Appreciating the Kid While Making Art


art stuff

Last week was a test of my patience and I nearly either melted into an incoherent puddle of grunts, or a half-crazed babbling lunatic. Fortunately, I couldn’t decide which to choose, so I remained relatively even.

It’s that time of year where I am weary of the cold and snow. The heater constantly running makes my eyes constantly water, which sort of drains me of not only tears, but the will to live. Maybe that’s being dramatic, but I will choose my bed over pretty much anything these-a-days. So cozy.

Fen’s school closed Monday and Tuesday due to the horrifically low temperatures, and she didn’t have school Friday because of a teacher meeting. Extreme cold weather snow days aren’t as fun as snowy snow days, because you cannot dump the kids outside in a snow drift and tell them to enjoy themselves.

You have to stay huddled inside your house as their energy grows exponentially more wild and unpredictable by the minute. Days like these I have a few hours of ‘fun mom’ in me, where we will bake or do art projects or play games. Then I turn into ‘crab-ass mom’, where I would happily kill a bunny to be able to have an hour of pure, golden silence.

Anyhoodle, Friday was an art project day. I was working on a Valentine project post for Apple Barrel craft paints, and my first few experiments failed miserably. This happens often. This is part of the art-making process, so I put on my angry smile and worked through it.

Fen was obviously inspired by my sparkling creative energy, because she emerged from her room with some canvas boards, paints and brushes – a Christmas gift from Grama and Grampa.

Her intended projects: 1 palm tree beach scene (her go-to subject matter), and 1 completely underwater scene (including a mermaid). As we worked, I finally managed to come up with a cute idea, and relaxed into my painting. Fen was focused as only art-making can make her. We were in the moment.

She asked me to help her mix some mermaid skin color, and we came up with a few different options. She chose the more pink one, as opposed to the more tan version I had made. I naturally was excited that she was experimenting with color-mixing.

I’ve been trying desperately to remember to not live in my head so much, so I made a point to sneak extended peeks at her while she was working- to take in her expressions, the way she sat, how she dabbed the paint onto the canvas. I feel like as parents we are supposed to try to take mental snapshots of our kids in everyday situations, so we can squirrel them away for later, but of course it’s really hard to conjure up what your kids used to look like- without the use of a camera.

So instead I just asked her some questions and tried to enjoy the moment for no other reason than connecting with her. She’s a sweet kid; I’m proud of her. I meditated on that for a bit, and then finished my project.


What do you think?

Written by Joanne Gonzales

Joanne Gonzales has a passion for getting creative. Whether she is making personalized DIY gifts or taking part in larger arts and crafts projects, she puts her all into making new and beautiful things.

She lives with a group of close friends and believes in the natural way of life. Joanne has built an outdoor arts and crafts gallery that overlooks the countryside in her hometown, which is where all of her creations come to life.

Art started off as a hobby, but over time Joanne has mastered her skills and sold some of her favorite pieces. She works full time as a florist and has done for many years. It helps keep her creative juices flowing and she hopes to one day open her own florist shop with a twist.


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