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Q & A with Creative Momma Megan Gray

I was feeling a wild exclamation streak coming on. A need to bring up the subject of mothering and creativity and take a stab at outing the innate shame of this combination. Righting the wrong of the looks of suspicion and incompetency we get when we try to be both mothers and creatives! Gasp. Impassioned, I wrote a Mother’s Manifesto and I immediately knew who I needed to talk to on this subject : Megan Gray.

I think I must have stumbled on her prolific self through Instagram and soon I was reading some of her blog posts enthralled because not only was she a highly talented and prolific artist, she also faced some seriously scary life and death challenges with her daughter simultaneously. Among many other things surely, Megan paints, blogs, promotes other creative mammas, and mothers her own children. She inspires me immensely. So I asked her if she might be amenable to an interview. She said yes and asked me if I would also do one. The link to my interview is here.

Megan Gray herself on Shalavee.com

Do you feel there’s a societal conflict between creating, success, and mothering?

Absolutely! I don’t hear anyone asking my husband how he goes to work and does all that he does while having kids. But I also believe that mothers/caregivers have the power to change this mindset, and I believe we are starting to. I think with supporting each other as parents and creatives, instead of judging our choices as parents, we can move in the right direction. I also believe we can do it all, just not all at once.

I feel I need to work twice as hard to maintain my separate creative self since motherhood. Do you find this and how have you coped? How did/do you balance or juggle, allow for and nourish your creative needs and your babies’/child’s needs simultaneously?

When they sleep I work. When they are playing without my need to hover, I work. When I am with them, I am with them. When they were babies I constantly reminded myself that they grow quickly, enjoy this time (still remind myself of this). I was in full mother mode for the most part. As they get older and more independent I can work more because they also have lives of their own. We live, learn, and create simultaneously. Sometimes it’s great! Sometimes there are major challenges when someone is sick, or the kids are just being kids. I try my hardest to stay in the moment, but I’m not perfect. I feel lost and upset at times. I wouldn’t change any of this though. No matter what. They help me to see how much I need to create for myself. They are my greatest teachers and supporters. I love that! My husband also helps me soooo much. He only gets one day off and whenever he can he takes over so I can get more painting done. I really couldn’t do as much as I do without him. Support from others is key!Another Megan Gray painting on Shalavee.com

Was there a point, after you’d worked so very hard to establish a product and presence, when you could relax a little? Or do you feel a little like I do, stuck in a creative doing vortex?

I do take time to relax, especially after any events or bursts of creativity. If I don’t my sanity can get just as crazy as if I don’t create. I work a lot at night, so if I don’t go out in nature often, I won’t feel inspired enough to work either. It’s all a balancing act.

What do you do to keep balanced your career and family goals? To keep from burning out at both ends? What are your thoughts, mantras, or practices on maintaining the balance of being a good mother and a productive creative?

Practicing mindfulness has helped me to really be aware of what my needs are at a given time. Also, helps us as a family to be mindful of all of our needs. Compromises help too. Again, I am not perfect. I have moments I am not proud of as a parent/human. The best thing though is to surround yourself with supportive people as much as possible, and have a lot of patience for yourself. I’m still working on this.

There are also times on the parenting end and the creative end where I ask myself, “Have you done enough today?” I love my kids, but I don’t need to do every single thing for them, or play with them constantly. I want them to be independent and creative on their own. Of course I am here to help them when they are hurt, sick, having trouble with figuring things out, and to help guide them with learning, but I am also here to make sure they are given the freedom to be creative humans themselves. Same goes for my art. If my kids need me more, or in that moment, it’s time for them. I will get back to the art later on.Megan Gray Painting on Shalavee.com

My Take aways:

  • “We can do it all just not all at once”
  • We need to support each other in changing the judgemental mindset.
  • Ask for help from others
  • Get outside
  • Do your thing when you can and be with your children when you are with them

 

You can find Megan’s blog at www.megangrayarts.com . Her Facebook page and her Patreon page all show her dedication to making, selling, and sometimes giving away her beautiful paintings. Her Instagram page is where we do most of our chatting and I admire her kindness and enthusiasm so much. We art inspirational when we follow our own muses. I know you are with me when I say Buy Original Art!!!

Thank you lovely Megan.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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A Weekly Round-up and A Picture Challenge

Saying Goodbye this week to our daycare provider Miss Tara as she is moving on to a better means of employment and way less hassle for her life. Fiona has been there a while and I know she will miss being a part of her family.Miss Tara's Treehouse and company on Shalavee.com

We are also losing our girl Caitlin who needs to spread her wings and see the world. She’ll be moving away before June hits. Sadness and happiness for these beloveds.Caitlin is flying to a new nest on Shalavee.com

Hung out with my best gal Mary Beth whose career as an estotiscian, make-up artist, and permanent tatoo artist is going very well. Her shop looks amazing and we enjoyed catching up and getting our toes done together.MB's Eastern Shore Permanaent Makeup space on Shalavee.com

MB and her Eastern Shore Permanaent Makeup space on Shalavee.com

Me and MB on Shalavee.com

And Mother’s Day was truly lovely this year. Our mothers came and we ate, sat out and enjoyed a fire pit and s’mores.

The grandmothers on Mother's Day on Shalavee.com

Mother's day firepit on shalavee.com

Marshmellow batons on Shalavee.com

And I got my dining-out breakfast, thrift shopping, and the children got a bit of playground time.

playground time for mother's day on shalavee.com

And in trying to do things outside of my comfort zone, on Monday I’ll be hosting a picture challenge on Instagram

inspired by my prompt “Soul Selfie”.

Join Me For One Week Of Soul Selfies on Shalavee.com

I want to host a way to tell and share stories that people may not know about us and connect in that way that feels more real.

Join me on Instagram to hear the stories and share your own.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Moonvine’s Spring Open House This Weekend

In case you missed this announcement, as my blog may not have sent out my post correctly yesterday, I will be offering some of my work for sale at my friend Pama’s shop called Moonvine this weekend. I will be hanging out for part of the day so come just say hi!

Moonvine’s First Annual

Spring Open House

Saturday April 30, 1026

10 am – 4 pm

21 N. Harrison Street

Easton, Maryland

To see the post with all the pretty pictures, go here.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Trust Fund Addition Mission

I went on a goodwill mission today and took my son to the movies. He’s moving into that tween zone of growing up. He’s pushing his boundaries out, sometimes even bullying me to get what he wants, much like his little toddler sister. And funds are pretty much depleted in our trust fund.

It was four years ago I made mention of this concept in a post called Trust Deposits. Remember the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? One of the concepts I culled from that book was about the trust accounts you build between you and the people you are in relationships with. Your children and your spouses as well as your coworkers or your neighbors. You pay into the account with kindness and good will so that when your relationship takes a bump, you can draw from the surplus between you without effecting the relationship. Trust Fund Deposit on Shalavee.com

Seems my son and I are going through another phase where I’m trying to be kind but am feeling agitated. My son isn’t recognizing these deposits are necessary. And I’m beginning to not feel great about us. It happens. So today I took him to the movies trying to fatten up the trust fund. We ate at Subway and then saw Zootopia at the movies. It was nice and more of that kinda thing will need to happen in upcoming years to keep plugging the holes where my trust has leaked out with his ignoring me moments. But I’d rather try to continue to build good will than keep feeling mad and frustrated, wouldn’t you?

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Beautiful Wrinkles

This past Easter weekend, while visiting in-laws in the city, I happened to look up from washing my hands into my face in the mirror. And I was surprised at how endearing my wrinkles around my eyes were and how amused I felt at feeling positive about such a thing “marring” my beauty.

These wrinkles I saw in the mirror reflected a different feeling for me. A happy “earned it” impish mode and I immediately thought of the scene in Eat Pray Love where Elizabeth Gilbert catches sight of herself in the mirror and thinks “friend” before she recognizes its herself she’s seen. A favorite moments from that book so I was amused that I was having a similar one.Fiona and me on Easter on Shalavee.com

As women, must I live a life berating myself for no good reasonable outcome and not just feel worthy of, even gifted with my existence? The woman getting her weight recorded in front of me at the Weight Watchers meeting last night honestly said, “ I hate myself. I hate my body”. The woman doing the weighing let out a lame “Nah!” to refute it but I felt like crying. It was a horrible thing to witness. I had a strong feeling that this woman had a huge theatrical production going around her unworthiness and we were all just pawns.

I suppose I was amused at the sight of myself in the mirror because maybe I’m starting to understand that what I’ve been through has changed me for the better. My wrinkles are like the creases in beautiful paper mache pieces. Or they’re like the detail of the spidery crackles in the glazing of pottery, delicate and intricate and well-earned beauty. crackle glaze from patternprints journal on Shalavee.com

I may not believe it completely but the inkling I got of my self-love to come is going to keep me curious to await more signs. The perpetual self loathing thing is so last decade. I’m looking forward to enjoying a daily dose of “alright you go Shalagh” as opposed to one of “aw you suck Shalagh”. Who’s with me?

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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