waiting

 |  February 21, 2010

My blog has been quiet lately as I wait for the big delivery day to arrive, which is anytime now. I completed all of my art obligations about a few weeks ago so that I could concentrate on getting myself and my family ready for the newest addition. And while I have not been able to paint, I am still creating in other arenas.

Below is my first quilt ever! It’s far, far from perfect, but it’s my first solo project on the sewing machine. And I actually finished it before the baby’s arrival. One day I would like to delve more into the art quilts that I have admired for awhile now. I really enjoy being at the sewing machine. I feel happy hearing the hum and handling the fabric. Some people like to just throw themselves into a new medium and see what happens. Me? I like to learn the fundamentals and then go nuts later.

Not being in the studio regularly makes me nervous, I have to admit. During the years that I created journals fulltime I worked 9-5 every weekday and often worked at night and weekends too. I think that most people who own their businesses, do so. And if you are in a creative field, you definitely do! It is hard to turn it off. When I switched to concentrating on painting, I still worked regular hours, always showing up at my studio and cranking work out.

Then I became a mother, and things changed, but I still had regular studio hours. Not as many, but they were on the schedule. I find that the more I work, the more I produce. Obvious, right? What I mean is, the more I work, the more ideas I have, the pouring out of myself onto canvas is smoother. It’s like the more you practice at piano, the easier it is for the fingers and hands to move without the interference of the brain.

So despite the excitement and anticipation of what lies ahead for my family, in terms of my artwork, I wonder how it will be when I will be able to return to my studio. My work changed tremendously when I returned to the studio after my son was born. For the better. And I wonder if the same thing will happen this time around. And I wonder if it will be hard to get back into things. And I wonder if I will have ideas and themes to explore that will challenge me and my artwork. And I wonder…

Then this morning I woke up at 5 am because of mild contractions, that obviously stopped on their own. But I couldn’t go back to sleep. And I lay in the darkness, wrapped in my comforter, holding my belly, and ideas began to flood my brain. I don’t know why, but whenever I wake up in the predawn hours and can’t go back to sleep, my brain becomes fertile soil, churning out images, ideas, questions that just make me want to run to my studio. But for now, I need to just record these seeds to come back to at a later point.

I felt a sense of relief-my curiousity and creativity will never leave me. All things have a season, and perhaps this may be my dormant season in terms of studio time. But just like bulbs planted in the fall, so much is still growing and developing in the embrace of the earth during the winter months. And when the time is right, the plant begins to emerge from the bulb.

I am hopeful, excited, and ready for the big changes ahead. I have heard and seen how adding a second child does not double the work, but multiplies it! I have high risk pregnancies and deciding to go through another pregnancy was not a light decision for me and my family. So we feel so blessed and excited as we await the arrival.

I may not be posting as much as I used to, but I’ll still be here. I will still get some studio time, I am sure of it. My motto since my son was born has been, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Perhaps I’m not supposed to say this, but I am proud of what I have accomplished with my art while being a full time stay at home mom these past three years. It’s taken a lot of dedication, stubborness and luckily, the teamwork with my husband who has always believed in me and my art.

Long post, but I guess I had a lot to say. I always talk to other working artists who are mothers to see what their experiences were/are and it helps me to hear the struggles and the victories. I hope my sharing helps others too.

29 Comments

  1. by Mary on February 21, 2010  7:06 pm Reply

    Bridgette, you did a wonderful job on the quilt. I love the color and pattern combination you chose.

    Once you adjust to having two, and have some kind of routine you will find the time to create. It is such a part of who you are, it will just look a bit different for awhile.

    Praying for an easy and quick delivery. I know you must be getting excited about welcoming a new little one to your family. Please keep us posted.

    Hugs!

  2. by Kim Hambric on February 21, 2010  8:15 pm Reply

    What a happy kid quilt. I'm sure it will be treasured.

    I hope the rest of the wait is a little bit restful.

    Looking forward to photos of the new one!

  3. by smith kaich jones on February 21, 2010  8:32 pm Reply

    Perhaps it is because I have had an emotional week - who knows? - but this brought tears to my eyes. I too pray this will be quick & easy for you - and can't wait to see the new little one and the new ideas/art that are born as a result.

    xoxo
    Debi

  4. by Leslie Avon Miller on February 21, 2010  10:35 pm Reply

    What a beautiful post Bridgette. I have been wondering if you had the baby yet.
    I'm proud of the art you have produced since your son was born too. I enjoy seeing your work and you make art and family fit into your life. Good for you!

  5. by tangled sky studio on February 21, 2010  11:02 pm Reply

    bridgette-
    i wish you a quiet haven of joy and togetherness in the days and weeks to come as you welcome your little one into the world.

    xo-
    beth

  6. by Julie on February 22, 2010  12:10 am Reply

    Bridgette- the quilt is beautiful! And I can't believe the time is here....best of luck to you...I can't here about the new arrival.
    xoxo

  7. by Julie on February 22, 2010  12:11 am Reply

    that should have been..I can't wait to hear about the new arrival....you know what I mean. :)

  8. by fheathermoore on February 22, 2010  7:15 am Reply

    Great job on the quilt Bridgette! I'm happy to see that you're going to take a rest before it all kicks off! I didn't create art when I had my daughter (all of nearly 18 years ago!), so I can't really speak on that issue. Plus I have only the one child, so I can't say what's it will be like with two around the house, but I'm sure once you get into a routine, you'll be back and creating snippets here and there when you have a moment to yourself. That will be important to you - just having those little moments to yourself. Can't wait to see pics of the new baby when it comes. Enjoy your rest girl!

  9. by Tricia on February 22, 2010  9:08 am Reply

    oh bridgette, the quilt is so lovely. just think, a new little to snuggle in it's warmth. :) i wish you the speediest and easiest of deliveries.
    i can relate to your concerns of wondering if the ideas and creativity will leave. i have felt the same many times over the last two years but at points during the dormancies i imagined myself like a bowl being filled with images and ideas. that's how i see you and i can't wait to see what you do when you get back into the studio, what will come out of the new seeds you're planting. you are so blessed with a supportive husband and with that strong will of yours, you will be in the studio soon.
    every day, many times a day when i pass your red poppy painting in the hall i send a hug to you.
    hugs,

  10. by PJ on February 22, 2010  9:43 am Reply

    Congratulations on your firstquilt! It's absolutely beautiful...love the colors for the baby! (not the pastel pink/blue) I think you did a great job! Isn't it a mirage of feeling that happen right now? I loved being pregnant with my two (youngest is 13) for me there was a short period of mourning over not being pregnant...
    Thank you for sharing your most private feelings with us! and best wishes in the day ahead :)

  11. by silverstarsanctuary on February 22, 2010  11:50 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing your words as I am feeling like I am on a wheel lately. I can't get anything done because I have children but yet I can't not care for them at home because that's not an option. I think you will have a good routine when the baby is little but then it will change again for awhile. Eventually they will even play together! ;) Blessings to you and your little one.
    amy
    http://amygrennell.squarespace.com

  12. by Teri on February 22, 2010  1:08 pm Reply

    As a quilter myself and an artist, I find that you did a really great job. I like the idea that you work on "how" to do it first. After you know what can do done you will go crazy! I haven't made a quilt if a few years myself but continue to use fabric in my art. I guess that's how we do it: we do what we can. It's so gender-neutral too! Good choice. I look at the piece I bought from you every day when I go to bed each night and am thrilled with your work. You should be proud of what you have accomplished. You will find time with the new baby too. Artists do it because they "have" to, right?

  13. by Gina on February 22, 2010  1:14 pm Reply

    What an exciting time for you, Bridgette. And what a gorgeous quilt for the new-baby-to-be! Sewing is calling to me but I’m trying to resist. Even though I don’t have children, I often find it frustrating to work full-time and have so little time for all the art and crafts I wish to try. My brain also churns out ideas, sometimes non-stop and it’s all I can do to jot them down and hopefully return to them later. Since you have made a determination to continue with your art, you will. It’s become part of you and you need it; your children will benefit from your dedication to it, as well. Congratulations and best wishes!

  14. by Hazel Terry on February 22, 2010  2:24 pm Reply

    Hope you have a good birth Bridgette. Get some arnica to take now, during and a wee bit after, Raspberry leaf tea YUCK (you can get tablets)is great toner and preparation for the birth. I'm sure you will be back to artistic production soon, inspired and full of ideas. x

  15. by Cynjon on February 22, 2010  2:27 pm Reply

    I'm so excited for y'all!
    love to you!

  16. by merci33 on February 22, 2010  3:45 pm Reply

    Bridget,
    what an exciting time and such a beautiful and thoughtful post to prepare us all :-) for your new arrival and the new pattern of your creative voice.

    Life works.

    I feel that the hormones of birth are the most powerful on the planet and I say that as having given birth while simultaneously having to relinquish my child to adoption.

    The surge of creative energy that came from the birth and the giving up catapulted me into the most extraordinary episode of creative expression...and ultimately saved my sanity...
    each time we create we are giving birth...and that makes you a most exceptional mother to all of your off spring...the quilt is delightful....working with the soft and colorful materials...what a wonderful way to prepare for this new chapter.

    Be well and ever so happy...you and your family all.

  17. by thewillowsnest on February 22, 2010  5:21 pm Reply

    A beautiful quilt!

    Little one come smoothly and easily....

    It's always a balancing act with kiddies. our 2nd one is now 2 and a half .. and an absolute delight!!!

    Yay for baby number 2!!

  18. by Meri on February 23, 2010  1:33 pm Reply

    Just think of it this way: you're participating in a supremely creative act -- the gestating and mothering of little humans. And the official creative work will find expression when it must.

  19. by Wild Somerset Child on February 24, 2010  6:09 pm Reply

    Lovely post, and I wish you such joy with your new little one. Do not be affeared of when and where creativity will strike - to everything there is a season (can't recall who wrote that); just be true to yourself and your dreams, and all else will follow - and a happy family, too.

  20. by eliseinpdx on February 25, 2010  8:43 pm Reply

    I have been following your blog since you were in Seattle (I'm in Portland, OR). I always look forward to your posts. I work and have two little ones (now 5 and 7) and still try to find time for my art somehow.

    You have been given good advice that at first two will feel like much more than two, but it will get easier. By the time my youngest was two they started regularly playing together. These days I actually think it is easier to have two than one (except for getting them to all their activities). It is also wonderful to see the sibling bond. You are giving your son an amazing gift.

    My best wishes for great delivery and a healthy baby. I look forward to seeing your next post!

    Elise

  21. by Shayla on February 27, 2010  1:21 pm Reply

    I imagine you've had your little one now. The quilt is vibrant. I love it. Your words were inspiring. I love hearing your excitment and I'm happy you expressed how proud you are for making time for family and your art. A touching post.

  22. by rivergardenstudio on February 27, 2010  5:44 pm Reply

    Dear Bridgette, I wish you bundles of love and warmth for this new arrival in your family. I love your work with all it's changes and magic... roxanne

  23. by Term Papers on March 1, 2010  7:59 am Reply

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  24. by Chris on March 1, 2010  3:35 pm Reply

    Wow. This is an awesome post. Lovely quilt.

    I sure hope all is going well!

  25. by layers on March 4, 2010  8:19 pm Reply

    beautiful quilt-- best wishes for a wonderful birth-- hope all goes well---

  26. by Susan on March 8, 2010  1:53 am Reply

    I'm a long time admirer of your work, Bridgette, though I've never posted before. I just want to wish you and your family all the best at this wonderful time. Congratulations! Now go get some sleep...

  27. by Karin Bartimole on March 8, 2010  10:07 am Reply

    Thinking of you Bridgette, and sending hugs and hopes that all has been going well. love to you and your blossoming family, cozying under your beautiful colorful quilt!
    xo Karin

  28. by Bleubeard and Elizabeth on March 9, 2010  3:22 am Reply

    I found your blog through Seth's blog. I love your encaustic and acrylic paintings, your altered book collaborations, and your encaustic and collage art.

    I have no idea if you have had your baby or not, but I truly love your blog. I spotlight a blog each day, and have chosen yours today (Mar 9). Thank you for sharing such inspiring art.

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