This beautiful painting was done by my artistic friend Keltie Morrow. While technically she’s not a “working mom” the way it’s categorized today, she has recently begun profiting (somewhat) from her passion – art! The beautiful painting above is a gift I gave my parents for Christmas this year. I asked Keltie if she’d be comfortable trying a painting with a bird it in. I think she succeeded quite well! Keltie offered me this painting in exchange for a post on my blog. (Be sure you click and enlarge the photo so you can see the whole thing!)
I met Keltie when her daughter joined mine at Tina’s Home Daycare. The girls weren’t fast friends, but their friendships have grown over the years.
I asked Keltie to muse a bit about her life as a mom and as an artist. She created this beautiful post that I didn’t edit at all. It’s perfect the way it is!
I have always been an artistic type. I excelled at art in high school and took it every single year. I didn’t end up pursuing it professionally so it remained a hobby more than anything although I always had something on the go. In the last twenty years I’ve taught myself polymer clay sculpting, paper making, collage, paperclay sculpting, mask making, needle felting, embroidery, jewelry making, bead looming, hairstick making, simple book binding and more I’ve forgotten, I’m sure!
This year through some Facebook links and articles I learned about fluid acrylic painting; specifically the kind that employs Siqueiros’ accidental painting technique which is otherwise known as the Rayleigh-Taylor effect. I fell in love and started trying it with some little eight by ten canvases I had bought a couple of years ago and hadn’t ended up using.
After a few false starts and lots of studying and experimenting I started producing things I was pleased with. I posted them on Facebook to share them with friends and family. The reaction was positive and I was having a blast. So I bought some bigger canvases and made more. I had learned that the bigger the canvas the more interesting the fluid patterns so I ended up buying a lot of sixteen by twenty canvases and really worked hard at attaining the effect I was striving for, experimenting with fluid backgrounds and cityscape silhouettes in front of them.
Eventually people started asking what I was charging and I found it extremely difficult to come up with a price that felt right, erring a lot on the side of undercharging especially at first. But after some more research I figured out what I should be charging at a minimum and went from there. It is sometimes very hard to part with a painting because they’re all such labours of love! I get attached to some of them very much, especially if I think I’ll never be able to do one like a particular piece again.
People also started asking for commissions which was surprisingly difficult for me! It’s a very different feeling working on something that has a pre-determined element as I usually do the fluid background first and then let it ‘tell me’ what I should do from there. Some of my best works have been commissions, though, and the fact that they stretch my creativity and challenge my limits is very valuable to me.
I am currently a stay-at-home mom so painting is something I can fit into my lifestyle without too much difficulty. After I drop my daughter off at school I can run any errands I need to (including buying art supplies) then come back home and use my time until school pick up to focus on painting. It’s not always possible but I have the flexibility to work around things like appointments and anything else that needs finished during the day. Since my husband is home in the evenings I can paint at night as well but I prefer day painting so I can truly see the colours as they should be.
The largest problem I have currently is that we live in an apartment and I don’t have a dedicated art space. Or rather, I do and it interferes with our everyday life in that I am using a large portion of our living room/dining room as a makeshift art studio. The wish is to empty out our spare room (our storage room of doom) and convert it to an art studio but that is a difficult prospect as much of what is in there is there because well, there’s no where else to put it! Living in a small space presents a big challenge for me. I would love to reclaim our living space and have a private space of my own in which to create but it’s currently an issue that needs resolution.
In the end it’s not always easy and not always ideal but for me painting has become something that is non-negotiable in my life. I have never been happier!
Keltie hopes to soon have a space on-line where you can browse and buy her works. Right now you can keep track of her creations on her Facebook page Keltie Morrow Art Works, or on Twitter @KeltieMorrow. She also has works on display (and for sale) at Country Artisan Shoppe And Unique Gifts, 15 Market Square, Napanee Ontario.
If you’re looking for a unique piece for your home, or a gift, I would highly recommend taking a look at Keltie Morrow’s art work.