The birth of a new life

Life can be just like a mountain brooklet, transforming quite abruptly from what seems to be an endless peaceful and almost monotonous flow of water to a quick fall, on the steep parts of its track. The water drops from great heights to a place entirely new and it just continues flowing, without stopping to think about what happened.
I’ve had my share of waterfalls just as everyone else: emigrating from the Netherlands to Sardinia and back, my first day at high school, graduation, leaving the family nest to live, work and study in the city, falling in love for the first time… Though all of these events were important to my personal development as they marked the start of a road yet unknown to me, none of them has been so life changing as the birth of our son Efisio Araxiu on the 5th of July this year.
Though I had my mind set on a water birth at home, I was adviced to go to the hospital as there was not enough progress in my dilation. After 36 hours of labor I gave birth naturally to our ‘little’ boy, whose astonishing weight of 5060 grams was a surprise to us all.

Becoming a mother really is as intense as they say, for I’ve spent almost every minute of the past month caring for and drooling over Efisio. The shift in my hormonal balance has caused me to transform into an emotional version of myself, who cries over minor things, like finding Efisio’s first official letter on the doormat or meeting his cute watery eyes when he wakes from a bad dream.
I’ve loved these first weeks with our beautiful baby, but I have been very tired and I still feel I need almost the same amount of sleep Efisio does, which means there’s little room left for creative activities in my daily schedule. I hope you’ll all forgive me for neglecting my online presence.

As I’ve always felt a strong urge to create, I was shocked to discover that I didn’t care to touch my paint brushes or write a new blogpost these past weeks. Instead I focused on diapers, singing soothing songs, washing and cooking:  I felt nothing was worth my time but Efisio and my motherly chores.
However, now that Meindert and I are getting more tuned to Efisio’s needs and my emotions are no longer all over the place, I’m glad to see that ideas for paintings and illustrations are once again popping up in my head and that I manage to find the time to get behind my laptop and resume my plans for this blog.

Could it be that life will continue flowing just like after every other waterfall? No, it would be foolish to assume that: life won’t ever be the same again. My ambitions, desires and plans for the future are all different now that Efisio has become priority number one.

I feel almost relieved that the birth of our son has given me a reason to rethink the plans I had for my artistic career and come up with new ideas for a future in which me, Meindert and Efisio do what we like most, together. What these ideas are I’ll share with you as they get more concrete.

As for the present, things look quite different then they did half a year ago. I am still determined to finish the ‘children’s book project‘ with the three remaining paintings and I’m happy that last week I finally found a new studio to do so. However, the workshop is quite small and I regret to say that I won’t be able to teach as I did in my previous studio. I’m sure I will sporadically teach short drawing or painting courses on different locations, but I intend to focus mainly on developing my own painting skills and less on sharing them with others through live lessons. For now, that is.
Of course I’ll be continuing the blog series A New Way of Looking and after that there’ll be one about colour and oils. Sharing what I know about painting and drawing through this blog might be less personal than the real classes, but it allows me to spend more time with Efisio whom I want to give all the love and attention he could possibly get.

This month is about resuming my art-related activities, starting next week with two plein-air workshop sessions in Warffum. I haven’t been teaching since March, so I’m very excited about it! On the 22th of August I’ll be exhibiting the paintings I made on Corisica in the early spring in the beautiful village of Tinallinge. At the end of the month, I’ll get the keys to my new studio and I’ll pick up my brushes again!

Until then, I enjoy spending time with my private model, sketching his adorable cheeks while he sleeps.

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