Just Us Being Us

Here is about a week's worth of Gray Family nonsense. Most of these have already been posted on my Instagram. That's why there is a coffee rant along with one of the photos. Feel free to follow the crazy over there if you like. As you can see I am not going the route of everything is so picturesque and lovely over here. Sometimes it's happy chaos. Sometimes it's pure frustration. Sometimes it's survival, ha! And yes, sometimes things are quite beautiful. Anyway, enjoy the photo show haha!

Just a normal day with The Grays.

I couldn't resist photographing him in this light.

Please! Please! Let me drink my coffee kids! Just let me drink. My. Coffee. I can't wipe your ass or feed you if I don't drink it! Why am I drinking out of a mug with my mug on it? A present from my mother given to my husband. for what reason I don't know. A mug I try not to drink out of bc it's weird drinking out of a cup with a photo of yourself on it. A photo of a time when you used all your creative energy to dye your hair red and to care what it looked like. I just want my coffee, and it was the only cup in the cabinet. That's why. Now please minions, let me drink this shit! ‪#‎motherhoodtruthbomb‬

"Come on Mommy!" Yes master. Where do you want your humble mother servant to go? Can I finish eating my breakfast first? No. Ok.

How the blogging gets done!

I hope these two always remain close. ‪#‎brothers‬

Man, he's got me! Love this little guy!


It Feels Good to Be Painting

I have finally been getting back to painting this past week. It feels good to be here. I feel good when I am here. I'm also getting ready for the Artrageous Holiday Art & Craft Extravaganza this Saturday at Alberta Abbey. I will have my butt, and my artwork there (sorry I won't be showing my butt, just artwork. HA!). Come by, say hello, and see some amazing, local PDX artists. Below are some paintings that I have either finished, or are in the process of finishing. 

And at the end of this post there is a little artist who is growing quickly, so don't miss scrolling down.

I cannot even express how happy I am with this 16x20 painting. It's drying and waiting for it's oiling out, but is complete.

Not completed yet, but this is part of a new series I am doing called 'Views of Mount Tabor.'

Not sure how I feel about this one. I thought it was done, but I feel it's not looking as bright as I would like. We will see how it goes.

Ellie has been getting more and more into coloring and painting. A girl after my own heart, especially when her brothers really don't care too much for artsy stuff. We put her paper on the easel and have now entered into a whole new realm with her. She has become super focused and precise with her painting. I love watching her creativity grow.


Creative Mothers - Art by Megan

FYI this is another Megan, not yours truly.

I have been following Megan's work on Instagram for quite some time now. I love seeing how her work grows and shifts. She really does seem to have so much fun with her painting, and it shows. I am so glad Megan wanted to be a part of this series. Her work is colorful, stunning, and makes me miss the ocean (in a good way). Not only is she balancing her art with family, she is also making time for it along with a full time teaching career. Just goes to show if you want it bad enough you will make time for it.

Also, don't forget to connect with all of these awesome creative mamas on their social networks, by leaving a comment below, and by sharing their interviews. Connecting and sharing are what these interviews are all about.

Thank you Megan for participating, and for sharing your work with us!

Photo above by Maria Linz Photography

website: www.artbymegan.com
shop: www.artbymegan/shop/ 
society6 - www.society6.com/megan_artby
instagram: @artbymegan #artbymeganblog
facebook: Art by Megan 

Media: acrylics (sometimes with spray paint, ink and mixed media), watercolors.

My art is a reflection of my travels all over the world and my love of water, the ocean, blues and greens, and sunsets.

My art career is just recently "taking off" from a hobby to a part-time job.  I am also a high school spanish teacher in inner-city Baltimore MD and a full time mom to a little one.

1. What is your earliest memory you have of creating?
As a child, my grandparents came to stay with me when my brother was born.  My grandmother, who I adored, called it "project time"....and a passion for art was created.  My entire family is very creative; my aunts, mom and grandmother all used art in their every day lives as I was growing up.

2. When did you realize you were an artist, writer, creative etc.? 
I always knew I loved art, but never knew that that made me an "artist".  Only recently have I begun labeling myself as such, but it still makes me giggle a little, as it was always my "dream job".  I have always been creative and have loved challenging myself artistically.  I was an art major in college, I have taken many watercolor, painting, drawing and other art classes as a young person, and now teach art, photography, and design.

3. Why do you create? How would you feel if you could not create anymore?
I create as a spiritual journey.  In my first art show as a 21 year old, I remember feeling like my artwork was too personal to hang publicly for others to critique and comment on.  However, I now know that sharing my work (and my feelings/perspective) is actually a wonderful way to connect on a spiritual level with others, not only artists, but all people.

4. Did you create before you had children? After? How has becoming a mother changed or enhanced the way you create? 
I was on a hiatus from creating from college until I had my daughter.  I was enjoying being young and newly married, I guess!   However, the birth of my daughter taught me that I needed to make time for what I love, and that became a passion unlike before, for making art.  I really enjoyed evenings painting and creating after a day of baby...it created the perfect balance!

5. What is the most challenging thing about being a mother and an artist? How do you handle those challenges? 
The hardest part for me as a full-time teacher, mom, and artist is balancing it all.  There are always so many opportunities for art that I must turn down in order to do my "real" job.  However, if I could, I would paint every day.  As far as painting with my daughter around, I love it...it's a total mess, but we have such an awesome time together.  Sometimes, she "helps" with my paintings though, and that's where I have to draw the line sometimes.  haha!

6. Do you ever involve your children in your art? Do they inspire, help, mimic your projects, ask to learn, or be involved in your art?
I guess I already answered this, but I make art almost every day with my daughter (age 3).  We paint, do crafts, use sidewalk chalk...and no matter what it is a great way for both of us to enjoy some quiet, focused time together after a busy day.

7. What have you sacrificed in order to make art? 
Starting an art business was a huge financial commitment for my family at first.  As they say, it takes time to make money off of art, and it was a bit frustrating to barely be breaking even, but I continued to paint and create.  Also, I would say that sometimes the stress of deadlines or the chaos of driving all over with a car full of paintings is a bit of a sacrifice, but it's worth it.

8. What have you gained from creating art?
I have gained a beautiful perspective on life from my art.  If I have a hard day teaching teenagers (only occasionally!), I can paint and know that it's going to feel better soon.  If I am worried, stressed or lonely, art has been my savior.  I would say that art has also taught me patience, because it doesn't always "work".  Some of my paintings have 3-4 paintings underneath them...I have to keep trying until it is JUST perfect.

9. Where do you want your art to go over the next few years? Goals?
My goals are to expand "Art by Megan" and gain followers through networking.  I also hope to be able to sell my work in more locations.  Currently, I work with a pop-up shop in Annapolis, MD and they have provided so many new opportunities for my work (Here.A Pop-Up Shop).  I also sell my work at Twisted Sisters in Annapolis, and they are amazing!  I hope to be able to continue a relationship with these wonderful people who helped me to get started and expand to other vendors, pop-ups, galleries and creative spaces in the next year.

10. At this time, what could you sacrifice, change, or simplify to help reach your artistic goals? 
I mean, I wouldn't mind terribly if someone paid me a full-time salary to create art...am I right?  hehe.  But seriously, for now, I wouldn't trade much. I am happy "part timing it" and hope that more serious, challenging and full-time art days lie ahead.

11.  Do the kids go to school? Do you homeschool? How does this affect your creativity and art making?
My daughter goes to school because I work Monday thru Friday 7-5..sort of.
Our schedule is NUTS.  Art is my evening job...I moonlight :)

12. What does a typical day/week look like? Are you a morning or night person? Do you stick to a schedule or create whenever you can? 
I am a morning person, with the help of coffee.  I cannot work all night, because I LOVE sleeping, but sometimes I will stay up late if a painting is happening, all for the sake of making it work, or having an awesome time.  In an ideal world, I would paint every day from 9-12, then go to yoga class, then play outside with my daughter, then make an amazing dinner.  But, my world is ok too :)

13. Can you offer any advice or tips to other creative mothers on? Inspiration, wisdom? 
My words of wisdom are:
1.  Don't take criticism too harshly.  I have had a couple of moments that have really hurt my feelings in my art career and I have learned a lot from all of them...just forge ahead!
2.  Branch out, be friendly, and compliment other artists...a kind word goes a long way sometimes.  I have made friends, internet friends and have met many great people this way!
3.  Be FEARLESS.  I go into restaurants and ask to see the person in charge of curating art all of the time.  I go to stores, galleries, and other "artsy" places and strike up conversation, sometimes with a toddler on my hip.  Just learn to be proud of yourself and your work and people will appreciate the honesty.

14. Finally, name an artistic mother who inspires you. Why and how does she inspire you?
I am inspired by so many women, but I would have to say my Aunt Mindy who makes pottery for her own company "3 sisters" in Maine, my mother who is amazingly creative, my Aunt Debbie who crafts, creates and imagines everyday and my late grandmother who would save me fabric scraps, paper and other little pieces of her life for "projects".  These strong, beautiful women have made me into the courageous and relentless artist that I am evolving into!


Creative Mothers is a regular blog series here at Days With The Grays that helps to share, connect, and inspire creative mothers from all over the world. All right here, in one place. 

Are you a Creative Mother, or do you know one? Want to be interviewed? Send me an email at info@dayswiththegrays.com and I will send you the interview questions and info that I need.