creative license) and Lion. For me, I filled my heart with quilting. I’m not gonna lie…it was very frustrating with a teenager, toddlers and infant. It might sound crazy to you and you may think it might bring on more frustration, but this approach actually helped me. — I always kept….and still do keep…my unfinished work out where I can see it. (Gramp Lister did this ALWAYS with his finished/unfinished paintings. They rested on the TV where he always pondered his work.) I was always able to keep my “vision” fresh while passing by and sometimes I would have additional inspirational “add-on” thoughts thanks to the reflection time. It also helped remind me that there was more to “me” than my mom duties–still does. I also know that God has a plan for me and He will always provide time where I thought there was none. Somehow, I always had moments to steal away and sew. I always had to pray for patience and tolerance so I wouldn’t be frustrated and angry when I had to stop in the middle of an important piecing (which I might add, I still wasn’t very good at!). Soon there will be preschool for Panda which will put him back on track for a sleep schedule. Merging from nap time/no nap time was so difficult because I always needed them to have a nap for my sanity. So, I instituted “rest time” in their bed with books for 30-45 minutes. Love, Me

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your journey! I really like the idea of putting the piece I’m working on up on the tv. I think I might try it. I always have follow up thoughts (like you were talking about) and always forget them by the time 10 other things need to be done. Maybe a note pad next to it too. Great trick passed down from Grampy-you! Thanks so much again for taking the time to lend your advice! Love you

  2. I think the important thing is (don’t be hard on yourself) and keep creating. You may not finish the eagle anytime soon, but there will be a time when you can. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Although, then you’ll be like me, looking at photos, saying look how little they were! Typical, you can’t win! Lol!

  3. I wish I had an answer to that question :-). For me getting enough sleep has huge impact on how much I can accomplish in a day – after years of broken sleep thanks to my lovely kids I had to accept that and be kind and understanding of my limitations on the bad days and enjoy the good ones.

    1. Hi Zoya, yes sleep is the big one! I’m trying my best haha. Knowing your limits is something i’m relearning after bringing our second beautiful child home. You think you can do it all, and want to… But it’s just not going to happen. I really appreciate you sharing and letting me know we’re all in the same boat 🙂 how many kids do you have? How old are they now?

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