A new year

I am walking the same round I always walk, I see the same houses, the same trees and bushes.
But as the low winter sun casts cobalt coloured shadows on the path under my feet, everything looks different. The frost has covered all patches of grass with a crystal fur and the compactly pruned apple trees along the way have silvery icing on their branches. Blackbirds are flying everywhere, emitting their panicky cries and picking rose hips and berries. Is this really the place I’ve lived in for the past five years? How appealing it looks on this rare ice cold day and how imaginative my mind becomes as I hear the crispy frozen street under my feet.

What would our new arrival think if the winter air would touch her warm baby cheeks? Would she laugh as she often does?
Artemisia is snoring away under my coat, her face hidden in darkness as she’s snugly pressed against my breast in the baby carrier. She’s sniffing up the warm scent of my body and doesn’t care for anything else, so I must do the admiring of the winter landscape for her.

Our second child is a redhead. Not everyone agreed on this in the first weeks after her birth, but I know red hair when I see it. Yes, I know that it might not stick and that probably blond or brown hair will grow instead, but silly me is already fantasizing about which clothes would match her red locks best. And I really think that the new hair which is already starting to grow on top of her head also has the same copper glow.

Talking about my children is something I like to do a lot as I’m sure all mothers do. I could go on and on and still find something new to say. Even if it is about the content of their diapers or just a new word they learned and no-one cares to hear it. I care.
But is a blog about my art, so maybe I should write something inspiring instead.

The thing is, I cannot write anything inspiring because I haven’t touched my brushes in a long while, or even had one artistic thought in my mind. I know now from experience that those first months with a newborn are a precarious balance between being completely in love with your baby, soaking in every smile, and feeling a loss. It is the loss of your previous self, the one who was free to do whatever she wanted, whenever she pleased.
When I see young couples of my age who haven’t got little ones to care for, I can’t help feeling a little bit jealous of the things they are free to do. Such as going to a concert or on a mini holiday just like that.
On the other hand, when I didn’t have children I rarely did such things anyway and the absence of purpose in my life, the emptiness I often felt, isn’t there any more now that my husband and I started a family.

Two months post-partum I am getting a grip on the day schedule and I now know that whenever I feel there is never going to be enough time to get things done, I’ll transform into a multitasking hero who’s more productive than she ever was before. Not straight away, but I’ll grow into that person, because that’s what mothers do. They have to.

Looking back on 2022 I feel satisfied of the new teaching experiences I had and the many things I learned on my painting journey, but I am even more optimistic about the year ahead of us. Not only because I will have yet another child to love, but also because I will have new chances to grow as an artist. Starting next week, with painting sessions with colleagues, which I’ll be organizing on the Wednesday evening. Also, I consider myself very fortunate indeed that Galerie Bonnard has agreed to renewal our collaboration and I can worry less about selling my art and focus more on the making of it. Coming month some of my works will be displayed in a group show and in September my series of large imaginative paintings will be exhibited as well, which I consider a huge compliment. 

The year 2023 will be all about finding a style that suits me. I have painted in the same way for a long time and the classical character many of my works have is no longer what I want. Instead, I am looking for a more poetic and suggestive value that triggers the imagination. I’m sure many hours of experimentation will be needed and that’s what my focus will be.

My journey I will of course share here on my blog, on Instagram and on YouTube, whenever I have time to do so. I hope you will be there with me!

For now, I wish you all the most inspiring new year!

Anna Maria


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