View Full Version : Afraid of losing momentum

08-01-2003, 01:08 PM
Hi all!

I am a new member and this is my first post to this forum. I hope this is the right place for it :D . Sorry the first one is a call for help LOL.

The deal is my mother is arriving tonight and will be staying with me for a week. Now I love my mother, but let's face it, a lot of the negative programming about art that I am trying to undo had its origins from my parents. I have been working everyday consistently and am very afraid that I am going to lose this very precious momentum that I have going right now, but I feel very tense about trying to work with her here.

Has anyone else had to deal with something similar?
Any suggestions on how to enjoy the visit without also having a huge creative setback would be extremely appreciated.


08-01-2003, 06:24 PM
Haven ~ perhaps to set up specific times every day for your creative work and make it clear that this time is yours and you need to be left alone. If you cannot enter into the allotted time without tension, maybe spend the first few minutes relieving it through meditation, listening to relaxing music or just sketching it out of yourself.

I imagine that having a separate space to work (away form her - in another room) would be best. Even if you feel a need to go somewhere else to work... just to be able to relax with yourself.

Hope it goes smoothly!

PS - perhaps turning her on to doing some of her own creative work would help to turn the tides and help you bond or at least understand one another better? Just an idea, may be way off mark here.


08-02-2003, 12:43 PM

What a great idea to get her involved in her own creative work! Dur...LOL...I totally didn't think of that. Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply :)


08-02-2003, 03:18 PM
I do understand how you feel. If you're feeling particularly protective of your creative self right now I wouldn't risk injury. You should be nurturing your art. Maybe put aside your art while your mother is there? Maybe shift the focus to her and just have a nice week of doing things that are positive for both of you? A week is not much and though you are in a good routine remember that sometimes it's good to slow down, you get to pick up speed again later. :) Sure, it's avoidance, but confrontation isn't always good. You can always have confrontation later when it won't disrupt your actual creating.


08-02-2003, 10:24 PM
Good point, Tina. :)

Cathy Morgan
08-02-2003, 10:42 PM
Can you make a clear decision before the visit starts, about whether or not to go on working every day during your mother's visit?

Some people seem to benefit from breaks; others (like me) find it harder to get back to artmaking after even a day not doing it. So that's one question. Do you have a sense of whether or not it makes a big difference to you, to work every day? Will a week off most likely help you in the long run, or cause a big loss of momentum?

If you do decide you need to work during the visit, it would be helpful I think to let her know your work hours beforehand. If you can put this in an email or letter, it's easier than if you have to bring it up in conversation. "Oh, by the way, I need to do my artwork every morning, but I'll have lunch with you and then we can do things for fun every afternoon and evening."

It can be helpful to line up some recentering aids. Friends to call? A 10-minute meditation or guided visualization tape? A Wet Canvas post?

One idea from Margo Adair, is to visualize yourself really working well - total immersion, flow, productivity, with a sense of freedom and focus. Then let a symbol come to you. It can be anything and it doesn't need to "make sense." After that, you'll have this symbol that you can bring to mind at any time (even in the midst of a conversation or argument) to remind you of this state of being.

I've been reading a book recently, called Loving What Is. If nothing else, it can help you put yourself (and your art life) back together after the visit.

Of course, this may turn out to be a great visit and a wonderful time of relaxed intimacy for you both - and of even deeper artmaking. Sending good wishes your way....

08-03-2003, 02:15 AM
Will your mom be at your side and dependent on your company the whole time or does she have other family, friends or plans independent of you?

If you can, schedule some time and create outdoors in plein air (your medium? -every artist benefits from drawing if you don't paint) on your own while mom is doing something (anything) else.

I would not bring up art if she has such a negative influence on yours. Getting her involved in it may seem like the ideal, chances are something negative will come out of it and it is not worth the risk of enforcing the effect. You will only resent her for it.

Do a bunch of things to enjoy and pass the time with mom. The break will feel shorter and not like a hiccup in your productivity. Maybe browsing though an art book will be satisfying if you need to. Sketch out plans. This is only one week.

Generally speaking, there are going to be other events preventing creative freedom. Whatever you do avoid building scapegoats when you can't focus on your art. It is better to share your successes with everyone especially those that have not appreciated your interests. Otherwise no one will care as much, if at all, when you want or need them to. This may not fit you specifically, the situation loosely fits some of my experience so I am relaying possible consequences.

08-03-2003, 10:36 AM
Originally posted by Cathy Morgan
One idea from Margo Adair, is to visualize yourself really working well - total immersion, flow, productivity, with a sense of freedom and focus. Then let a symbol come to you. It can be anything and it doesn't need to "make sense." After that, you'll have this symbol that you can bring to mind at any time (even in the midst of a conversation or argument) to remind you of this state of being.

Good idea, Cathy!

08-03-2003, 03:37 PM
Having come from a dysfunctional upbringing, my advice would be to have a ritual cleansing before mom gets there: you can go get drunk, spend a day on a boat, anything you don't normally do in life.

Then while mom is there, totally skip the art process, put it on hold.

Then after she leaves, go back out on the boat, get drunk, again, whatever it was you did before to 'cleanse the pallette' ;)

Then go back to the studio.

This attempt to punctuate your visit with mom from the rest of your life probably won't work, but at least you can do something new AND try to enjoy your mom without making it a neurotic power struggle.


08-03-2003, 03:39 PM
Oops, I see that its past the date. In that case:

Sign on to Cafe Guerbois chat one night and we can talk some sense into your mom, live. ;)


08-10-2003, 11:29 AM

How'd it go? :)

08-13-2003, 08:52 PM
Hi everybody!

First let me say THANK YOU for all the thoughtful posts!

My Mom has finally headed home after extending her visit for an extra couple of days. Trying to get her to do creative work while she was here did not go over well LOL, so I ended up taking a break after all. It was sad for me that she never expressed any interest in any of the work I have in progress other to look at them with no comment, and that while she was here I got a contract in the works for a few paintings for one buyer (my very first one!! :clap: ) which she obviously didn't want to talk about with me for whatever reason. Other than that we had a good visit.

It was very hard for me to pick up work again after she left, but today I saw the Fun With Watercolors workshop and worked through one of the lessons and found my enthusiasm again. What a lifesaver! Plus since I used to work in oils any watercolor technique help is good.

I know that after reading some of the suggestions here I will be better prepared for her next visit (hopefully not until Feb. 2004 :p ).

Thanks again VERY much!


Cathy Morgan
08-13-2003, 09:12 PM
:clap: Congratulations on getting back to work right away! That's great.