Welcome to Week Two of the month-long Carnival of Creative Mothers to celebrate the launch of The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood
by Lucy H. Pearce.
Today’s topic is Creative Heroines. Do read to the end of this post for a full list of carnival participants.
Join the Carnival and be in with a chance to win a free e-copy of The Rainbow Way!
December 4th: Creative Inheritance.
December 11th: The Creative Process.
My quirky 10 year old twins are my living creative heroines, never ceasing to inspire me with what they are making next. Restless, messy outgoing kids, who always need to be busy with some creative activity or another. I feel grateful for their arrival, which prompted me to get back my creativity and love of making things. I wanted them to have this input from an early age as I did, to hopefully cement it there forever and not let it get lost due to the demands of studying, education, relationships and the world of work.
As a child at primary school I loved making things and can remember asking for dress making scissors at Christmas so I could make patchwork cushions with the scraps of material found in our ragbag. I still use those same scissors, stored in the homemade case I made for them over 30 years ago! Wow that’s incredible to think of and realize how old I am! I don’t feel 41, maybe that’s also because of my children.
With a mother born 5 days after war with Germany was declared, my childhood was based on the make-do and mend philosophy. Do It Yourself was more out of necessity than pleasure with my Mum’s endeavours always finished annoying well. She was a Virgoan primary school teacher with perfectionist tendencies.
My attitude is the opposite due to my impatient nature: Imperfection is fine for me, better to have created something than not at all.
I like to think that she was unconsciously nurturing her creative spirit when knitting all those jumpers, upholstering countless chairs, making curtains and cakes, acting in the local amateur dramatics and all whilst playing the piano. She did too much for others and not enough just for herself, just for her own pleasure. She was always doing rather simply creating. For me there is a difference and one I have only realised in recent years. Not everything we create has to have a purpose and be useful. It’s listening to the call and acting right then if possible, not always easy with children, but easier when you involve them and as they grow up.
I’m not one for drawing but the call one day to draw the mountain range opposite from my window led me to find some pastels and do it. My kids questioned me about it and saw that I’d just done it for the sake of it, which is art for arts sake and a perfectly acceptable enjoyable activity to do. This is my drive in being a creative mama – to show my girls to continue being creative and following that passion wherever it takes them.
For me the struggle is patience, having twin girls I’ve always been trying to create with two eager little people by my side, whilst often working it out as I go. So cries of: ”Wait and two minutes” are frequently spoken, which I now hear my girls saying in the same frustrated tone to each other. But this is their experience of life, of somebody else being there and sharing my time and love from the outset.
I’ve always felt that this is one of the roles in my children’s lives as the educational system can’t and doesn’t promote cultural artistic activities as a way of self expression. A country village pre-school was a great start whilst holidays and weekends give time to pursue the artistic side of life, which there isn’t time for in the curriculum.
Everybody at my secondary school had to study art GCSE at 16, which I remember feeling anxious about as a portfolio of work had to be submitted. How to find a focus? Questions quashed the creative spirit, fuelled my anxiety and I retreated into ignoring the problem. Fortunately a school trip to Whitby Abbey sparked my imagination, enticed the gothic ideas of the music I enjoyed at that time and led me to draw ruins, arches and wild women aided by the generosity of my art teacher who lent me his camera. It was a 360-degree turnaround that I could actually draw and my fantastical pen and ink illustrations earned me a grade B.
Time is the biggest gift Mamas can give themselves when supporting their creative lives, however, this is often in short supply. So ignoring the housework if the wolf calls you to go and create is my advice. It’s amazing what you can then get done in a short space of time and without resentment if you’ve given yourself the gift of time. I always have a notebook with me so when I’m waiting at gymnastics classes I write in the car or go for a walk in nature, which is my other creative source of inspiration and support.
Self care has been an accompanying lesson for me to learn as well as being a Mama. Long showers and lazy baths are always where ideas come and my muse has time to daydream. I have a strong connection with water and wild swimming in the warmer months takes me to a different world, maybe the underworld where I can imagine whatever I like all whilst being physically supported by weightless tranquil water.
Moving to France with only a basic knowledge of French, meant the emphasis of my creative expression had to shift from the spoken word and find a new outlet. Talking in a deep and meaningful way with friends since the teenage days of angst, working in marketing and as a homeopath had really honed my oral skills and I love expressing myself in this way.
Despite the frustration at speaking in a limited way and often incorrectly, the opportunity of time and the need to create something led me to teach myself to knit. I look at my wonderful imperfect creations and have to remind myself that I actually knitted a dress, an enormous poncho, bag and hats. Through seeing my enthusiasm and creations, the majority of my visiting friends have been inspired to pick up a pair of lovely bamboo knitting needles and learn the art to produce a scarf or pair of bootees.
I am convinced that one of the reasons I am still living here is that I have pursued creative pastimes, which have nourished me without focusing on the spoken word, including Biodanza, similar to Five Rhythms, where you can freely express yourself without formal dancing tuition and the resulting tendency of comparing yourself with other people in the class. You dance however you want to within a supportive environment of love.
And now I am finally writing – the longest held creative desire of mine since childhood. So go forth and go freely to create in all areas of life for others and more importantly for yourself to express who you really are, who knows where it could take you; the possibilities are endless – seek and ye shall find.
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- Carnival host and author of The Rainbow Way, Lucy at Dreaming Aloud celebrates her creative fairy godmothers, and gives thanks for the creative blessings that each has gifted her.
- And on her other site, The Happy Womb, Lucy expresses her sadness at a lack of real-life female mentors and Wise Women in her life so far.
- Becky at Soul Sunshine shares the creativity heroines– her Saviors– who reactivated her creative heart after a near-20-year-hiatus.
- Lucy Pierce from Soulskin Musings explores the ways in which three artists have inspired her to follow the inner wild of her own creative narrative and it’s interface with the forces of nature and of Spirit.
- Kae at The Wilde Womb shares how she invokes her inner child when summoning creative juices.
- Zoie at TouchstoneZ reflects on the women who have inspired her most.
- Alex at The Art of Birth shares her Journey of a Creative Mama which is all about liberating the Feminine through Art.
- Laura at Authentic Parenting is grateful to those women who have inspired her.
- Who most inspires Georgie at Visual Toast? She’ll tell you here!
- Please come to the dinner party, invites Nicki at Just Like Play, where we will celebrate Judy Chicago, art, womanhood, and the creative kitchen table.
- Becky at Raising Loveliness shares her creative heroines.
- Dawn Collins at The Barefoot Home honors three artistic mothers in the post:her strong willed Nona, her free spirited mother and the best solo artist ever… Mother Earth.
- Angela at Peach Coglo looks to her grandma and granny as her creative heroines when the creative going gets tough.
- Jennifer at Let Your Soul Shine wears odd socks proudly!
- Kelly at Knittingandthings shares how she turned her grief into helping others
- Biromums remember their biggest creative heroines.
- Darcel at The Mahogany Way shares who inspires her.
- Aimée at Creativeflutters discusses which artists influence her in her creative journey. Find out how she nourishes herself as a creative mother, and finds the time to help other moms on their journeys.
- Creativity is something that’s always meant the most to Jasmine at Brown Eyed Girl and she can’t wait to take the journey in identifying herself and supporting other moms with it as well.
- KatyStuff has a mother who allowed her to make mud pies while she knit or embroidered near by.
- Ali Baker is a creative mama to twin girls who reignited her creative energy and sense of who she used to be by just doing it and creating whatever needs to be created in an imperfect way.
- Liz at Reckless Knitting remembers her biggest inspirations.
- Milochka at Art Play Day shares her creative heroines.