Sunday, January 17, 2010

Drawing - Endings

Trying to continue painting, drawing, or practicing any of the arts when you become a mom takes effort. You are a caregiver. On the other end of the spectrum, you may find yourself taking care of your parents or some older loved one, so you become a caregiver again. The same time restraints exist, if you are taking care of an older person that exists when you take care of young children, and it becomes very difficult to do artwork. Being flexible and often multi-tasking, in both situations, and not placing unrealistic expectations on yourself, is the way to go.

In 2007, I took care of my Mother-in-Law who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Taking care of an Alzheimer's patient, is very similar to caring for a young child, where constant supervision, support and guidance is needed. It takes a lot of work, and there is very little time to do any sort of artwork. During this period, I did several drawings.

I had always wanted to paint my Mother-in-Law when she was younger, but she never wanted to pose then. At this stage in her life, when the opportunity presented itself, she would sit and I would draw her. She seemed flattered that "The girl who whistled" (she couldn't remember my name) liked to study her face. It was a difficult time, but I am glad that I got this chance to draw her. Having my paper and drawing supplies ready made it possible. She passed away at home in February 2007. She was 86 years old.


Heather L. said...

So very interesting. The eyes are just right in the top one. Imagine the drawings you could have made in her younger years!!! Love the baby pics too. :)

Karen Winslow said...

Thanks, Heather. In the top one, she was sitting in the dining room, and we were talking and having tea. In the bottom one, she was in the living room with her feet up and a shawl on. I had combed her hair into a sort of bun, and you can see that lovely streak of white hair. You can see in her eyes in this drawing, though, the blank expression of Alzheimer's. It is a very sad disease.

Johan said...

I've just found your blog through Matthew Innis' Underpainting blog.
Being a father of 3 young children myself, reading your thoughts on multitasking as a parent/painter, causes an instant feeling of relation and understanding.
So thanks for sharing your thoughts and I hope you will keep doing this for a long long time :)

Karen Winslow said...

Thank you Johan!! Painting with kids is certainly a challenge...but a ggod one!! You can do it!! :D